Joe Dever's Lone Wolf comes so terribly close to getting it right. And not just right, but perfect. When I first started playing I thought I'd discovered a new pinnacle in beautiful, exciting and interactive gamebooks. And then it all fell apart, and by the time it was over I was glad to see it done.
If you like gamebooks (and probably even if you don't), the opening of Joe Dever's Lone Wolf will blow you away. It hits you right from the get-go with a gorgeous, subtly animated pen-and-ink style of illustration and a rich, urgent orchestral soundtrack. And choice! Lone Wolf is a well-established character with 28 gamebooks to his credit (the analog, dead-tree kind of gamebook, of course) but before the action begins you can customize your version of him to a surprising degree. Are you the stealthy type, or do you prefer a stand-up fight? Do you pay close attention to you surroundings with every step you take, or do you prefer to rely on intuition to see you through? You can build Lone Wolf into just about any kind of character you want, from a brain-smashing tank to a quiet, thoughtful diplomat.
The game shows off a remarkable degree of interactivity once the action starts. Multiple choices need to be made (as with any gamebook), but skill in the form of manual dexterity is also vital. Picking locks, for instance, isn't simply a matter of looking at a stat and rolling some virtual dice; you'll have to use a lockpicking tool and a small dagger to work the lock open, and if you break all your tools, it's tough luck for you. Read more »