- Fighting Fantasy
- House of Hell, by the British Steve Jackson, is virtually impossible to complete without reverse-engineering the entire book, as the path to victory is so obscure and the book so unforgiving (taking one step off the correct path renders the whole thing Unwinnable by Design).
- Creature of Havoc (also by the British Jackson) is well-known as being just about the hardest book to complete in the entire series:
- The player character starts the game not in control of their own actions, with what they do determined by dice rolls, making it easy to miss vital information and items.
- The character also starts off not understanding human speech, thanks to an extremely clever mechanic where all in-game spoken and written English is in code.
- The only true path through the game includes a section that ends in your character's death. You then need to use an inventory item to Take a Third Option which is not given by the text, which some people might not think of even if they have the item in question.
- Black Vein Prophecy, which has an instance where the player has to fail a stat check in order to get an item required to complete the book.
- The GrailQuest book Tomb of Nightmares, due to its complex secret door system which makes it very hard to find the correct way through the labyrinth in the titular tomb.
- Lone Wolf
- In the second book, Fire on the Water, you come across a fork in the road. Both paths result in an inescapable ambush by a Helghastnote . To get through this encounter, you need to have either chosen a specific ability at character creationnote or taken a particular path a while back to acquire a weapon that can harm it. Lack either one and you have absolutely no chance of proceeding.
Guide Dang It / Gamebooks