Puffin Books, £2.50, ISBN 0-14-031814-3
Historical Fantasy, 1986
Return of the Wanderer is the third and last gamebook in the Cretan Chronicles series, and no, you cannot play this one as a standalone gamebook because you will die in three turns of pages if you do. You need the previous two gamebooks, no ifs or buts about this, sorry.
You are Altheus, now called the Avenger. This campaign follows your adventures after your triumph in Minos. However, your homecoming will not be a happy one, as you will soon find yourself embarking on a long voyage to places like Egypt and even the underworld as penance for your sins. The synopsis is a bit vague, but this is one campaign that you will have to play for yourself to enjoy the twists and turns of the plot.
Like the previous two gamebooks, Return of the Wanderer has no shortage of memorable Greek mythology elements. Most importantly, the authors make use of them well, incorporating them into the campaign in ways that work. However, getting to the good ending is not going to be easy as you will have to navigate through a sea of sudden deaths and abrupt failures. It’s like not you can more or less guess which option available is the right one, because the authors are the Greek gods here, fickle, mercurial, and sadistic. They determine which option is the right one, and half the time you can’t make an educated guess using what you believe is right and wrong.
In other words, this one is pretty much the same as the previous gamebooks when it comes to the levels of gameplay difficulty and frustration. The authors should have produced novels instead of gamebooks from the whole series.