Review: Lone Wolf Adventure Game
Renowned for their emphasis on narrative over novelty, Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf gamebooks combined the best elements of phenomenally popular gamebook contemporaries Fighting Fantasy with the epic campaign-style approach of role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons to present what stands as arguably the most original, influential and enduring fantasy gamebook series. Revolving around the dynamic macrocosmic interplay between the forces of good (epitomised by the sun god, Kai, and the moon goddess, Ishir) and those of evil (under the charge of Naar, god of darkness) in the world of Magnamund – an interplay embodied on the microcosmic level by the colossal conflict between the allied human kingdoms of Sommerlund and Durenor (amongst others) and the thoroughly wicked Darklords of Helgedad – the Lone Wolf series of 29 gamebooks was translated into 18 languages between 1984 and 2016 and sold in excess of 10 million copies.
Written in the second person, the popularity of the vast yet cohesive, continuing story (replete with recurring characters) described in the gamebook series was largely informed by the appeal of the eponymous central protagonist, the young Kai warrior-monk Lone Wolf. Sons and daughters of the Sommerlund nobility have long been sent to the Kai monastery in order to learn the physical skills and mental disciplines of the Kai Lords. Described by Dever as “psionic rangers with special powers bestowed upon them by their gods,” the Kai Lords are something akin to ‘heroic fantasy Jedi’; very much a force for good in the world and bulwark against evil. In the Lone Wolf Adventure Game, players take on the role of young Kai initiates adventuring across Magnamund, battling a host of terrifying enemies and “working together to overcome the wicked plans of the Darklords” in an ongoing, interactive role-playing story. Like the ‘Dungeon Master’ of Dungeons & Dragons, one player takes on the role of ‘Narrator’ tasked with guiding the players through the adventure, setting the scene, describing the action, and fairly adjudicating all encounters.
Stoutly presented in a heavyweight box, the Lone Wolf Adventure Game includes the 80-page Book of Kai Legends, the 64-page Book of Kai Training, and the 96-page Book of Kai Wisdom, each perfectly bound and extensively illustrated in full colour and complemented by ready-made character and blank Action Charts, 44 double-sided tokens, a quick-reference Combat Results Table and Equipment List, and a detailed map of Sommerlund. Featuring high production values and designed to be playable right out of the box (i.e. within 5-10 minutes of opening), the Lone Wolf Adventure Game offers genuine narrative depth and superb value for money and is highly recommended for those new to role-playing games.
Players: 2-6 (best suited for 4-6)
Playing time: 60+ minutes
Lead Designers: Joe Dever and August Hahn
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment
Lone Wolf Adventure Game is available in Chiang Mai from Golden Goblin Games
Mobile: +6684 901 7762 (JS) and +6681 802 4122 (Bow)
Line ID: @Goblin