|Creators||Al Ewing, GURU-eFX, Salva Espin|
|Players||1, but can play as a team of 2-3 people if you like|
|Playing Time||10-20 minutes per issue, dependant on choices|
Choose Your Own Adventure
When a Comic is a game, but it’s still an adventure
Deadpool is a comic character that has grown on me over the years. Originally I was him as a bit of over the top comic relief, and that still holds true today.
But the self-awareness and insanity that is Wade Wilson make for some truly interesting (if family-unfriendly) stories. Two of my all-time favourites are Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (Hey, it’s on Goodreads) and Deadpool: Dracula’s Gauntlet (Also on Goodreads).
If you enjoyed the Ryan Reynolds Deadpool (which let’s be honest, odds on you are) you may be surprised by the Deadpool in both of these stories. Yes, there are puns and fourth wall breaks, but the type of choices and the accompanying self-justification may surprise you.
Today though, I am talking about another collection of stories – You Are Deadpool. There are all the elements of the self-referential humour and satire that makes Deadpool so popular, but now you get to play as Deadpool in a Choose Your Own Adventure type scenario.
I grabbed these when they first came out and had the ‘joy’ of waiting a few weeks for the comic I was to play next to actually be released. And I am not talking about the second edition – I went straight from issue 1 to 4!
The basic premise of the story is that you have to steal a time travelling helmet for the Tomorrow Man. If you don’t know the characters, don’t stress about it – the series gives you enough information to go on for the story (such as it is).
Each issue then becomes a different time period you are jumping through, with plenty of era-appropriate gags and references to enjoy.
You Are Deadpool also rams home the ‘I’m not a comic!’ theme with an almost mandatory ‘See?’ panel early in each issue. The different situations that you find Deadpool (and hence yourself) in are amusing, and it was a fight not to just run ahead and read them the first time to see what happens.
Yep, the first time. This isn’t a normal ‘pick up and read’ comic, just as Choose Your Own Adventure was never a normal novel. A big part of the fun in You Are Deadpool is trying to see how bad you can make things many different ways of playing through the story there are.
And multiple paths and twists there are aplenty. It’s weird to describe You Are Deadpool as highly replayable, but it is indeed highly replayable.
Like any adventure, you have equipment both in game and in real life.
The first edition provides you with a template to make your own ‘Deadpool Die’ and a character sheet. Now I am not a comic ‘purist’ – these were bought for me to read and play, but I do suggest just grabbing a few six-sided dice and a pen and paper, it will make your life a lot easier.
In game equipment is strange as well – you have three slots for items you can see that are ‘smaller than a bread box’. Basically, if you see something in a panel and want to pick it up – it’s yours!
Now just like in other multiple path stories with equipment like this, you can choose to ‘cheat’ and say you have the items. All I will say about that at is enjoy your game. The story knows it’s a game, and a comic, and this does sometimes lead to some funny situations.
Unfortunately, that’s all I can really say about You Are Deadpool as a game. This is a fun experience that as a fan of the character I really enjoyed, and is a different way to spend 10-15 minutes a night ‘playing’ an issue.
But don’t fall into the ‘it’s a comic, it’s for kids’ trap. Being a Deadpool comic, there is plenty of fighting and action. Decapitation and dismemberment are common enough, and while not incredibly graphic probably not something you want your little ones playing either. Basically, if you wouldn’t watch the movie with them (and not Once Upon a Deadpool, the originals!) don’t hand this to them either.
Do you want to play?
You can technically play each issue as a mini-standalone edition adventure, as each issue deals with a different time period. If you are reading this and decide to give You Are Deadpool a go – don’t do it this way.
I would be guessing you will be getting issues as you can, as even on first printing getting these in order was a little tricky. Being able to ‘play’ the story through as you make your choices is the most fun.
Luckily this is really easy now, as the series was released as a combined trade paperback! Expect to pay up to $25 from reasonable sellers, which isn’t too bad at all ($5 a comic, easy run!). Amazon is probably easiest, and you can buy it on the Kindle as well!
If you enjoy Deadpool and multiple path adventures, You Are Deadpool is a no-brainer recommendation. It’s light, it’s fun, it doesn’t take much commitment so you can put it down and pick it up easily.
I would suggest the combined trade paperback only because everything is together, and you get that ‘holding it in your hands’ feeling. Kindles are great and I use them a lot, but this is one of those special items that kicking back on the couch with pen and paper and dice is a lot of fun.
If you aren’t big on Deadpool, move on would be my recommendation. If you want something similar though, all four of the Sorcery! series (go Goodreads again!) is all out now digitally from inkle, and I will be giving that a review when I can play through them all. Same theory, but so much more in depth and a much grander campaign.