Scorpion Swamp is one of my favorite Fighting Fantasy books. Its format is quite different from all the others released before it, since those progressed in a linear fashion and this one offered non-linear gameplay.
In Scorpion Swamp you actually can go back from where you came from (and have to do so to actually finish the book).
Other major aspect of this book is that there’s not only one quest to finish, but at the start of the book you’re allowed to choose one from three quests. All three are pretty easy to finish once you’ve made a map of the swamp and the book actually encourages you to do so.
The swamp is organized into clearings and as long as you don’t stray, mapping it is just a question of marking perpendicular lines connecting clearings. I remember when I was a kid, I just loved doing my swamp maps. 🙂 I actually made a more complex one which will be featured in the upcoming Fighting Fantasy maps page.
Other aspect of the book which I love is the fact that everything is oriented into three ‘factions’: good, neutral or evil. You can tell that the author liked ‘good’ a lot, since these spells and choices bring you the most benefits.
Even though the book was written by Steve Jackson, this isn’t the same Steve Jackson you see listed in pretty much all other books. This is a shame though, since this is certainly a book I’d like to see reprinted.
All in all, I’d pretty much recommend this book. You have to play it at least three times to finish all quests and mapping it is really fun.