Remembering “Be An Interplanetary Spy”

Still feeling retro from yesterday’s post, I remember my favorite game book series as a kid: Be An Interplanetary Spy. I recall how, in early grade school, I actually looked forward to going to National Book Store and head for the fiction section, looking for the ‘Spy series and hoping mom would buy me one. I think I owned 2 or 3 books from the series and managed to read more by borrowing from my classmates at La Salle Greenhills.

# 8 - Mission to Microworld was one of the 'Spy books that I owned

I prefer ‘Spy over Choose Your Own Adventure because the former is more visual/graphical than the latter. Typical to game books both had missions that had to be accomplished and it required the reader to make decisions that, if made correctly, would lead to completing the mission. On the other hand, incorrect decisions would lead to a failed mission. With ‘Spy the decision points were most often puzzles, which made the game experience much more exciting and involving.

An example of a decision point in 'Spy, where the reader needed to go through a maze.

Personally, I liked the concept of being a spy in the futuristic space age. As a kid, it really got my imagination going. I found Choose Your Own Adventure’s themes, which are predominantly solving mysteries, boring in comparison.

‘Spy may seem very analog compared to the sophisticated gaming experiences that can be had today with computers and gaming consoles, but back in the day, I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every minute I spent reading and re-reading those books. It’s sad that I have already misplaced my ‘Spy books. I think I may have let someone borrow it, without getting it back. How I wish Bantam releases an unaltered reissue of the 12 books of the ‘Spy series in a box set. I’m sure to get myself a copy. Better yet, I’m hoping the folks at Hollywood create a [Be An] Interplanetary Spy movie.

Thanks to gamebooks.org for the images used in this post. Check out the website for more ‘Spy info.

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7 thoughts on “Remembering “Be An Interplanetary Spy”

  1. Wow funny you just posted this recently as I was just thinking of this series myself. Not too many people know about them in comparison to some of the choose your own adventure series, but I also always preferred these and a lot of the art has stayed in my head.

  2. Wow, this was my favorite kids book. I only had #6 and never thought about looking for the rest. Must check them out!

      • Hi, Gerald.

        I have a few personal copies, and my kid loves them and has some. Unfortunately I don’t have enough left to share. But I have seen them on eBay and I think AbeBooks.

        Actually, I have a company that makes illustrated, optionally interactive eBooks among other things: http://aerbook.com – Do you think people would be interested in seeing books like these, or even these books, in eBook form?

      • Hello again Ron. A quick google led me to scanned copies of the entire Spy series! Woot!

        I think a re-issue of Be An Interplanetary Spy would be a hit in e-book form! It will make the Gen X’ers go crazy! New game books in digital format would work as well, provided the “pages” are very interactive (like how e-magazines are on the iPad). Will give aerbook a try. 😉

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