Time Travel Dinosaur is a Chooseomatic adventure written by Matt Youngmark. The Chooseomatic Books are essentially adult Chose Your Own Adventure style books infused with hilarious and zany concepts such as time traveling dinosaurs. There are so few gamebooks (the generic term for Choose Your Own Adventure style books) written for adults that those of us who refuse to leave this awesome type of book behind in childhood are always grateful for a new release.
Before I even review the book itself, the cover deserves it’s own paragraph. Just from looking at the cover-art, we are treated to a dinosaur sporting a classy monocle and top hat, a space dinosaur (spaceosaur?) toting a ray gun, and a medieval T-Rex prepared to bash in his enemies’ brains with a wicked mace despite the limited reach of his tiny arms. This honestly might be one of the best covers that I have ever seen because it is not only visually impressive, but it also accurately represents the content of the book. The 76 possible endings guarantee that any gamebook fanatic will find a great deal to explore.
The basic premise behind Time Travel Dinosaur is that your character is an employee of The Time Travel Investigation Agency but is only allowed to travel as far back as November 5, 1931. However, an encounter with a 1980’s style mad scientist in the first few pages quickly ensures that these laws of time travel are completely shattered and your consciousness is inevitably transferred to the body of a T-Rex. From this point on, your will recklessly hurl yourself into various time portals that lead to diverse settings, such as the Middle Ages or a steampunk 1800’s during the dynamic Cleveland administration, and wild adventures ensue. Beware, however, because even though you are a mighty T-Rex, crossbow bolts and bullets can still kill you dead.
Matt Youngmark’s style is one of the best reasons to pick up Time Travel Dinosaur over other adult gamebooks. Every page lives up to the crazy premise of a time traveling T-Rex through the consistently humorous tone. For examples, in the Middle Ages section Youngmark writes:
“You wander the open fields, and after scaring a few more peasants, come to the conclusion that you’re somewhere in medieval Europe. Wait. One. Freaking. Second. You just realized what just might be EVEN BETTER than being a dinosaur. Being a mother flippin’ dragon.”
Youngmark’s style was a major incentive for me to explore other choices even after I experienced several deaths due to my poor decision making skills. Make sure to read through Time Travel Dinosaur multiple times, or else you might miss the interdimensional time goblins or other exciting creatures/characters!
Time Travel Dinosaur is the second Chooseomatic Book that I have read, and the first book, Zombocalypse Now, previously made my list of Top 10 Choose Your Own Adventure Books and I enjoyed Time Travel Dinosaur just as much as Zombocalypse. I recommend Time Travel Dinosaur to gamebook junkies as well as any readers who simply want to roam the earth (and time) as the King of the Dinosaurs.
Purchase Time Travel Dinosaur