The Nintendo Adventure books, sometimes referred to as "Nintendo Gamebooks" were a collection of 12 pick-your-path adventure books based on the Super Mario Bros and Zelda series' published between 1991 and 1992 by Mammoth Books (United Kingdom) and Simon & Schuster, a division of Pocket Books. (United States)
But they weren't just plain old books, they were interactive in the sense that the player had to keep a note of their inventory of coins and items they had collected as they progressed through the stories, and the player could also choose how to proceed at certain points in the book which would ultimately affect how the story would pan out and ultimately end.
In some of these decision-making situations there would be puzzles to help the player choose the correct path. Every book has one positive ending, and one or more horrific endings sometimes resulting in the horrific maiming of the characters involved.
There is a scoring system at the end of each book where the player can work out how well they did based on how they did at the tasks and puzzles within the book, for example:-
- Books 1,5,7 and 8 were all scored based on totalling the number of coins the player had in their inventory at the end of their adventure and multiplying it by 10 to give them their score.
- In books 6,9,10,12 players are awarded set numbers of points for completing specific puzzles and challenges in the books rather than using the coin system
- In book 11 a hybrid system was used whereby players got points for completing puzzles but also for using the coin system.
Ten of these adventure books are based on the Super Mario Bros series and were partially inspired by the Nintendo Comics System stories published by Valiant. Whilst the remaining two were based on the adventures of Link from the Legend of Zelda. (Book #9 The Crystal Trap and Book #10 The Shadow Prince) All of the books were exactly 121 pages long.
We sometimes have used Nintendo Adventure Books on the retro corner section of our shop. It should be noted that these books are now over twenty years old, and becoming increasingly difficult to find. Due to the nature of the books the ones you find online now have often been written in on the puzzle pages.
Click on each of the covers below for more information on each book.