by Joe Dever, fantasy (1993)
Red Fox, £4.99, ISBN 0-09-998440-7
Wolf's Bane is the nineteenth gamebook in the Lone Wolf series. You have killed the Darklords, smashed the Cener Druids, sent the Nadziranims packing, and, as of late, demolished the evil god Naar's personal army of Lavas and dragons. It should come as no surprise that Naar is taking all this personally.
In this campaign, he really runs out of ideas and decides to send a doppelgänger of you, whom he cleverly names Wolf's Bane, to cause trouble in your name. And because people are generally ungrateful wretches, the people you have protected all these years turn on you in a heartbeat. It is up to you to bring down the impostor and clear your good name.
The interesting thing about Wolf's Bane is that the bulk of the campaign takes place on a distant planet which has fallen under Naar's control. This planet, which is unnamed here, is more technologically advanced. However, what could have been a memorable campaign is somewhat ruined by the fact that this campaign is a bit too short for its own good. The whole thing is over just when I am starting to have fun! Also, the writing is especially wretched here as Lone Wolf is constantly gasping in disbelief at the sight before him. Lone Wolf has survived the Daziarn and several excursions into the Shadow Gate. Shouldn't he be less easily awed by things by now?
The difficulty level is average, by the way. The usual death by bad pick of numbers applies, but apart from that, there is nothing here that truly threatens a veteran player of this gamebook.
Wolf's Bane could have been a solid gamebook, but the end result feels rushed. Still, it manages to introduce a new development that could make the rest of the series interesting if Mr Dever plays his cards right.
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