Nintendo Adventure Books - Leaping Lizards|
Length: 120 pages
From: Clyde Bosco/Pocket Books, 1991-92
Ad copy: "When His Royal Highness is turned into a rabbit by the devious Morton Koopa, only one plumber can save him. Luigi leaps into action to save the King from a life of hopeless hopping - and almost becomes a Koopa casualty himself! As in all Nintendo Adventure Books, you control the action. Only you can make the choices that allow Luigi to beat Morton and the rest of the Koopa Kids. Help him crack codes, solve puzzles, conquer mazes, and subdue enemies. You and Luigi must outwit the Koopas at their own game - or go down in final defeat!"
The truth: Actually, there's not much more to add beyond the above. The books are basically like their Choose Your Own Adventure ancestors, with you making a choice every now and then and turning to the page directed to find out what your choice's results are. The "codes" and "puzzles" mentioned are really just things like really simple guess-the-word games, "what are the differences between these two pictures" and other simple brain teasers, and so on. If you get them wrong, you're directed to a page where bad things happen to the SMB's (The Mushroom Kingdom turns into cake and gets eaten up by everyone, and whatnot). There's art inside, but it's all the generic SMB clip-art you've all probably seen many times in official Nintendo literature.
As you can see in this cover scan, the first three books were part of a free send-in offer - Send in a couple of UPC's from cans of Pringles and get a free book (a book may have also been bundled in without having to send anything, but I can't remember). The Nintendo Adventure series lasted a surprisingly long time - I guess there's a broader audience for this sort of stuff than for the Worlds of Power novelizations. Here's an incomplete release list, gathered quickly from Amazon: