Trial of the Clone: great choose-your-own-adventure from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal creator

Last summer, Zach Weiner (creator the most excellent Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal webcomic) ran a monumentally successful Kickstarter for a CC-licensed Choose-Your-Own-Adventure title called Trial of the Clone: An Interactive Adventure!.

I've finally gotten around to reading my copy and it's an absolute delight. Not only is it witty and often laugh-aloud funny -- it's also got a novel and well-thought-through game mechanic that introduces an element of tabletop RPG-playing to the system (instead of rolling dice, you flip randomly through the book and get your roll-value from the number at the bottom corner of the page).

The premise is a fun spoof of the Star Wars trilogy. You're an orphaned clone (they decanted you in order to fill a hot market wherein rich people competed to adopt orphans, quickly exhausting the existing pool of orphans and giving rise to the practice of cloning; alas you were decanted just as the market crashed) and you're sent to live with a mystic cult of warriors who train you and enlist you in an intergalactic war. The humor is trenchant, never too on-the-nose, and never gets in the way of what turns out to be rather a good story. As an added bonus, "nearly all the proper names in the book are dirty words in Czech."

Profits from this book are donated to Fight for the Future, one of the activist groups that led the charge that killed SOPA last year.

Trial of the Clone [Amazon]

Trial of the Clone [SMBC]


    1. Which is, frankly, probably the better way to consume it. I bought the book, but couldn’t find the time (or my pencil) to play through it. Have gotten farther on the app in one day then I did on the actual book.

    2. Unfortunately, my old Android phone doesn’t work with this app. I hope they make a version for the iPhone or iPad soon. It looks very interesting.

  1. I’m pretty sure the dice-at-bottom-of-pages thing had already been done back in the ’80s/’90s by Steve Jackson and/or friends.

    1. yeah! i played a couple of really good gamebooks when i was younger. ( the “lone wolf” ones are all available online now for free: )

      some of them use a random number table in the back of the book, but i definitely remember the flip to a random page technique as well.

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