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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Chp 736. Turn To Page…

Throwback Tuesday, because Throwback Thursday is too mainstream :P

Ok this blog post is for the old-timers out there :D I'm gonna mention the names of some novels and let me know if they ring any bells...

The Secret of the Knight's Sword
Danger on Ice
The Feathered Serpent
Secret Cargo
The Alaskan Mystery
The Missing Money Mystery

Ding ding anyone? :)

For those of you who grew up reading "The Hardy Boys" and "Nancy Drew", you might recognize some of those titles. Even I had forgotten their names, and I had to google and got the names from this page - Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Be A Detective Paperbacks

Those books were special because unlike their regular detective novels, they followed the "Be A Detective" format where you had to make a choice based on what just happened to go to which page you thought would be the next part of the novel. Oh yes, those, if so and so is so, then go to page 17 but if you think so and so is so, go to page 48 types. Ah the suspense! :D

The ultimate goal was to reach the page with the correct ending. And if we made a mistake along the way, there was no freaking way to back-track (unless you were writing down all the page sequence one by one), and so we had to start all the way from the beginning again.

And I am sure some of you youngsters might be gasping, "What? No auto-save feature? That is such a bummer!" But yeah, remember, us 80's kids grew up playing Super Mario Bros and if we ran out of lives at world 8-4, we had to start all the way from world 1-1 again, and we did it without complaining!

I remember playing reading similar "Turn to page" novels too based on G.I. Joe characters, and many a times, I turned to a page where Cobra Commander ended up killing my Joes, lolz.

The reason why I suddenly want to talk about this is that, the other day I was just doing some R&D on a genre of mobile games called "Choices". As a game designer, it is vital for me to keep myself up-to-date with all the different types of games hitting the market and look at the ones that are top grossing and figure out why they are top grossing.

And as I played the different "choices" games on my phone, it occurred to me, Dayymm, I used to play this same game on a freaking Paperback!.

So, yeah, I did feel like a dinosaur :D

Anyway, this is one good example of how a medium may change with technology, but the concept remains the same if it is good enough.

But I really do miss those paperback days. Suddenly, Nancy Drew heard some footsteps coming from the terrace above. She was alert and slowly slid out of bed. The night was dark but the pale moonlight lit up the staircase. Slowly, Nancy took a deep breath and: (1) Grabbed the baseball bat to arm herself - Turn to page 57, (2) Removed her clothes and moaned in ecstasy - Turn to page 69.

Ok ok, I think I might have gotten that last part mixed up with some other genre :D :P But yes, it was indeed intriguing for us to try and solve the novel.

Even back then, we used to cheat, but it was a big pain in the ass trying to cheat the system, lolz. We would first scan through the entire book, searching for the page with the correct ending. Once we found that page, we then looked at the page number and again scanned through the entire book to see which page was directing the reader to go to that particular page. And we repeated this slowly one by one until we reached the first page of the book! Phew! Talk about reverse engineering, lolz.

And you want to know what else is shocking?

Just for old time's sake, I looked up the above mentioned Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys novels on Amazon, thinking maybe I might just order one or two books to walk down memory lane with. And you know what I found out? They are ridiculously expensive! :D

The Alaskan Mystery paperback costs a whopping ₹ 12,170 while Danger On Ice paperback is available at an even higher cost of ₹ 14,012!!! At least the paperback version of The Secret of the Knight's Sword is relatively cheaper at ₹ 6,424/- But still, those are some really exorbitant prices!

So, yeah, how many of you have read such type of novels back then? Did you enjoy them? Lemme know. Cheers!

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