Thursday, 18 July 2013

You're Older Than You've Ever Been

It's a year since I started this blog, which strikes me as being as good an excuse as any for some self-indulgent waffling about statistics. Don't worry, I'll get back to losing at gamebooks (probably) tomorrow.

Over the course of the past 12 months I've played at least 130 adventures for this blog (the precise number depends on how you interpret teasers and rewrites, but could go as high as 136). At least 25 of them were ones I'd never attempted before, and I succeeded at 5 of those on the very first try. I also won 28 or so of the adventures I had previously played or read (one of them on the second try here).

The most frequently viewed playthroughs are all Fighting Fantasy titles. In first place is the one for The Shamutanti Hills, not particularly closely followed by City of Thieves and Island of the Lizard King. Of the non-FF entries, the one on the first Heroquest book has most views (and is to date the only one that's been responded to by the author of the book in question).

The post that's received least attention is the one on Proteus 8, and the second Sagard the Barbarian book has only had one more view than that (while the post that's been up for less than 24 hours has already overtaken both). Narrowing the scope to the first hundred playthroughs, Tunnels & Trolls Pocket Adventure 3 is still the most ignored entry.

I also have statistics on the search terms which led people here. The title of this blog is one of the most frequently used ones but, surprisingly, not the most common search term. That 'honour' goes to a phrase so random that I can't help but wonder if there's something dodgy about its popularity. Consequently, I'm not going to repeat it here, but I will reveal that it's words 10-14 of the second sentence of this entry. More obviously legitimate search terms that have cropped up more than once include 'cephalo squirrel', 'greek monster hydra' and '"painted frustis"'. Also a large number of variations on the proverb I used for the title of my entry on Island of the Lizard King, perhaps explaining in part why that's one of the more popular posts. As for the most bizarre (non-suspicious) search term that's brought somebody to this blog, the clear winner is 'does m'sire require a golden chalice of yak's milk'.

And now, a list of things that I've learned over the course of this year:
  1. Some gamebooks aren't as good as I remember them being
  2. A few are actually better than I'd realised
  3. Some days, the dice just aren't your friends.
  4. The changes made to the Lone Wolf books for the Mongoose reissues are, on the whole, not for the better.
  5. The system in the Sagas of the Demonspawn books is more cumbersome than I'd imagined.
  6. It gets even more so.
  7. Paper bags are worth looking into.
  8. Some Tunnels & Trolls adventures have ridiculously unbalanced fights.
  9. (With apologies to luk) Sometimes it pays to read the whole review before deciding whether or not to buy the book.
  10. (With thanks to Codiekitty) No matter how bad you think something is, it can still turn out to be even worse.

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