Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Castle of Fear (Puzzle Master Series) by Patrick Burston and Alastair Graham (Walker Books)


The Castle of Fear (Puzzle Master Series)

Written by Patrick Burston

Illustrated by Alastair Graham

Published by Walker Books

I loved books as a kid, well into my teens when I'd spend an inordinate amount of time in the playground with a couple of "Choose your own adventure" books tucked into my bag.

Back before you could whip out your mobile phone or a tablet to play an immersive role playing game, these books were like a portal to a fantasy world where all the action and adventure took place largely in your imagination. Often illustrated with line art, you filled in the blanks yourself as you made your way through perilous scenarios in search of fortune and glory.

It's actually quite comforting to see Charlotte regularly picking books like "The Castle of Fear" out of the library. These large format picture books are perfect for her age group as an introduction to the more meatier text-based 'choose your own adventure' series - but the rules are basically the same. Solve puzzles, take chances and choose your path through The Castle of Fear to save a trapped prisoner, and complete your quest.

"The Castle of Fear" is just tough enough to provide a challenge, but not too difficult as to prove frustrating. As children choose their path through the game, flicking to each page number as directed, they'll find hidden object puzzles and other choices to be made.

It looks like a fantastic range which we definitely need to investigate further!

Charlotte's best bit: Finally completing the quest - I could actually hear her cheer of joy from the other end of the house!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Really glad that things like this still exist for kids who you'd think were completely wrapped up in gizmos and gadgets. Pure imagination wins out every time!

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