Puffin Book Cover Formats

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The seven Puffin format variations
1982 1983
FF1 WraparoundFull
FF2 Original
1984 1987 1989
FF8 ZigZag FF25 Dragon Both Figfan37
1989 1993
FF40 Dragon Spine FF52 Dragon No Foil

Puffin BooksEdit

Authors other than the series' co-creators are not credited on the cover, which instead features the phrase Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone Present. These authors are credited on the inside title page.

Wraparound CoversEdit

Main article: Wraparound Cover Format

Initially, as the first book in the series, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain had been viewed by Puffin Books as a something of a one off (hence the small print run) and thus became the only book of the range to feature a warp-around cover (by Peter Andrew Jones). Subsequent books would have a front cover illustration only.

Coloured Number CoversEdit

Main article: Coloured Number Format

When the series properly launched itself, with the publication of The Citadel of Chaos and The Forest of Doom in 1983, the first cover "format" was introduced. This consisted of each book having the number of the book printed in a coloured "star" on the cover. The spine and rear cover were the same colour as the background of the star, with the colour varying with each book (blue for example with Starship Traveller, green with City of Thieves. The first book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was reprinted using this format and the design lasted through to 1984, covering the first seven books in the series.[1]

Adventure Gamebooks BannerEdit

Main article: Adventure Gamebooks banner

The second design, introduced in 1984 with book eight Scorpion Swamp, featured a green "zig-zag" stripe across the top of the cover, containing the words Adventure Gamebooks and the number of the book. The Fighting Fantasy logo was also printed on the cover. The spine and rear cover of each book were uniformly coloured a light green. This design was used up to the 24th book in the series (Creature of Havoc). As with the first system, the older books (numbers one through seven) were reprinted using the new cover format. It was at this point that The Citadel of Chaos was given a new cover by Ian Miller to replace the older one by Emmanuel.[2]

Dragon CoversEdit

Main article: Dragon Cover Format

The final Puffin Books design, launched in 1987 with book twenty-five Beneath Nightmare Castle, featured a large box with a gold dragon design at the top of the cover containing the cover credit. The spine of each book remained uniformly coloured a light green. The colour of the rear cover varied with each book. This design was used up to the last book in the Puffin series. Again, older titles (#1 to #24) were reprinted featuring the new cover design. It was with this "refresh" of the range that The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was given a new cover by Peter Andrew Jones to replace his original one.[3]

Books with this final Puffin cover design featured some slight changes during this period (1987 to 1995). At first the number of the book was printed on the front and spine of each book, till in 1989 the range was reprinted where all numbers were removed from the books (including the list on an inner page) alongside new books Portal of Evil, Vault of the Vampire, and Fangs of Fury. After this short-lived change, the number of the book returned to the spine of each book and the inner page list, but not the cover from Dead of Night (1989) onwards. The cover credit was printed in bronze-foil until the publication of the 52nd book (Night Dragon) in 1993, from which point it was not printed in foil (and the back catalogue of titles re-issued again to match).


Main article: Fighting Fantasy Boxset

Notably, there were a number of boxsets with many varied covers. Also termed Boxed-sets and Gameboxes. Even the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain does not give an exhaustive list of the boxsets. However, it distinguishes between those that were for titles "launched" as boxed-sets and those that were for the gift-market:

Launched Boxed SetsEdit

Two-Player GamebookEdit

Gift MarketEdit

Given that 25th Anniversary Edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain does not name these, it is presumed that any that exist and were not named in the Launched Boxed Sets are Gift Market Boxed Sets


See AlsoEdit

Book Cover Formats
Puffin Book Cover Formats
DD Video
Wizard Book Cover Formats
2002 — present
Dragon Cover Format

2002 Relaunch Retro 2009 Relaunch Old School
Cover Format
Gold No No. Spine No. No Foil


  1. Fighting Fantasy FAQ on the Internet Archive record of the old site.
  2. Fighting Fantasy FAQ on the Internet Archive record of the old site.
  3. Fighting Fantasy FAQ on the Internet Archive record of the old site.

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