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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2002
Morris's 'Golden Dragon' series is a forgotten gem in the genre of gamebook adventuring. Where the Jackson-Livingstone formula managed to win the day, the effect of that victory for other gamebook writers was disastrous in the long run.
Morris and his collaborators stand out as another major driving force, deserving of a better fate than has befallen them. 'Castle of Lost Souls' is the sixth and final entry in that catalogue, its premise being that as a hired sword, YOU must venture to the castle to slay the demon Slank who has entrapped the soul of your employers' father.
For a 300 reference work (the standard, give or take, length of the average Golden Dragon gamebook), there's a nice balance here between journeying to the destination and journeying within it. Underscoring this is a need to locate five objects that will aid the adventurer in realizing his/her quest. At the level of ease, this is no harder than 'Crypt of the Vampire', but its true beauty lies in its reapproach to medieval English lore.
Recommended for the most jaded Fighting Fantasy gamer. It will provide a pleasant escape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2014
Originally ‘Castle of Lost Souls’ was the final adventure released in the series of Golden Dragon Fantasy gamebooks (before the subsequent republishing of the series in 2013). Its, less orientated around a particular theme (vampires, Mayans, Egyptians, etc) and is more general fantasy.

The adventure is relatively easy. For the most part the reader is virtually spoon fed instructions on how to proceed. From the outset you are informed of exactly what items of equipment you will need to defeat your adversary. The adventure is conveniently segmented into sub-quests where you collect these items, usually two at a time. This is quite unusual for a gamebook as the reader is generally left to work out what they might need by themselves. It does take some of the fun out of the quest.

The book is roughly divided into two halves. The first sees the adventurer having to gather the six items they are told will be needed to defeat the foul demon, Slank. Someone of this is done around town and some on route to Slank’s elusive castle (which is somewhat less elusive than you are lead to believe). It all feels quite leisurely and it is hardly strenuous on the adventurer or their attributes. You can even invite a sultry fortune teller to go drinking.

The remainder of the adventure is a more typical infiltration of a castle to slay the main adversary. This too is relatively simple and possible to do on the first attempt.

The book could be more difficult but its easiness doesn’t affect the enjoyment. It is well written with a good variety of scenarios and encounters. There are some good characters and Slank is a distinctive enough final opponent to be memorable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2013
This is a most excellent example of the "classic" gamebook. YOU are an adventurer, a sword for hire, and must slay a demon in his castle with the help of the many relics you'll find during your journey.

One of the book's strong points is that it doesn't take itself too seriously, at least not until you get into the demon's lair. There's plenty of humour - the trinket collecting at the beginning is so estensive, it MUST be a parody of the classic Fighting Fantasy formula "collect all the items along the one and only correct path to win. Missed one? Ooops, too bad." There is no mandatory sequence to victory: you can see the end of the book whathever you do, as long as you don't fall foul of the many traps that await you.

Castle of Lost Souls has it all. Brilliant encounters, clever puzzles, a simple but effective combat system. You always have a choice, and you must ponder each one carefully. There is nothing random or illogic here, and a fight is rarely the best approach to a situation.

The book is rather short, but that's for the better. No wasted space, no dead-end paths that will lead to your ultimate demise just because you turned right instead of left. Castle of Lost Souls is a great introduction to the world of gamebooks for those who are new to the genre, and a solid, fun adventure for the more seasoned adventurers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2013
I never really read any of Morris's books when I was younger, except Keep of the Lich-Lord, and given there was anothers name on the front I doubt I ever realised who the author was), and came across them by chance recently. I have to say the standard of what I have now seen is far above that of the vast majority of the fighting fantasy books which dominated the market, and this book is no exception.

Combat is simple, and costly so you cannot just charge wildly through every encounter, and the book does not overlly rely on random chance unlike many of its competitors. Numerous choices are offered and these all have consequences, and all these consequences are consistent and understandable, so thinking will get you further than trial and error. Not once did I find the book frustrating, which is refreshing change from even some of the more modern gamebooks. Highly recommended.
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on 17 March 2014
This gambook is part of Golden Dragon series of gamebooks that are mainstream fantasy. The story is about infiltrating a haunted castle, defeating a demon and freeing the soul of an entrapped man.
There is nothing particularly wrong with this gamebook, but compared to other works of Dave Morris is particularly average and uninspired.
Better having a look at Virtual Reality, Bloodsword or Fabled Lands series by the same author, that have much better ideas, atmospheres and plots. Only then, if you really think you need more, you can move to Golden Dragon.
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on 24 July 2013
good gamebook from a bygone era just a big shame the inner artwork has been removed as this adds to the atmos.
front cover an improvement.
why the reason for the lack of the above has a lost soul stolen it.
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Necklace of Skulls (Critical IF gamebooks)
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