1. Do You feel like reading a review for a create-your-own-adventure children's book? If Yes, carry on to number 2. If No, scroll down to number 8.
2. Woohoo! Create Your Own Alien Adventure puts you in the middle of an alien invasion. Every few pages you will be prompted to draw something (like a scary alien) or make a choice about where the adventure will take you next. A slightly adapted example: Your spaceship is entering the orbit of Planet Greyscale just as the fuel warning light starts flashing. You look at the control panel. Do you press the button marked 'CRASH'? (turn to page 125); the button marked 'EXPLODE'? (page 126) or 'LAND'? (page 45). You can imagine how tempting it is to make the wrong choice and find out what happens, and that's part of the fun. Are you new to the create-your-own-adventure genre? (scroll to number 6) Or would you like to reminisce about the good old days, when they were everywhere? (scroll to number 5).
3. Your finger hovers over the button. You know the world needs you to save it from invasion, but you just can't resist that splendid shiny button! BOOM! You are blown into tiny pieces. Now draw a picture of the explosion and what you would look like in tiny pieces. Alternatively, go back to number 4 and see what would happen if you were able to control yourself.
4. Sadly, the old favourites are out of print and create-your-own-adventure has gone out of fashion. This is perhaps because their immersive, choice-providing appeal has been superceded by computer games. But it's precisely this that I think makes them valuable. As a young boy who played a lot of computer games, I appreciated them as a middle ground between games and reading. I'm sure there are many other children would find them a useful stepping stone. Bring back the create-your-own adventures, I say! But for now, young readers and alien hunters will love this. By the way, were you thinking of pressing the button marked 'EXPLODE'? (scroll to number 3) Or do you tink it would be best to 'LAND'? (scroll to number7)
5. Awww, they were great weren't they? (if actually you thought they were rubbish, scroll to 8) I really liked the Virtual Reality series. I was quite into the Ian Livingstone dice-rolling ones too, although I liked that you just needed a pencil for the Virtual Reality ones. Green Blood was great and I think I only died a couple of times on that one. Coils of Hate I remember being really difficult and actually quite scary. That's enough of that; scroll to number 4.
6. This genre was a bit of a craze in the eighties, often involving a combination of difficult choices and daring dice-rolling. Ian Livingstone and Edward Packard wrote a lot of them. You could be a pirate, space explorer, knight-errant or whatever you liked. You would sometimes have an Inventory page in the front of the book, where you added or erased items as you picked them up or lost them along the way. Scroll to number 4.
7. You decide to keep it sensible. You press LAND and slowly drift to the ground. But as you leave your ship, you find yourself surrounded by aliens in police uniforms. What now? You'd better buy the book to find out how you might react...
8. Okay, I understand. Bye!