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Down in the twisting labyrinth of Fang, unknown horrors await you. Countless adventurers before you have takes up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance! Two dic Down in the twisting labyrinth of Fang, unknown horrors await you. Countless adventurers before you have takes up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance! Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight. Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference – one in which YOU become the hero!


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Down in the twisting labyrinth of Fang, unknown horrors await you. Countless adventurers before you have takes up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance! Two dic Down in the twisting labyrinth of Fang, unknown horrors await you. Countless adventurers before you have takes up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance! Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight. Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference – one in which YOU become the hero!

30 review for Deathtrap Dungeon

  1. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    DEATHTRAP DUNGEON is, put simply, the granddaddy of all FIGHTING FANTASY gamebooks. It comes second only to THE WARLOCK OF FIRETOP MOUNTAIN in terms of popularity, I think, but it actually improves on that first outing in terms of the amount of atmosphere and spine-tingling suspense that this one holds. There's a saying that simplicity always wins out over complication and that's certainly the case here: you're an adventurer, thrown into a dungeon and asked to get out the other side alive. Simpl DEATHTRAP DUNGEON is, put simply, the granddaddy of all FIGHTING FANTASY gamebooks. It comes second only to THE WARLOCK OF FIRETOP MOUNTAIN in terms of popularity, I think, but it actually improves on that first outing in terms of the amount of atmosphere and spine-tingling suspense that this one holds. There's a saying that simplicity always wins out over complication and that's certainly the case here: you're an adventurer, thrown into a dungeon and asked to get out the other side alive. Simple...and yet anything but. I think DEATHTRAP DUNGEON best sums up the Dungeons & Dragons atmosphere out of all of the books. The various foes you fight in the dungeon are creatively inspired, ranging from bog-standard goblins and orcs to hideous ethereal creatures and the nasty on the cover. There are deadly traps all over the place, along with situations like where you find a bottle of acid and have the option of drinking it; nasty! I still remember the horrible bit with the idol after it killed me as a kid - I think everyone who's ever played this has died at that stage at some point. What I particularly liked about this one is that there are other contestants taking the same test and you occasionally find evidence of their passage within the bowels of the dungeon (or, more usually, their bodies). You even get to team up with one of them at one stage, which adds some moral complexity to the story. In any case, this was a childhood favourite and for good reason; it's a great little book. NB. On another play through, we didn't make it very far before our adventure ended on the infamous jewel-eyed idol - not, this time, from choosing the wrong eye socket to prise a gemstone from, but from being killed by the stuffed birds, of all things! Even though the adventure there was brief and to the point, it was nonetheless hugely entertaining. NB. Another day, another play through, and this time the game played out EXACTLY the same as the previous time. My playing partner was insistent on getting hold of the jewelstone eye from the cavern idol, but the two monsters guarding it seem impossibly tough at this early stage in the game, with the only way to beat them based on making one lucky dice roll after another. A pity, because I really want to go further with this one...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    Faces laugh in beams of light; Acid drips from stalactites; Eat the fungus - you'll be swell; If grubs don't get you, troglodytes will. The Bloodbeast pulls you into a vat Of corrosive slime and bubbling fat. In Sukumvit's maze you must be clever, And find the right gems, or be trapped forever. Faces laugh in beams of light; Acid drips from stalactites; Eat the fungus - you'll be swell; If grubs don't get you, troglodytes will. The Bloodbeast pulls you into a vat Of corrosive slime and bubbling fat. In Sukumvit's maze you must be clever, And find the right gems, or be trapped forever.

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    A deadly competition in a deadly dungeon 18 June 2012 One of the things I like doing with roleplaying games is looking at how morally ambiguous many of them are. In a lot of cases they treat the universe with a very black and white mentality and force people into these categories without actually looking at the bigger picture. I guess this is the product of the 80s where the political spectrum was very black and white, with the communists being bad and the capitalists being good. My position is t A deadly competition in a deadly dungeon 18 June 2012 One of the things I like doing with roleplaying games is looking at how morally ambiguous many of them are. In a lot of cases they treat the universe with a very black and white mentality and force people into these categories without actually looking at the bigger picture. I guess this is the product of the 80s where the political spectrum was very black and white, with the communists being bad and the capitalists being good. My position is that simply because you are a communist does not mean you are bad, or that you supported the policies of Joseph Stalin, and just because you are a capitalist does not necessarily mean that you are good. However, this has nothing to do with this game book, well, it does but in a more indirect way. Deathtrap Dungeon was one of my favourite Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks because the concept was quite different to what I was used to with roleplaying games. Many of the games follow the standard plot of a village being tormented by some bad people and the heroes then set off to find and kill those bad people and save the day. This is not the case in Deathtrap Dungeon. The game is based around a challenge that is held every year when a group of adventurers sign up to attempt to complete a challenge known as the Trial of Champions. Simply put, either you win or you die (much like the Game of Thrones), and to be honest, before you come along, nobody has won, which means that everybody has died (obviously). To make matters worse, only one person can leave the dungeon as a champion, and obviously you want to be that person. To put it simply this is blood sport; much like that of the Ancient Romans. The more blood that is spilt the more excited the crowd becomes. Granted, back in Rome, gladiators took on the role that our sporting heroes take on today, the only problem was that you would only retain that support as long as you won, namely because if you didn't win, you would die. However there are suggestions that it did not always end in death, and if you were defeated, but not killed, then there was always the possibility that you would live to fight another day. The problem with Deathtrap Dungeon being a bloodsport in this sense is that the crowd see you enter, but does not know what is happening inside. Obviously there would be gambling rackets on the side, or more likely in the open, and would probably look like this: Once again, you would only win if the person you put money on actually comes out from the other side (alive, obviously). Nobody knows what is happening inside the dungeon, which suits the baron because he does not want anybody knowing about the secrets of the dungeon or how to escape. Livingstone gave a more Asian flavour to this gamebook by giving the name of the region an Asian flavour, however it does not seem that an actual Asian gamebook was released until the Sword of the Samurai. It made creating the world a little more difficult, with an Asian sounding province to the north of the European sounding provinces, but then again this is a game world that was mostly for teenagers and I doubt they really cared.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Far harder than most famous "Warlock of the Firetop Mountain" dungeon-bash Fighting Fantasy game-book and far better than I used to remember. Some traps are just sadistic ones! Pick the wrong gem-eye from the idol? Die! Drink wrong potion? Die! Ouch. Loved the demi-oriental setting, the Dungeons & Dragons vibe and the characters cast: the ninja is a badass son of bitch and Throm's fate was just really sad. Bloodbeast! Pit Fiend! Giant Scorpion! Some opponents are so strong that if you roll low scor Far harder than most famous "Warlock of the Firetop Mountain" dungeon-bash Fighting Fantasy game-book and far better than I used to remember. Some traps are just sadistic ones! Pick the wrong gem-eye from the idol? Die! Drink wrong potion? Die! Ouch. Loved the demi-oriental setting, the Dungeons & Dragons vibe and the characters cast: the ninja is a badass son of bitch and Throm's fate was just really sad. Bloodbeast! Pit Fiend! Giant Scorpion! Some opponents are so strong that if you roll low scores be sure you're dead before the end... And Iain McCaig's artworks are soooo good, nothing like awful artworks in current FF reprints... Urgh.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jaki

    I died within 12 minutes. An emerald eye released a noxious gas and I fell to the floor in agony. It was a beautiful thing. I started the game/reading knowing that I would most likely die within the first few choices. I had a really high luck and stamina so any battles I entered into I came out relatively unscathed. I also had a habit of eating and drinking absolutely everything in my path - which surprisingly turned out really well. Something I'd probably already know if I had ever been a D&D p I died within 12 minutes. An emerald eye released a noxious gas and I fell to the floor in agony. It was a beautiful thing. I started the game/reading knowing that I would most likely die within the first few choices. I had a really high luck and stamina so any battles I entered into I came out relatively unscathed. I also had a habit of eating and drinking absolutely everything in my path - which surprisingly turned out really well. Something I'd probably already know if I had ever been a D&D player.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    By most people's reckoning, this was the best of all the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. I'm not absolutely sure I agree with that (I always liked 'Midnight Rogue' best, having a passion for fantasy thievery), but it's a viewpoint I fully understand and respect. The book is uniformly excellent. It lives up to its name, with a great many traps, some instantly lethal and others debilitating. Note taking and mapping is mandatory to finally win through. There's no clever plot: it's simply a lethal dungeon By most people's reckoning, this was the best of all the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. I'm not absolutely sure I agree with that (I always liked 'Midnight Rogue' best, having a passion for fantasy thievery), but it's a viewpoint I fully understand and respect. The book is uniformly excellent. It lives up to its name, with a great many traps, some instantly lethal and others debilitating. Note taking and mapping is mandatory to finally win through. There's no clever plot: it's simply a lethal dungeon that has been constructed by a baron for the sole purpose of attracting tourists and generating cash. Each year, there's a huge festival as volunteers run the gauntlet of traps and monsters. If anyone survives through to the end and re-emerges into daylight, they get a huge prize. This lack of a complex plot works to the book's advantage, giving it a solid reason for the existence of such a twisted maze: it's a test of skill and endurance undertaken as a chance to get rich or die trying. It's especially interesting as you cross paths with the other contestants during the course of exploring, some alive and some dead. As usual, there are necessary items to collect in order to succeed: the exit door is unlocked by gemstones placed in a certain sequence. The first time I reached the exit, I only had one of the necessary gems instead of all three. It's fascinating throughout, edge of the seat reading as you try to second guess what's a trap and what's there to genuinely assist. Be warned that it's very hard and punishing. If you start out by rolling less than 10 each for Skill and Luck, and 20 for Stamina, do yourself a favour and reroll, because you'll be wasting your time otherwise as you'll never get through with scores lower than those. Spectacularly good!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Neville Ridley-smith

    Classic Livingstone. Quite good flavour in this one. Decent background story and events that go along with it - ie seeing evidence of the other contestants and encountering some of them later. Very Livingstone structure - ie main path with side events - eg a room with about 10 sections and then back to the main path. Some branching that then coalesces. In terms of difficulty, it lives up to its name - the chances of getting through this on your first go are practically non-existent. That's probably Classic Livingstone. Quite good flavour in this one. Decent background story and events that go along with it - ie seeing evidence of the other contestants and encountering some of them later. Very Livingstone structure - ie main path with side events - eg a room with about 10 sections and then back to the main path. Some branching that then coalesces. In terms of difficulty, it lives up to its name - the chances of getting through this on your first go are practically non-existent. That's probably the only negative - it really is a throw of the dice in most cases - there's no way you can logically decide whether to do most things - choose one way and sorry, you're dead. But whatever. Pretty good art too. A fun light read and classic dungeoneering.

  8. 4 out of 5

    George

    Deathtrap dungeon was one of the early tools of escapism for anyone who preferred to charge a field yielding a sword rather than go to work. I decided to revisit it after many years and I still found its simplistic, straight to the point style very attractive. Waves of nostalgia hit me when all my childhood heroes and nightmares jumped out of the book's pages to greet me once again. This is a definite 'must' for all romantics and a mini bible for role playing initiates of all ages. Just beware o Deathtrap dungeon was one of the early tools of escapism for anyone who preferred to charge a field yielding a sword rather than go to work. I decided to revisit it after many years and I still found its simplistic, straight to the point style very attractive. Waves of nostalgia hit me when all my childhood heroes and nightmares jumped out of the book's pages to greet me once again. This is a definite 'must' for all romantics and a mini bible for role playing initiates of all ages. Just beware of landing suddenly back to the real world, it hurts...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris Whitty

    I was obsessed with these fighting fantasy books as a kid. This would've been the best of the lot, but they were all good from what I remember. They're choose-your-own-adventure books with fighting involved as well. I won't rate the other books in the series that I read, otherwise I'll be here all day. I was obsessed with these fighting fantasy books as a kid. This would've been the best of the lot, but they were all good from what I remember. They're choose-your-own-adventure books with fighting involved as well. I won't rate the other books in the series that I read, otherwise I'll be here all day.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rupert Dreyfus

    This book is almost as old as me and I haven't read it in years. This series was responsible for getting me into reading. I read a lot from this series, however, Deathtrap Dungeon was probably my favourite. If I remember rightly this book had the best artwork out of the entire series. This book is almost as old as me and I haven't read it in years. This series was responsible for getting me into reading. I read a lot from this series, however, Deathtrap Dungeon was probably my favourite. If I remember rightly this book had the best artwork out of the entire series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cimuchowski

    I have read this time and again and never "won." Is it even possible? P.S. Great art too. I have read this time and again and never "won." Is it even possible? P.S. Great art too.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ant

    Raises a glass to fallen comrades, you are missed Throm.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lee Osborne

    Third book in my current Fighting Fantasy binge. Given the heavy snow today, I was happy to attempt to solve this one, rather than venturing out into the rather unappealing real world. This is one I'd never attempted before. I never really had the patience to play these properly when I was a kid, and didn't really bother following the rules. I therefore didn't get much out of them, and gave up after trying a few. This one would have driven me nuts, I think - it's easily the hardest I've attempted Third book in my current Fighting Fantasy binge. Given the heavy snow today, I was happy to attempt to solve this one, rather than venturing out into the rather unappealing real world. This is one I'd never attempted before. I never really had the patience to play these properly when I was a kid, and didn't really bother following the rules. I therefore didn't get much out of them, and gave up after trying a few. This one would have driven me nuts, I think - it's easily the hardest I've attempted, and it took no less than EIGHT tries to get through it with even a modicum of honesty. :) The plot is a familiar one in the world of fantasy, and interestingly one that has recently resurfaced in a lot of sci fi, fantasy and horror - a powerful Baron has created a labyrinth full of traps and monsters, and holds a Tournament every year for those brave enough to enter and fight their way through to the end. No-one has succeeded before, and only one person can emerge alive. Clearly it's the model for things as diverse as Hunger Games, Battle Royale and even the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter (although that's a bit tamer as the deaths aren't supposed to happen). Anyway, as other reviewers have said, it's a simple plot, and it's a good one because it's morally neutral. You're not setting out to defeat evil, you're setting out to survive and enrich yourself - therefore, the only decisions you have to make are ones that involve getting out alive, and finding the things you need to escape. And boy...it's hard!!! There's a LOT of locations, and exploring them all comes with a considerable degree of risk. Some contain things you need, but others will rip your scores to shreds, which is grim because you need very high scores to get through some key battles at the end. There's monsters with skill levels of 10 to 12 at the end, so you're a bit screwed if your skill ends up significantly lower than this at the end. The game is played in a veritable maze, and you do need to map it and make notes if you're going to stand even the remotest chance of getting through it. There's several ways through, but unless you make the right choice at a couple of critical junctures you'll end up without the items you need to get out, and will be stuck in the dungeon forever...be that alive or dead (I'm not sure which fate is worse). Anyway, on several attempts I could only find one or two of the required three items to finish, and ultimately only careful mapping and note-taking revealed the couple of decisions I needed to take differently. Like all of these books, there's sometimes not much to go on, and when you have several choices, all but one of which are fatal, it can be frustratingly arbitrary, but when you've ended up repeating bits as often as I did, you eventually get a feel for what you need to do. You need to take risks - sometimes you'll end up crippled brutally by them, but other times, the rewards are great. Interaction with the other contestants in the tournament is an interesting touch - I met three contestants, one dead, one dying, and one you have to co-operate with, although sadly it ends badly - either for you or him, depending on the roll of a dice. Really engrossing stuff, and well worth playing, especially in the grim times we're living in - a bit of escapism is just what you need, and if you put in the effort with this, there's hours of entertainment in it. It takes patience and determination, but finishing it is a satisfying business.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Urabe

    Liked this fighting fantasy. Combats where good and great artwork! (2002 version)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Munchausen_Trilemma

    RPGeek cult-collectable. This is #6 of 59 in the series. I picked it up for $1.49 at half.com for my oldest, but last nite I got hooked. Surprisingly addictive retro-lofi-fun. spoiler alert!!! Absolutely DON'T try to remove the emerald eye from the Buddha statue and if you get to choose between fighting the Minotaur or the Scorpion, definitely go with minotaur! ;) RPGeek cult-collectable. This is #6 of 59 in the series. I picked it up for $1.49 at half.com for my oldest, but last nite I got hooked. Surprisingly addictive retro-lofi-fun. spoiler alert!!! Absolutely DON'T try to remove the emerald eye from the Buddha statue and if you get to choose between fighting the Minotaur or the Scorpion, definitely go with minotaur! ;)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Miss

    Another failure! After some successful exploration and getting a hold of some goodies, I met my end after being a bit greedy...trying to steal a gem stone eye from a statue, which then released poisoned gas and killed me. Oh well! Another good one, keen for another crack at it :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jimbo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Long lorded as the definitive FF, Deathtrap Dungeon (DD) lives up to its billing. FF always was, and always will be, best when in the dungeon-type setting. It was what made Warlock a success and by book 6 in the series it was time to go back there. What makes DD a step above WoFM is the pure excitement that taking "The Walk" on the Trial of the Champions brings about, an excitement I found severely lacking in the first entry in this seminal series. DD doesn't have any flash new stats and doesn't tr Long lorded as the definitive FF, Deathtrap Dungeon (DD) lives up to its billing. FF always was, and always will be, best when in the dungeon-type setting. It was what made Warlock a success and by book 6 in the series it was time to go back there. What makes DD a step above WoFM is the pure excitement that taking "The Walk" on the Trial of the Champions brings about, an excitement I found severely lacking in the first entry in this seminal series. DD doesn't have any flash new stats and doesn't try anything new; it just does what FF does best and it delivers in spades. I really enjoyed City of Thieves, and I like any adventures set round Port Blacksand, but DD took me back to how it all began and made me remember how well the dungeon romp could be written. The final sequence in the book (yes, I got there, something I haven't done all that often in my re-read of FF) was interesting. It was also extremely difficult, having to get past two bosses, a final jewel-based puzzle and a last attempt on your life, but was all worth it to see the Baron cringe as I took his 10,000 gold pieces. Another positive in this FF is the ability to share some of the journey with an accomplice, in this case Throm, one of the Barbarians who is also on the Walk. It would have been nice to have found out what happened to the other four adventures.... Overall, this is up there as one of the all time great FF's

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dane Barrett

    It pulls a few cheap tricks near the end, but otherwise Deathtrap Dungeon is one of the best pure dungeon crawl gamebooks ever written. There's no great story to speak of here. A rich Baron has made a deadly dungeon for his own amusement and has offered a reward for whoever can get through it alive. You enter said dungeon along with a handful of other contestants, and then you (and they) proceed to perish in all manner of deadly and unfair ways. Even if you get to the end of the dungeon, you wil It pulls a few cheap tricks near the end, but otherwise Deathtrap Dungeon is one of the best pure dungeon crawl gamebooks ever written. There's no great story to speak of here. A rich Baron has made a deadly dungeon for his own amusement and has offered a reward for whoever can get through it alive. You enter said dungeon along with a handful of other contestants, and then you (and they) proceed to perish in all manner of deadly and unfair ways. Even if you get to the end of the dungeon, you will still fail if you haven't collected specific items which can only be obtained via one successful path through the book. The failing, dying and trying again is the fun part of this book, so don't let it get you down if it kicks your butt. This book has done the same to the best of us!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul Gibbons

    Great book. You know its probably a bad idea to open the doors but you know your gonna lol - You really do start to understand why curiosity killed the cat in this one. I don't think you'll get that far if you don't open any doors. Anybody tried that ? lol - :-/ x Don't forget to stab the Blood Beast in the japs eye ! Great book. You know its probably a bad idea to open the doors but you know your gonna lol - You really do start to understand why curiosity killed the cat in this one. I don't think you'll get that far if you don't open any doors. Anybody tried that ? lol - :-/ x Don't forget to stab the Blood Beast in the japs eye !

  20. 5 out of 5

    Biserka

    This is the third Fighting Fantasy book I have read and I loved it. I even drew a map and everything. If I'm comparing this book to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I think that this one was quite a bit harder, took me longer to finish, had more death endings and more traps or maybe it just seemed that way to me. In any case, I liked it and will be reading more of these. This is the third Fighting Fantasy book I have read and I loved it. I even drew a map and everything. If I'm comparing this book to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I think that this one was quite a bit harder, took me longer to finish, had more death endings and more traps or maybe it just seemed that way to me. In any case, I liked it and will be reading more of these.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    I recently went back to this after not having read/played it for a number of years and I still really enjoy it. It annoys me trying to remember where all the traps were and what the easiest path to success is. But it's still thrilling to imagine oneself crawling the paths of a labyrinth. I recently went back to this after not having read/played it for a number of years and I still really enjoy it. It annoys me trying to remember where all the traps were and what the easiest path to success is. But it's still thrilling to imagine oneself crawling the paths of a labyrinth.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cupof Tea

    We played through a few times at the lake, and although we did make it to the final trials the Gnome put us through and defeated the monsters and fighters, then we needed gemstones we did not possess (for future reference, Emerald - Diamond - Sapphire) so we gave up :(

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aischa

    It took me a lot of digging, and searching google images to find the title of this book. I read it back in the 80s, probably much too young. I died many times. The story stuck with me and do did the interior illustrations. Do not judge a book by its cover.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gaz

    I used to love these books when I was at primary school. This was the best.

  25. 5 out of 5

    D.

    Deathtrap Dungeon (Fighting Fantasy) by Ian Livingstone (2002)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wachunga

    One of the better gamebooks out there. Much more satisfying than plain old choose your own adventures. Also available as an iphone app.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robin Jones

    Brings back a lot of childhood memories

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Hayes

    The first fantasy book I ever read...this started it all.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mark Bonello

    First book I ever owned.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jainang Patwa

    Good

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