The Horror Gamebook, the game book inspired by EA Poe – Review

After The Necronomicon Gamebook (Carcosa And Dagon), Officina Meningi returns with a new game book that proposes the events and stories of the stories of another writer fundamental for horror literature: Edgar Allan Poe.

We are talking about The Necronomicon Gamebook, game book written by Valentino Sergi, a crossroads adventure in which we will retrace some of the most famous works of the Boston writer. We have tried it and we can’t wait to share our impressions with you!

Here is the review of The Horror Gamebook

The Horror Gamebook is a 148 page game book that contains 184 chapters games inspired by Poe’s most famous works. It seems that the American author also considered the release of Gordon Pym – Across the abyss, has known particular fortune among the game book publishers this year, yet The Horror Gamebook is a book-game that amazes and fascinates for its originality and peculiarities. All that remains is … try to play!

From the author of The Necronomicon Gamebook, a new literary adventure at crossroads where you will face firsthand the horrors narrated by the master of American literature Edgar Allan Poe. Some of his most famous stories (The Black Cat, The Mask of the Red Death, The Plague King, The Fall of House Usher, The Revealing Heart, The Well and the Pendulum …) have been adapted with the utmost fidelity to the original text in order to allow an interactive immersion in a narrative full of paths and puzzles to solve where you will face the depths of human fears and desires through dark streets, mysterious tunnels and haunted villas, exploring the frightening limit that divides dreams from madness.

How to play The Horror Gamebook

One of the first peculiarities of this book-game that can be noticed is its (practically) total absence of regulation, which also does not involve the use of dice. In fact, in the volume we will find only a brief introduction (Don’t read this introduction) and then the volume immediately presents the first chapter of the game. This makes The Horror Gamebook a game book close to interactive literature, where we proceed between the various chapters only on the basis of our choices and without any kind of randomness.

In fact, in the course of our horror journey we will have to take into account some keyword (objects and status, in particular) and of many puzzles of a logical type that we will find in the course of reading. If you are not fond of puzzles do not worry: at the end of the book there are the solutions to find out how to solve all the puzzles.

The regulation is therefore very simple and intuitive, yet characterized by a strong originality. Indeed, in The Horror Gamebook the book addresses us not only as a character but also as reader. This is because our character is a avatar which, we can safely foretell, is destined to die many times. Do not be discouraged because the death of the character is a game dynamic that we will encounter several times in the course of reading and that will provide statuses that in some chapters could make us take a life rather than another. Sorry for this little spoiler, but I assure you that it is very difficult to be able to talk about this game book without missing anything!

Horror at bivi

One of the elements that cannot fail to be noticed when reading The Horror Gamebook is its adherence in the writing, in the recreated atmospheres and in the themes treated to the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The game book aims to lead us on a terrifying and claustrophobic adventure in the world of works written by the Boston author and the goal has definitely been achieved.

Facing this adventure at crossroads you will have the impression of feeling yourselves lost, without reference points, alone and with shortness of breath, exactly like reading Poe’s works. The book manages to reproduce these atmospheres from the first to the last chapter, thus always leaving the tension high. A great read for writer enthusiasts!

Also, it is as interesting as the death, the horror theme par excellence, is addressed in this game book. Traditionally, the death of the character forces the reader to start the game-book from the beginning. In The Horror Gamebook this is not the case and indeed, it is a mechanic that provides different statuses from time to time and that, moreover, leads us to read every time the harrowing death, always different, of the avatar. In short, in this book-game we will certainly deal with the death of our character in a different way compared to other librigames.

Conclusions to the review

The Horror Gamebook is a game book that manages to immerse us in Edgar Allan Poe-style horror atmospheres thanks to the combination of writing that adheres to the writer’s style and claustrophobic, disconcerting and horrifying game situations. This makes it perfect for all fans of the genre.

However, it must be said that The Horror Gamebook is a game-book very particular which can destabilize for some apparently meaningless, repetitive and destructive situations that can be encountered while playing. This is especially true for the first part of the book, since no one warns us of this originality and we may therefore find ourselves initially displaced. The advice is certainly not to stop at the first game situation that seems strange or complex to you and to continue playing to the end!

I don’t feel like calling The Horror Gamebook a high-powered book replayability: it will surely take a long time to finish it (although its number of pages can be deceiving!) because it is a multifaceted book that needs to explore a large number of chapters to get to the end of the adventure; however, once you get to the end you may find no reason to play it again.

The peculiarity of this game book could destabilize the most passionate players; however, even novices may not immediately understand what they are facing and what they are playing. The Horror Gamebook is therefore in my opinion recommended to all those who want to play and read a different and particular experience, knowing that they will go outside the box of “normal” librigames in favor of a narrative and an engaging and horror-filled adventure. that you will hardly forget. In short, in my opinion it’s definitely worth it!

A dutiful mention goes to the fantastic edition created by the Officina Meningi team which combines excellent quality of the paper used, excellent editing and of illustrations in black and white of great impact, with a unique style and absolutely in line with the game setting.

Let us know if you’ve tried The Horror Gamebook yourself and leave a comment below!

The Horror Gamebook

The Necronomicon Gamebook, a game book written by Valentino Sergi and published by Officina Meningi, is a crossroads adventure in which we will retrace some of the most famous works of Edgar Allan Poe. It is a game-book that manages to immerse us in the horror atmospheres of the Boston writer thanks to the combination of writing in keeping with Poe’s style and claustrophobic, disconcerting and horrifying game situations. This makes it a perfect volume for all fans of the genre! The Horror Gamebook has a very simple and streamlined regulation, yet it manages to create truly original and peculiar game situations that cannot fail to amaze and destabilize us … in perfect horror style!


Original adventure that manages to amaze the reader

Excellent writing that manages to recreate the atmosphere of the works of EA Poe


Some “claustrophobic” game situations could destabilize the player

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