Demian's Gamebook Web Page

Item - The Renegade Wizard

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

Series: Adventure Begins Here — no. 1
Platform: Kindle
Author: Martin, Ashley P.
Date: March 20, 2012
ISBNs: 0957135203 / 9780957135208 (eBook)
0957135211 / 9780957135215 (paperback)
Length: 523 sections
Number of Endings: 31 (only 1 successful ending)
User Summary: An evil wizard is terrorizing the kingdom. A young boy named Toby must venture into his lair to defeat him.
norrinradd's Thoughts:

In this gamebook you have to venture into a trap filled dungeon to find and kill an evil wizard. You've heard this story before, right? Well, yes but I did find this rendition of it particularly fun.

You get to choose one of three career paths: warrior, wizard or ranger. The way this is introduced is quite interesting in that it is woven into the fabric of the story and involves tracking down a great master who trains you in a new skill. The benefits from this skill are fairly meagre but this is only gamebook 1 so presumably you get to develop further in subsequent books.

The game system uses what it calls "hero points". These are a bit like experience points in that you get them for doing heroic things but you spend them in order to adjust dice rolls. This means you can use them to automatically hit an enemy or dodge a trap but most of the time I ended up using them to avoid being hit because the game gives you only a very limited number of "vitality" points. This seemed odd at first but actually when you think about it, does getting hit multiple times by a sword and surviving make more sense?

The adventure is pretty atmospheric in places once you get into the underground dungeon part of the adventure. There are some puzzles which revolve around number sequences that I can see being quite hard for some people, particularly younger readers, to solve. You don't need to solve these, however, but if you can then it does make winning much easier.

And then there are the gruesome deaths. At some point you are going to slip up and end up getting killed. At least you get a grisly description of how you die before you have to go back to the beginning and try again.

Overall a fun book and if you like your adventures in the classic style where men were real men, women were real women and slimy tentacles things were real slimy tentacles things.

More reviews by norrinradd

Paul T's Thoughts:

A decent Kindle Gamebook. No more and no less.

Overall there're a few things that can be said about this book, but there isn't much that really needs to be said. It's a decent gamebook targeted at the audience who read Fighting Fantasy books growing up.

It's not remotely fresh or new, and the plot could not be more clichéd (a wizard has gone rogue and evil, and only you can stop him!) but it's competently executed and generally pretty fair (especially as the Hero Point mechanic lets you reroll any die roll, avoiding the luck screw element of many other gamebooks). The encounters aren't anything special but do at least require a little thought. The path through the adventure is mostly linear, but there are a few turnings where you might have a chance to find useful items. There's a small class system which is interesting (Wizard, Warrior or Rogue, which translates to some small tangibly related perks), though one of the classes is clearly better than the other. The fighting is a little better than Fighting Fantasy, while still being fairly simple (take turns rolling to hit defence, attacks deal fixed damage based on what they are minus armour. Health points are low enough that this actually means swift meaningful combats).

It will probably take you a few attempts to beat the book, partly because there's a small trial and error aspect (nowhere near as bad as some Fighting Fantasy books, thankfully).

Overall this is a decent but not exceptional book. Its about as good as a mid-range Fighting Fantasy, on par with something like Stormslayer (not as good as Howl of the Werewolf or Night of the Necromancer, but a helluva lot better than Blood of the Zombies or Bloodbones). It's not something I'd recommend every person race out and buy, and its certainly not worth buying a Kindle for, but if you own a Kindle and you have the hunger for a Fighting Fantasy-like book, this is definitely worth checking out.


More reviews by Paul T

Special Thanks:Thanks to sireeyore for the cover images and to Norrin Radd for the plot summary and other details.
Users Who Own This Item: Eamonn McCusker, Fireguard, jdreller, le maudit, marnaudo, mlvoss, Naniyue, norrinradd, Sheridan77, Sir Olli, sireeyore (paperbook)
Users Who Want This Item: Icedlake, lek, NEMO

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