Kings Quest is a franchise that is beloved by many, and has now returned in the form of an episodic series, that will have 6 in total. The game is developed by The Odd Gentlemen, Sierra’s point-and-click adventure has now got a fresh and exciting new game. This is a review of the first episode in the series, called A knight to Remember. They have presumably decided to go with the episodic style due to seeing success from the likes of Telltale.
The game is based around a girl called Gwendolyn and her Grandfather, called Graham. Graham was the main character in the original series. Much of the game is about Graham telling his Granddaughter about his adventures. The first episode mainly takes place before the original game. It starts with Graham telling Gwendolyn about the time in which he went to a stone well to find a magic mirror. This is where you begin to learn how to play the game and the controls. Much like telltale games, the main focus of the gameplay is interacting with characters, objects and the environments. You have to explore the environments to learn more, and you do so by pressing x to do things like pick up objects.
The gameplay isn’t like the old games, which where more of a point and click style game. Also the story here is much more linear in fashion. The old game was known for exploring areas however you like. This time there is still a lot to explore, but its set on a very particular path. Much like the Telltale games you explore small areas, where you can walk about freely, picking up objects before moving on. You do come across some moments in the story that are more action focused. These are nice as the main pace of the game is a little slow. The action normally happens though quick time events, which I didn’t mind and think worked pretty well considering this is more of an interactive storybook. I think that the game does a good job of introducing the gameplay mechanics and will be easily accessible for new players of the franchise.
The gameplay works well as its blends a mixture of gameplay mechanics that require different types of gaming. It can include things like shooting, hiding, and puzzle solving. These mixed with a decent story so far, and the way in which the story is told, through flashbacks, makes for an entertaining experience. The puzzles in the game aren’t too challenging but they do keep things fresh and interesting. Overall I’m really enjoying the story so far, and the pacing is good. The only complaint I can really make is how slow you have to walk around, especially considering you have to walk around quite a bit to make sure you explore every corner.
The presentation of the game is fantastic. Every area you investigate is well presented and full of detail. The game uses a hand drawn, comic book style that works extremely well. This combined with interesting characters and a compelling story ends up being a sumptuous experience. The game isn’t laugh out loud funny and doesn’t force humour down your throat, but it does have a real charm to it, and the character’s dialogue is where the game is extremely endearing. The sound design is very strong and the characters are unique and varied. The voice acting has been done extremely well and is an integral part of the game. You don’t get to skip the dialogue, but you will find that you don’t want to as the story and characters are compelling to listen to.
Overall this is a great first episode for the beloved franchise, and I’m sure that fans of the original game will be pleased it has been treated with such care. The game also does a good job of introducing a new audience to the game, with simple gameplay mechanics and exciting story. The design of the game is where it shines though. With vibrant environments and interesting characters, it’s a series that in my opinion is worth checking out.
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