The Sea of Sand by Andrew Wright
Warning! Review may contain spoilers!
In the sea of sand, I am Baladin of Bhintos the Male Adventurer. You may have heard of Bhintos, as it is where the dangerous sandworms come from. These sandworms killed my family and now I’m super angry and turned to a life of adventure. Grr!
We start with lots of rules! At last, a traditional gamebook! There are rules for feats, exciting javelin combat and up close and personal melee. You can flee, do magic and wiggle a shield at your foes. You lead a group, there’s mass combat and tribe trading. It’s possible to die. We’re off on a real adventure full of gods, heroes and monsters!
This is a follow up to 2011’s Sea of Madness. It won the competition, so I’m excited to get started. The first choice is to pick a direction to move your tribe in. I feel like this gamebook needs a map but, in the absence of one, I’ll pick the eponymous route and head to the Sead of Sand. What follows is a series of enjoyable adventures taking from tribe to tribe, making allies and killing enemies along the way. I even kill a troll.
On the third day you shave your head and sacrifice a goat
This is an excellent gamebook. There’s a lot of dice rolling, but it is done well. Dice rolling adds an element of randonmess to your explorations. When there is combat, it is short and enjoyable (no hacking away at one another like some combat systems). Beefing up your tribe with mercenaries and allies is very satisfying.
Scenario-wise, while nothing ground-breaking it is well written and there is a good fantasy element with a well imagined backlog of rich history. The world feels magical. There are flying carpets. Should do well.