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Can you save the young men of Oyster Bay from the evil Lizard Men? Kidnapped by a vicious race of Lizard Men from Fire Island, the young men of Oyster Bay face a grim future of slavery, starvation and a lingering death. Their new master is the mad and dangerous Lizard King, who holds sway over his land of mutants by the eerie powers of black magic and voodoo. YOU are the on Can you save the young men of Oyster Bay from the evil Lizard Men? Kidnapped by a vicious race of Lizard Men from Fire Island, the young men of Oyster Bay face a grim future of slavery, starvation and a lingering death. Their new master is the mad and dangerous Lizard King, who holds sway over his land of mutants by the eerie powers of black magic and voodoo. YOU are the only one who can hope to rescue the suffering prisoners, but do you have the courage to risk this dangerous mission? Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need for this adventure. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.


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Can you save the young men of Oyster Bay from the evil Lizard Men? Kidnapped by a vicious race of Lizard Men from Fire Island, the young men of Oyster Bay face a grim future of slavery, starvation and a lingering death. Their new master is the mad and dangerous Lizard King, who holds sway over his land of mutants by the eerie powers of black magic and voodoo. YOU are the on Can you save the young men of Oyster Bay from the evil Lizard Men? Kidnapped by a vicious race of Lizard Men from Fire Island, the young men of Oyster Bay face a grim future of slavery, starvation and a lingering death. Their new master is the mad and dangerous Lizard King, who holds sway over his land of mutants by the eerie powers of black magic and voodoo. YOU are the only one who can hope to rescue the suffering prisoners, but do you have the courage to risk this dangerous mission? Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need for this adventure. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

30 review for Island of the Lizard King

  1. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Another winning entry in the FIGHTING FANTASY book series. This one adopts a Caribbean theme with its emphasis on a lush tropical island ruled by some slave-owning lizard men and all manner of sun-scorched nastiness. From the outset, this one has a strong story, with the set-up and background a delight to read. It throws you into the thick of the adventure as soon as you arrive on the island; there seems to be a great deal more combat than in other books in the series, as you immediately have to Another winning entry in the FIGHTING FANTASY book series. This one adopts a Caribbean theme with its emphasis on a lush tropical island ruled by some slave-owning lizard men and all manner of sun-scorched nastiness. From the outset, this one has a strong story, with the set-up and background a delight to read. It throws you into the thick of the adventure as soon as you arrive on the island; there seems to be a great deal more combat than in other books in the series, as you immediately have to fight for your life against either multiple or stronger foes. I also find this one of the tougher books in the series - I've played it a handful of times now and never seem to make it beyond the jungle, where I'm typically slaughtered by some monstrous beasties. Nevertheless, the descriptions are vivid, the adventure exciting and all over the imagination that's gone into this make it a winner. NB. We recently played this again, "properly" this time (i.e. including making a map), and managed to complete it on the second playthrough. I now find it one of the best FIGHTING FANTASY adventures, as it's an immersive experience loaded with action, monsters, traps and deadly situations. There's almost an epic feel to the story, especially towards the end with an uprising and some (what feel like) big budget battle set-pieces going on. It is hard, particularly in the strength of the monsters, and a lot of it depends on luck, although common sense also helps, but it's immensely satisfying to finally finish it. Well done you, Ian Livingstone! NB. Another gameplay, but this time an early death in the infamous swamp being led by the mysterious Gollum-like Marsh Hopper. The fighting seems incredibly tough in this gamebook but that gives the book an extra frisson of danger and excitement that the well-written locations add to. And the fact that you can still die even knowing the correct path to take shows the level of replayability of these books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    David Icke's favourite 80s gamebook Has you running in circles like a lame chook Looking for the Gonchong-riddled Lizard King (you know I'm not referring to Jim Morrison) To avenge the bitter death of mighty Mungo. Not the best FF, but it's still fun, though. David Icke's favourite 80s gamebook Has you running in circles like a lame chook Looking for the Gonchong-riddled Lizard King (you know I'm not referring to Jim Morrison) To avenge the bitter death of mighty Mungo. Not the best FF, but it's still fun, though.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    If the truth is to be known, these books are fun at first. Sadly, however, they quickly grow old. If you have experienced one of these kinds of books you have experienced them all. Whilst the stories differ, the effect they have upon a person is the same across the board. You have fun for a while and then they are put aside. It is okay to pick up one or two throughout your life but I would not recommend going out of your way to buy them en masse. As for which one(s) you pick up… well, that is a c If the truth is to be known, these books are fun at first. Sadly, however, they quickly grow old. If you have experienced one of these kinds of books you have experienced them all. Whilst the stories differ, the effect they have upon a person is the same across the board. You have fun for a while and then they are put aside. It is okay to pick up one or two throughout your life but I would not recommend going out of your way to buy them en masse. As for which one(s) you pick up… well, that is a choice only you can make.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan-David Jackson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the third book in the series that me and my wife have gone through. The book wasn't conducive to map-making, which is my favorite part of these books, except for a small section in a mine. Also, near the end there's a lizard man riding a dinosaur who is very hard to beat - harder than the Lizard King himself, in fact - and there's no way around him. Those are the bad things though, and the rest of the book is pretty good. Some parts were quite funny, like the Pouch of Unlimited Contents This is the third book in the series that me and my wife have gone through. The book wasn't conducive to map-making, which is my favorite part of these books, except for a small section in a mine. Also, near the end there's a lizard man riding a dinosaur who is very hard to beat - harder than the Lizard King himself, in fact - and there's no way around him. Those are the bad things though, and the rest of the book is pretty good. Some parts were quite funny, like the Pouch of Unlimited Contents or the fact that the Lizard King's one weakness was a tiny monkey.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Take down a penal colony turned pirate base 18 June 2012 In a way this book could be a part of a trilogy, or even a series, in which the main character travels from adventure to adventure. In the background of this book there was a suggestion that it followed on from Deathtrap Dungeon in that you travelled from Fang to Oyster Bay for a bit of rest and relaxation. However in Deathtrap Dungeon, there was no hint that you had just completed City of Thieves, and in City of Thieves there was no hint t Take down a penal colony turned pirate base 18 June 2012 In a way this book could be a part of a trilogy, or even a series, in which the main character travels from adventure to adventure. In the background of this book there was a suggestion that it followed on from Deathtrap Dungeon in that you travelled from Fang to Oyster Bay for a bit of rest and relaxation. However in Deathtrap Dungeon, there was no hint that you had just completed City of Thieves, and in City of Thieves there was no hint that you had just completed Forest of Doom. However, there is probably nothing stopping you from bringing characters, along with equipment and such, over from the previous adventure, particularly since in Deathtrap Dungeon and this book there is actually no use for any gold (and any items that you have will not be able to be used in this adventure). Steve Jackson did write a series that followed on directly from the previous books, namely the Sorcery series, however it appears that the intention of the original writers was to have each of the Fighting Fantasy books stand on its own. In this book you travel to the small fishing village of Oyster Bay to discover that the inhabitants of the former penal colony on Fire Island have become pirates and are raiding coastal villages. The island was originally established by a king to send criminals over there and hired a number of lizardmen to act as guards. However the idea did not work (since there appeared to be more criminals than law-abiding citizens, and no doubt he simply went back to executing them) and the king abandoned the island, and its inhabitants, to their fate. As such the lizardmen guards went rogue, enslaved the prisoners, and began to establish themselves as a pirate base. This is a fairly straight forward adventure, unlike the others, in that you don't explore a dungeon, or even have set paths to follow. Instead you are treking across the island, and each part of the island, the jungle, the marsh, the volcano, as other places, are all in your path. You may make minor detours, and take a different direction, but you will always end up at the next major location. I found the book difficult in that I could not find all of the items to make your quest easier. There are two particular items that are lost to me, namely the ring of three keys (needed to get into the armoury) and the Horn of Vahalla (needed to rally your troops in the penultimate battle). However, the important information, such as the feather needed to get to the shaman, are fairly easy to come across, particularly if you stop and examine everything on your quest (though some things can be dangerous). The other thing I noticed is that if you move to make a bad decision, then the text would ask you 'are you sure' which is a clear indicator that you are about to do something very bad. However I would not be surprised if the authors used this tactic to throw you off. The other thing that I noticed is that Livingstone does not hide numbers in the text that you need to collect to actually get to the end of the book. Steve Jackson does, and has done so in Citadel of Chaos, Warlock of Firetop Mountain (which was a collaboration), and Starship Traveller. I am yet to see if he continues that in his later books (and whether Livingstone follows suit).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    A solid entry in the series. As with all the early Ian Livingstone books, it has a well realised and evocative setting. This time it's a tropical, volcanic island, where slaves toil in the gold mines under the lashes of lizardman guards. Beaches, jungle, swampland, mines, volcanic slopes and an old fortress prison ... it all keeps the atmosphere tight and the story ticking along. As a nipper, I never managed to get very far into this book at all. It contains a lot of combat and even the early enc A solid entry in the series. As with all the early Ian Livingstone books, it has a well realised and evocative setting. This time it's a tropical, volcanic island, where slaves toil in the gold mines under the lashes of lizardman guards. Beaches, jungle, swampland, mines, volcanic slopes and an old fortress prison ... it all keeps the atmosphere tight and the story ticking along. As a nipper, I never managed to get very far into this book at all. It contains a lot of combat and even the early encounters tend to be much more punishing than previous books in the series. Don't even bother starting with a Skill or Luck score less than 10, you'll be wasting your time. (There are a LOT of Luck checks in this book!) This time I succeeded on my second attempt, thanks to some very lucky dice rolls. The plot unfolds in a much more linear manner than most of the books. There are minor variations in route, but they always come back together very rapidly. On the plus side, this really drives a powerful story at a good tempo. On the minus side, there's not a lot left to explore so I probably won't pick it up again for a long time having completed it. Very satisfying.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Guy Gleeson

    I read a bunch of these Fighting Fantasy books when I was younger, and decided to pick one out of my collection to play through. While one of the shorter books, this is definitely not one of the easier ones in the series. It contains some very difficult monsters, and a fair few of them one after the other... I know a big part of these types of books are based on luck, but this one REALLY weighs on luck. So many strong battles and punishing events. The story itself is an enjoyable one. It's probabl I read a bunch of these Fighting Fantasy books when I was younger, and decided to pick one out of my collection to play through. While one of the shorter books, this is definitely not one of the easier ones in the series. It contains some very difficult monsters, and a fair few of them one after the other... I know a big part of these types of books are based on luck, but this one REALLY weighs on luck. So many strong battles and punishing events. The story itself is an enjoyable one. It's probably one of my favourite set ups in the series, but it was, for me, unfortunately let down by the difficulty of the enemies throughout. I did however enjoy the exploring and discovery of items and things needed to succeed. I'm now going to go pick out another, and hopefully have more luck with the battles :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jimbo

    It's strange as Island of the Lizard King never seems to get mentioned among the better FF books but I found it to be extremely enjoyable. It has similarities to Forest of Doom in that you are searching an area looking for something, or in this case someone. I enjoyed the mines and pulling together a little army to take on the Lizard King. It was also a nice touch to be able to pick up an item which severely diminished the bosses skills once you got to him. I found this entry in the series to be It's strange as Island of the Lizard King never seems to get mentioned among the better FF books but I found it to be extremely enjoyable. It has similarities to Forest of Doom in that you are searching an area looking for something, or in this case someone. I enjoyed the mines and pulling together a little army to take on the Lizard King. It was also a nice touch to be able to pick up an item which severely diminished the bosses skills once you got to him. I found this entry in the series to be relatively easy compared to precious books, but the actual story was one of the more satisfying to date.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    I remember this book from years ago, although I’m not sure that I ever read it. I remembered the cover more than anything I think. This was more in the swords and sorcery type format, which I enjoy more with these books. This one felt a little short, but I think I inadvertently took the short route to get to the end after the usual pitfalls and deaths along the way. I didn’t enjoy the story quite as much as the Forest of Doom, but still a fun read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lee Osborne

    Last of the four Fighting Fantasy books I bought recently, and an enjoyable, but not tremendously challenging, playthrough in an interesting setting. The plot of this one is that you have to defeat the Lizard King on a cursed island, where lots of people and creatures have been enslaved in mines. The Lizard King is made all-powerful by something you have to try and find out about, and you then have to fight him, to set the island and its enslaved inhabitants free. The setting is interesting - it's Last of the four Fighting Fantasy books I bought recently, and an enjoyable, but not tremendously challenging, playthrough in an interesting setting. The plot of this one is that you have to defeat the Lizard King on a cursed island, where lots of people and creatures have been enslaved in mines. The Lizard King is made all-powerful by something you have to try and find out about, and you then have to fight him, to set the island and its enslaved inhabitants free. The setting is interesting - it's tropical and feels like it draws on some interesting traditions, and in some ways it feels like the "Live and Let Die" of the Fighting Fantasy world! It certainly has a different feel to the traditional dungeon/citadel type setting of many of the others. There's jungles, swamps, cliffs, caves and volcanoes to navigate around. You start off with a fellow adventurer, but whatever choices you make at the beginning, you lose him pretty quickly. This certainly felt like one of the easier entries in the series - I finished it on my third attempt, and I only failed on my second attempt because I faced a formidable opponent in battle, and my scores weren't high enough. There's a HUGE number of things that can lop your skill, stamina and luck scores down, and you'll likely fall foul of those on early attempts. You have to fight a lot of battles, too, and many of your opponents are formidable. However, there's lots of objects you can collect to help, and in particular you need two to easily finish off the Lizard King. I think I got lucky with the choices I made on my second attempt, and I made only minor variations on my third attempt, just taking care to avoid the hazards that didn't pay off. There were various things I didn't find, which made some of the battles harder, but I ultimately found the two things I needed to make finishing off the Lizard King a pretty simple business. I mapped my progress and found this one was pretty linear - at least it seemed to be. I didn't follow some branches at all because it didn't feel like I needed to. I felt I was more or less on the right track second time around. There were a few loops that eventually moved you back on the One True Path (TM) through the island. It's not a complex maze like some FF books. If you get decent dice rolls, and don't do anything too risky, you'll finish this in a few attempts. It therefore doesn't have the "play value" of the trickier ones, but it's solid enough. That's what makes it a 3 rather than a 4 or 5. This leaves me having played most of the early entries in the FF series. I've got a copy of Starship Traveller on the way, in the original edition (Scholastic haven't reprinted it), so I'm looking forward to that. Might play some more at some time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sothea Chhum

    A pleasant adventure that doesn't shove any one true path down your throat... This seventh entry in the Fighting Fantasy series is actually Ian's Livingstone fifth gamebook and is apparently a follow up to City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon, although very little element binds the three books together. The fact that this book doesn't feature any one true path nor any anti-cheat mechanism makes the adventure quite enjoyable. While the previous entries were set in your typical medieval fantasy wor A pleasant adventure that doesn't shove any one true path down your throat... This seventh entry in the Fighting Fantasy series is actually Ian's Livingstone fifth gamebook and is apparently a follow up to City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon, although very little element binds the three books together. The fact that this book doesn't feature any one true path nor any anti-cheat mechanism makes the adventure quite enjoyable. While the previous entries were set in your typical medieval fantasy world featuring orcs, goblins and elves, this one actually has a prehistoric vibe and is set in the jungle. Simply put, you're an adventurer who disembark on a tropical island with a sidekick named Mungo. The goal here is to kill a reptilian who rules over the region. Unfortunately, your friend dies a few paragraphs later since Livingstone doesn't want to bother developing an interesting side character, so you have no choice but to carry on alone. Again, just as other Livingstone books, the writing style, while not on par with the best fantasy novels, is quite serviceable. The book provides just enough details to convince us about the scale of the island. And the adventure is a hodge-podge of ideas that surprisingly go well together: pirates, reptilians, tribesmen, cavemen, apex predators, slavery and black magic! Unlike previous or future entries, Island of Lizard King simply let you move through the setting without worrying about missing out the ONE key item needed to complete your quest. Moreover, it doesn't require any letter to number conversion nor nonsensical calculation such as multiplying the number of gems on your magic sword by 4 and then minus 20. Should you take the wrong path, you will simply carry on, the only difference being that the last part of the book will be harder as items are needed to weaken the final boss. Here is a hint: you need to find a monkey and a fire sword. Despite its simple design, the book is not without flaw. The most annoying aspect of the campaign is the amount of middle or high tier enemies roaming on the island. Right from the start, you are given the choice between fighting a giant crab (skill: 10 stamina: 11) or three pirates, including one with 10 skill points. A bit overkill, isn't it? That being said the final encounter is quite satisfying and makes up for its difficulty. Simply put, it consists of three parts that plays differently depending on what you have found or learned during your playthrough. Overall, Island of the Lizard King is an enjoyable read with an interesting setting and bestiary, despite its difficult encounters. Not a masterpiece like City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon but definitely above average. It's a reminder that gamebooks don't need to force a one true path to be fun. Recommended to anyone who wants to experience a gamebook on the go!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa **Just Really Loves Musicals**

    Read for the Popsugar prompt - choose your own adventure book. This was a fun, quick read and took me back to my childhood when I loved these books.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adam Cleaver

    I loved these books as a kid. Must go back and re-read them to make a proper review. But just look at that art work too... amazing!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Spinster

    It doesn't feel right to rate this one as it's not so much a book as a game, and I can't bring myself to rate a "book" that has no substance because of its nature. It wouldn't be fair to Island of the Lizard King or any other books I've rated to compare them really. I think I'd read this sort of a choose your own adventure type of book in my childhood, probably a Famous Five book, and that's all the experience I'd had before. I'm also not exactly the right target group here I think, not being a n It doesn't feel right to rate this one as it's not so much a book as a game, and I can't bring myself to rate a "book" that has no substance because of its nature. It wouldn't be fair to Island of the Lizard King or any other books I've rated to compare them really. I think I'd read this sort of a choose your own adventure type of book in my childhood, probably a Famous Five book, and that's all the experience I'd had before. I'm also not exactly the right target group here I think, not being a nerdy gaming role playing fantasy geek. Which is not to say I didn't enjoy the silly entertainment! I did, at least momentarily. As mentioned above, it wasn't an actual book so I didn't get the literal enjoyment of reading, as the bits were a paragraph or two long and you just moved from battle to battle. I even bought dice to be able to read/play! I was warned in advance that it would be foolish to expect anything depthwise and wow were they right. "It is known that in order to assert his authority, the Lizard King began practising voodoo and black magic. He also started genetic experiments in an attempt to breed an invincible race of Lizard Men. Most of the experiments went wrong. Grotesque mutants were created, and some of the harmful potions found their way into the water drains, with terrible consequences. The local flora and fauna were affected, with the result that man-eating plants developed and giant beasts evolved." I laughed heartily at that. I gave up after I died the third time and couldn't be bothered to start over again, but perhaps one of these days I'll slay the evil Lizard King and his pet brain parasite Gonchong. That might take a while, considering I didn't get anywhere close yet and throwing the dice gets surprisingly boring surprisingly fast. But, some day. Maybe.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Martin St-laurent

    Jouer avec ce livre, fût pour moi un véritable petit plaisir. Ces livres m'ont beaucoup plut pendant mon adolescence et bien qu'il soit un peu simpliste, ils demeurent un passe-temps intéressant. Dans ce livre en particulier, nous aidons les habitants d'un village où vit un ami. En effet, les jeunes se font enlever et emporter sur l'Île du roi lézard pour travailler dans le mines. Après avoir atteint l'île, il faut l'explorer, libérer les esclaves et ensuite affronter le roi lézard et ses troupe Jouer avec ce livre, fût pour moi un véritable petit plaisir. Ces livres m'ont beaucoup plut pendant mon adolescence et bien qu'il soit un peu simpliste, ils demeurent un passe-temps intéressant. Dans ce livre en particulier, nous aidons les habitants d'un village où vit un ami. En effet, les jeunes se font enlever et emporter sur l'Île du roi lézard pour travailler dans le mines. Après avoir atteint l'île, il faut l'explorer, libérer les esclaves et ensuite affronter le roi lézard et ses troupes. En jouant prudemment et avec un peu de chance aux dés, j'ai réussi l'aventure et j'ai bien aimé mon expérience. L'histoire qui se déroule est intéressante et chaque étape est utile. Bien sûr, il est difficile de trouver tous les objets nécessaires, mais il y a souvent une alternative. En somme, c'est un des bons livres de cette série.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dan Ray

    Read this many, many times as a kid.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Book number 7 in the Fighting Fantasy series and I LOVED this one as it is action packed all the way!! Spoilers we must avenge our freind Mungo's death by killing the evil lizard King and the proboscis thereby freeing the prusoners who are been held captive in FIRE Island to work in the mines!! A cracking adventure with many encounters and exciting things happening!! Book number 7 in the Fighting Fantasy series and I LOVED this one as it is action packed all the way!! Spoilers we must avenge our freind Mungo's death by killing the evil lizard King and the proboscis thereby freeing the prusoners who are been held captive in FIRE Island to work in the mines!! A cracking adventure with many encounters and exciting things happening!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    More gamebook fun with my eight-year-old, continuing to employ him, unpaid yet greatly enriched, as a useful excuse to relive a geeky aspect of my childhood. Island of the Lizard King (1984) is the 7th gamebook in the original Puffin FF series, and another number penned by series co-founder, Ian Livingstone (grandson, of course, of legendary Victorian explorer in Africa, David Livingstone). We made two attempts. The first was cut short very early on by the bite of a rattlesnake (don’t look into th More gamebook fun with my eight-year-old, continuing to employ him, unpaid yet greatly enriched, as a useful excuse to relive a geeky aspect of my childhood. Island of the Lizard King (1984) is the 7th gamebook in the original Puffin FF series, and another number penned by series co-founder, Ian Livingstone (grandson, of course, of legendary Victorian explorer in Africa, David Livingstone). We made two attempts. The first was cut short very early on by the bite of a rattlesnake (don’t look into the hollow!), after which, severely depleted of skill, we fell foul of a giant lizard. In the second attempt we avoided the rattlesnake; beat the giant lizard; and got all the way to the gates of the Lizard King’s Fortress; but, badly weakened, were cut down by a powerful cyclops. It seems impossible to avoid fighting a lot of battles or getting otherwise injured in this book, and many of Texas monsters have high skill and stamina scores, so your stamina level is a real concern. It’s what did us in both times. Also, everybody seems to be after those precious stamina-replenishing provisions of yours (Fire Island is a veritable sanctuary of starving freaks). Island of the Lizard King benefits from a strong background and story; a refreshingly open-air experience, in contrast to the more common dungeon crawl (though its middle section is actually a standard dungeon crawl); a nice sense of exploring an undiscovered land of jungles, marshes, hills, plains and rivers (I’m guessing that the influence of Ian’s explorer grandfather, and the stories he used to tell the young Ian, is showing itself here); and beautiful cover artwork by Iain McCaig. It suffers, however, from being rather too linear in structure; some uninspiring scenes and encounters; and something of a by-the-numbers feel. It’s a nice idea to have four distinct areas of play, with their own unique character, but each area seems more half-hearted and cursory than the last. The dungeon section, in the mines, is a case in point. It’s basically a smaller, less interesting and less detailed maze from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Picking up an army of sixty dwarves, elves and men along the way in this section doesn’t work well, either. It all happens too quickly and sketchily compared to the detail of your journey from the beach to the mine entrance, in the first section. That’s it, actually - the detail in this book is too patchy. It’s not consistent. Overall, an average FF gamebook, with a great sense of a whole mini-world to explore, and nicely discrete areas of play; but which suffers from linearity and inconsistent detail. It’s certainly not as good as the two that came directly before and after it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelvin Green

    This one's a bit choppy. On one hand it's got clever bits of design in places and some evocative imagery, but on the other there are a lot of wasted paragraphs offering no choice of action, and there's rather too much in the way of dubious depiction of "primitive" people. Unlike some other flawed Fighting Fantasy entries, I don't think there's enough good to make the bad worthwhile. This one's a bit choppy. On one hand it's got clever bits of design in places and some evocative imagery, but on the other there are a lot of wasted paragraphs offering no choice of action, and there's rather too much in the way of dubious depiction of "primitive" people. Unlike some other flawed Fighting Fantasy entries, I don't think there's enough good to make the bad worthwhile.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Valéria.

    I forgot how much fun I had reading these books years ago. It's remarkably enjoyable, it always gets me into laughter because of me being unlucky almost everytime I try to do something or fight any of those difficult enemies. But, still one of my favourite FF book. I forgot how much fun I had reading these books years ago. It's remarkably enjoyable, it always gets me into laughter because of me being unlucky almost everytime I try to do something or fight any of those difficult enemies. But, still one of my favourite FF book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Curran

    Review in progress...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian Hayes

    Classic

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Reilly

    Along with Starship Traveller, Island of the Lizard King is one of my two least favourite gamebooks from the early ‘classic’ releases in the Fighting Fantasy series. Although the scenario of vicious Lizard Men enslaving young men from Oyster Bay on the remote Fire Island offers plenty of scope for an exciting fantasy adventure, the book is quite unmemorable (except for your early companion Mungo – RIP my cheerful friend) and quickly becomes little more than a series of rather routine encounters Along with Starship Traveller, Island of the Lizard King is one of my two least favourite gamebooks from the early ‘classic’ releases in the Fighting Fantasy series. Although the scenario of vicious Lizard Men enslaving young men from Oyster Bay on the remote Fire Island offers plenty of scope for an exciting fantasy adventure, the book is quite unmemorable (except for your early companion Mungo – RIP my cheerful friend) and quickly becomes little more than a series of rather routine encounters on your way to a showdown with the titular King. I was expecting black magic and voodoo to play a significant part in my adventure across the island, and importantly in the final encounter to defeat the ‘mad and dangerous’ Lizard King, however there’s very little beyond a few Pygmies, some easily defeated Headhunters and a meeting with the local Shaman (who simply asks that you pass three very basic tests before divulging his secrets) that could be described as anything involving dark arts and terrible consequences in a hostile environment. Some of the primitive peoples and mutated creatures that you come across on your journey are interesting adversaries by themselves, but the battles are strictly without any great excitement and there appears to be no encounter where options are given to experiment with a range of interesting tactics or strategies. This is a shame, as a prehistoric island full of mutant Lizard Men should provide numerous opportunities to engage in unique confrontations that escalate as you approach the King’s fort. As a lover of FF illustrations, I should note that Alan Langford has produced quite a few decent images for this book: the Hobgoblin (#168), Cyclops (#254) and Marsh Hopper (#317) are personal favourites. Unfortunately his fat-bottomed version of the Lizard King and his pet Black Lion isn’t of the standard of Iain McCaig’s awesome cover, which is a shame, but ultimately mirrors the book itself – promising much more than what it delivers.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jan Novotný

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharrif Belweil

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruaidhri

  29. 4 out of 5

    Filipe

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bardmaiden

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