The Lost Ninja by Jay Leibold

Posted by Mrs Giggles on December 10, 2019 in 3 Oogies, Gamebook Reviews, Series: Choose Your Own Adventure

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The Lost Ninja by Jay Leibold
The Lost Ninja by Jay Leibold

Chooseco, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-937133-35-1
Suspense, 2019

The Lost Ninja by Jay LeiboldThe Lost Ninja by Jay LeiboldThe Lost Ninja by Jay Leibold

The Lost Ninja was first released in 1991, and this is the revised and updated edition. This is also a sequel, taking place two years after Secret of the Ninja, so you are basically the same character as that in that other gamebook.

You are now back in America, and for some reason, your friend Nada isn’t replying to your calls. It never occurred to you that, after what the two of you went through in Japan, she may be back in time or off doing fun ninja stuff. This is because this is a sequel in name only, sadly: you will never be able to do the fun ninja stuff you did the last time. No, here, you are stuck babysitting Saito, an acquaintance from your aikido class, who is tangled up with the yakuza. Your choices will determine whether he lives or dies, so yay. Alas, you won’t be doing ninja woo-woo; rather, you’d be running around most of the time as if this were a standard suspense affair, so lower your expectations accordingly.

This is a perfectly acceptable, even simple, campaign with much of the violence and shady stuff toned down to be more palatable to kids. Personally, there wouldn’t be any issue with this, aside from it being a sequel, and yet it may as well be a different standalone campaign altogether as it is so drastically different from the campaign that came before it! Jay Leibold is setting up fans of the previous related gamebook to be disappointed, and it’s worse when your character and Nada, BFFs in the previous campaign, are now cold for no good reason. Was this thing written following a bad breakup or something?

If you view this as a standalone gamebook, it’s a perfectly fine time waster. It’s not very exciting but it does what it sets out to do. If you view this as a sequel, however, oh boy, prepare to have your heart crushed under Mr Leibold’s boot.


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