Interplanetary Spy guide to Mission to Microworld

Story Line: 6
Puzzles: 7
Pictures: 6
Endings: 5
Writing Style: 4

Story Line:Pretty strong. The pages you flip to are pretty linear, which is a bummer, but the story of the rebellion and the shrinking planet are pretty neat. The idea of the garden was pretty cool, and the constant referral back to other pages made this seem to be an imitation of The Star Crystal. Alas, it wasn't quite as clever, but it was very solid. If there is one weakness, it is that nothing new really comes out. The Biodroid is recycled from The Galactic Pirate, and Dr. Cyberg appears breifly from Robot World. Even CEM-450 has a similar name format to ROB-8008, although CEM-450 is a slightly cooler name in my opinion.

Puzzles:The puzzles start out so well, and they really are challenging and clever throughout, but there are two in a row that are downright confusing. One is where Electron is holding a trident but his aim is blocked by the ridges in the wall. You can interpret the puzzle differently depending on where Electron is(the way they see it) and where his trident is(shouldn't you consider that Electron is holding it out to the side?) The next puzzle has 6 wires leading from the head, and you have to find how many lead to the robot's CPU. Three lead to the CPU but one is so close to the edge of the page that you really have to bend the book and look near the crease. Or maybe I'm still just sore from missing two puzzles in a row :). Also the maze of bell and trigger plants is not clear; you have to guess what they mean by passing by a plant, which is harder than the actual maze.

Pictures:Some neat pictures, for instance of the plants in Electron's garden, but you look a little wimpy in some of them, as does the biodroid. The Microworlders are pretty far-out(especially CEM-450, who has been injured), and Electron's castle is good. The code is neat, too, especially when the microworlders get together to form it. The pictures on the code, by the way, read as follows.
Page 25: Erval
Page 40: Electron Wants You! Join the Army! See the World! Get more power now!
Pages 44-45: Blast Into Space Buy Berlyn Sleds/Fix your hair Aweil hair glop(a side joke here is that Microworlders have two tentacles)/Eat Yummy Madelyn Cereal Tastes Good/Losa Lovely Leaves/Mecoy Computer Products Run Protected/Drink Balrog Beer No Cal Octane
Page 81: Danger Keep Out!

Endings:Some of the endings are short on words and a little too long on attempts at snappy humor. The constant references to Electron's lunch are disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Writing Style:The big problem here is that you skip a few puzzles at the beginning--and they're rather good ones. No, I won't count finding out which pages to go to as a puzzle, although it may be the toughest one in the series. That gets minus one point automatically. Also, the ending is wrapped up too quickly, and having Electron zap himself twice with his own energy ray pushes belief a bit.
Links to other books: The biodroid is back, and Dr. Cyberg's machinery makes some brief appearances. You are also just fresh from defeating Valeeta the rebel spy, but that doesn't count as a very solid link. However, you're starting to see a bit of Spy Center for the first time.
PagesSide choicesPuzzleDifficulty
1-2-3-4-5-8 10 Count # of spikes in star 2
7-12-13 9 Match shapes 1
16-11-6-17 21 Fit 3 ridged chips together 3
14 22 Which round object is a planet? 2
18-19-15-24 20 Maze of ups and downs 3
27-23-26 25 Which blur is not a warrior? 1
30 42 Width of blurred microworlder 2
33-28-29-37-34 41 Where is Electron's trident blocked? 2
36-31-32 35 How many wire paths from head to CPU? 2
38-39-40-44 43 Which part of posters contains biodroid? 2
50-51 57 Circular maze 2
46-52-47-48-49 56 Sequence of tunes 1
53-54-55 63 Which side of the page has more rebels than warriors? 1
58-64-59-60-61 83 Which line of wires is connected to both boxes? 2
86-67 71 Inverse of pixelated picture 1
62-74-65-66-73 68 Where could your ship fit in a cleft in the wall? 1
68-69-70 72-84-81, 75-81, 79-81 3 paths. No wrong choices. 0
81-76-80-77-82-87 85 Bell(can't pass) and trigger(can't pass twice) maze 1
78 93 Which plant blocks Electron's trident? 2
88-96-89 100 Which two plants are alike? 1
97-90-91 102 Maze(very easy?) 1
99-92-101-94 98 Code of buttons converted to graphics 1
103-105-106 108 Measure sum of building heights 1
95-109-104 116 Tube maze--which exit will hit Electron? 2
113-107 93 Which way to unscrew a hinge? 2
110-115-112-117 111 Pull rods out in order, top to bottom 1
114-118-119-120-121 The end!
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