by Joe Dever, fantasy (1985)
Red Fox, £4.99, ISBN 0-09-939180-5
With the Darkland invaders of your homeland sent packing and the traitor Vonotar banished to the Shadow Plane for his crimes, The Chasm Of Doom can actually stand alone very well despite being the fourth gamebook in the Lone Wolf series. This is because the plot has little to do with that in the previous three gamebooks. The reason why you will want to play this one, however, is because you want to get your hands on the Dagger of Vashna, which will be the best melee weapon you have after the Sommerswerd for a long time to come.
Toward the south of Sommerlund, your homeland, is a deep and sinister gorge called the Maakengorge. This gorge spans miles across the southern border of Sommerlund like a scar, and this is the gorge where Darklord Vashna, said to be the mightiest of the Darklords, was defeated and cast into many, many years ago in a past war between Sommerlund and the Darklands. The Chasm Of Doom has you, Lone Wolf, traveling to the southernmost town of Ruanon, which is located disturbingly close to the Maakengorge, to figure out why there have been no news or gold shipment from that mining outpost to the capital city as of late. You will slowly realize that there is a small war taking place between the desperate troops of Ruanon and a new enemy - a cult aspiring to revive Darklord Vashna using dark rites involving the usual sacrifice of a comely maiden to the dark forces.
The Chasm Of Doom has a very good build-up. You first encounter a series of apparently unrelated events only to realize later on that everything is actually part of a larger, more sinister plan. There is some good storytelling element here, which is good. It is also impressive how Mr Dever allows you to pick from a wide assortment of options in this campaign, with none of these options being wrong or fatal. This increases the replay value of this gamebook. The fact that you get a very good reward - the Dagger of Vashna - when you complete this campaign is an excellent bonus after having played a well-designed and most satisfying campaign.
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