Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - Return of the Ninja

(Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition - second printing)
(Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition - second printing)
(Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition)
(Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition - hardback)
(Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition)
(Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 92
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) — no. 45
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set (88-92) (Collection)
Choose Your Own Adventure Martial Arts Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: El retorno de los ninjas (Spanish)
Author: Leibold, Jay (pseudonym used by Montavon, Jay)
Illustrators: Niclas, Chloe (Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition - cover)
Tonn, Michael (Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition - interior)
Kukalis, Romas (cover)
Bolle, Frank (interior)
Dates: June, 1989 (Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition)
2019 (Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition)
ISBNs: 0553279688 / 9780553279689 (Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition - paperback)
0836813103 / 9780836813104 (Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition - hardback)
1937133346 / 9781937133344 (Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition)
Length: 112 pages (Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition)
123 pages, plus glossary, "The History of Gamebooks" appendix, and Choose Your Own Adventure timeline. (Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition)
Number of Endings: 21
User Summary: In this direct sequel to Secret of the Ninja, it has been one year since you were able to save your friend Nada's dojo from an evil force. Now you have learned the art of ninjutsu yourself, and you soon find yourself and the dojo facing a new threat -- a mysterious ninja intruder.
Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Chooseco edition.)

I must confess I have never read the prequel to this book (Secret of the Ninja). Reading that entry is not required to understand and enjoy this one, but I definitely recommend it. Whereas Life as a Ninja in the You Choose: Interactive History Adventure series focused on the lives of real ninjas, the ninja-based CYOA books deal more with the mythical elements associated with ninjas (such as heightened senses, supernatural stealth, and the ability to do magic).

This book is very good. There is, of course, quite a bit of martial arts fighting (which will please you if you are a fan of the genre). However, as is to be expected from a systemless CYOA book, the main strength is not the action but the decision-making. There are several ways to reach a successful conclusion (with each of them having different degrees of success), but getting to a happy ending requires careful choices in every case. Some of the paths involve a trip in time back to the Heian period of Japanese history, which I found very interesting. While the book is quite wordy, the choices always come at a quick pace, and the paths do not feel as short as is the case in some later CYOA titles. There is a single plot underlying all the pathways; this may please those who prefer consistent adventures but was problematic for me, as it could get a little tiring to read the same revelations over and over as I replayed. Nonetheless, I was quite satisfied with this adventure and look forward to reading other ninja-themed books in the series.

More reviews by Guillermo

stonemason's Thoughts:

I really liked Secret of the Ninja, and I was hoping this would be another good gamebook along the same lines. Let's just say I was right! One thing I really liked about this sequel is that it continues right where Secret of the Ninja left off, and reading this book gives new background information into why things in that earlier book happened the way they did, in addition to providing a new, internally consistent plot thread. Like its predecessor, you can travel back in time -- but this time it's to a new time period.

Also, it isn't as repetitive as the earlier adventure. Different pathways really do reveal different facets of the plot, although this isn't done as successfully as it could have been.

Many of the mythological and fantastic elements of the book's predecessor are missing here... there are no more gods, creatures or spirits, so fans of mythology might be disappointed. Still, I think this is a worthy successor to book #66, perhaps even a slight improvement. Good stuff!

More reviews by stonemason

Special Thanks:Thanks to stonemason for the plot summary and to Guillermo Paredes for the reissue images.
Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, barryattles, benji2, bigcobra, bonhomme, bookwormjeff, brujeria!, Cyan, Darth Rabbitt, dave2002a, Demian (second printing), Dirk Omnivore, EegahInc, Erikwinslow, exaquint (2.50), fushek, Garrick Muttley, girtablilu, Himynameistony, jeremydouglass, JoshW, katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, kinderstef, kleme, knginatl (orig., HB), Lullyph, Madeye, marcfonline, mlvoss, nelsondesign, ntar, Pessimeister, pinkfloydechoes, plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, Radical347, RetroReef, rolipo26, RonaldFrobnitz, Ryuran333, SherlockHolmes (An excellent book continuing the storyline of "The Secret of the Ninja".), slyfra, stonemason, strawberry_brite, SuperAM2, ThaRid, toadhjo, truce57, twar, Von Scotty, Wally_Hatchet-71, yunakitty
Users Who Want This Item: aline, CGally, exaquint (3.25), Ffghtermedic, Game Master, horrorbusiness, killagarilla, Lambchop, MasterChief, Mr ?, NEMO, Nomad, Nym90, odo_ital, stock, Waluigi Freak 99
Users with Extra Copies: exaquint - 2.50
jeremydouglass
kinderstef - x 2
ntar
twar

Known Editions

Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) edition
Choose Your Own Adventure (2005-) edition

Please log in to manage your collection or post a review.