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Appointment with F.E.A.R.

YOU become the superhero. For real, this time you’re actually a superhero! Not a treasure hunter or assassin (or “adventurer” if you like to be euphemistic) but Titan City’s super powered protector.

Your nemesis The Titanium Cyborg, local leader of the terrorist organization F.E.A.R., has organized a meeting that will finalize their plans and being certain doom. You don’t know where the meeting is, nor what time, nor what they’ll be discussing. You’ll need to search the city high and low to find the meeting, then you’ll need to foil their nefarious plot, whatever it may be.

Only your detective skills and super-powers can save the day. Or can they?


Review and Opinion

This thing is huge! Where to start…

Each of the four super powers has its own FEAR meeting to be foiled, meaning its own set of clues that you need to collect (date, time, location, etc.). So that right off the cuff, is 4X the replay value of any other adventure. The four paths have a lot of overlap, but also some traps. Not every encounter can be survived by every super power, as your super strength gets you gunned down, or your psi powers are no match for the baddie, or similar. So not only are you looking for different clues (not that you know what you’re looking for) but the path is necessarily different for each hero.

Also very interesting and (as far as I know) unique, is that the large majority of the book is side quests. Out of all the twists and turns, fights and heroic moments, there are 3-4 clues to pick up and everything else is a distraction for extra hero points if you survive. Problem is, you don’t know what you’re looking for so it’s not possible to tell which side quests to take or to leave.

The writing is intense in its intricacy, as well, with a lot of clues hidden in deep places. For instance: In the newspaper you see a personal ad from Susan to Richard – so what? Turns out that one of the day’s encounters is by someone named Richard, and you can save the day and earn hero points only if you had noticed that ad and knew that it was Richard perpetrating it. So you really have to pay attention, write down everything, and think about it.

The writing also has some silly moments. There are plenty of tongue-in-cheek references to comics and comic book heroes, to pop culture music and books. Just as one example: there’s a path where you buy your boss a copy of Warlock of Firetop Mountain, an interesting type of game-book combination. It’s amusing, and brought some levity to what was otherwise a pretty grueling time,

Did I say it was grueling? I was just praising its complexity! Well, yes.

There are a lot of fights, and little healing. There are no provisions, but at the end of each day (well, most times) you’ll heal 6 stamina. So good luck with that.

And those clues being hidden, well they are very well hidden! If you catch the pickpocket then beat him, you might choose the right piece of tat and find the address. If you meet that one villain and dodge left instead of right, they spill the beans about the meeting time. The clues are all there, but so buried that I could never find them all for even one of our four heroes. After several dozen playthroughs (no exaggeration, sixty or more), I gave up and just started brute forcing my way through the book, reading every page to see which ones were clues.

So, this gamebook was a roller coaster for me. It is masterfully written and deep in its intricacy, and also enjoyable to read. But ultimately it was too difficult and too tedious, and I gave up.


Hints and Tips

There’s very little healing in the book, and most of the side quests are optional simply for gaining Hero Points if you’re into that. Keep a note of these, and skip them on your next playthrough to conserve Stamina.

The Circuit Jammer is a required item for the boss fight. Without it, Vladimir has way more stamina than you could knock down in 3 rounds. There are two separate places where you can get one.

Each of the four super powers has a different win condition, meaning a different set of clues to find the meeting. The meeting clues you need are:

  • Energy Blast:Page 13 = Date is the 18th; Page 364 = Time is 11am; Page 142 = Location is Clancey Bay; Page 275 = Submarine
  • Strength:Page 35 = Date is the 27th; Page 333 = Time is 9am; Page 2 = Location is an executive jet; Page 2 = Executive jet reservation
  • Psi:Page 246 = 209th Street; Page 217 = 5th Avenue
  • Tech:Page 329 = Address is 176; Page 192 = Password is Quicksilver; Page 82 = Address is on 3rd Avenue; Page 427 = Business is a laundry



On 189 you buy a record and go listen to it, a quiet evening at home. But you don’t recover 6 Stamina as you do on 103 (leave Wisneyland) or 300 (Epiphany’s Jewlers) which are also a quiet evening at home. Maybe the record was so good you stayed up all night dancing instead of resting?





Written by Steve Jackson

Illustrated by Declan Considine


Book 17 in the series


Other Playthroughs and Links


Tags to Other Adventures

1985 Declan Considine Steve Jackson Super Hero Titan City Vladimir Utoshski

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First published January 10, 2024. Last updated March 9, 2024.