This work is a solo adventure, and you are able to play either with the character and simple rules provided, or use a 3rd level HackMaster thief or Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edn rogue and the appropriate ruleset. Even if you are without dice, there are random tables to use instead!
It makes an excellent job of dropping you straight into a complex social environment. There's a lot going on in the background which means that you are not just undertaking a specific task (although you are) but interacting with a whole alternate reality that is the underworld of the city of Zoa. Rest assured that if you succeed, you'll do more than just save your brother's life.
There are a lot of twists and turns, and - unless you are taken out by accumulated damage - every seemingly-impossible situation does have a way out. In a few forays, I managed to get arrested by the Watch, attacked by other thieves and nearly gobbled up by an ochre jelly amongst other things... The excitement keeps going from beginning to end.
Overall, it is a good example of a solo adventure and will keep you happily entertained. On a personal note, having taken it on holiday, my 10-year old daughter found it and was enchanted by the whole thing - her first attempt at role-playing (and I had to prise it away from her to write the review!).
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Reviewed: 10 February 2007