Published on April 14th, 2015 | by Gary Mullen0
Review: The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
KING Art Games brings the sequel of the point and click adventure Book of Unwritten Tales to the PC after the game being sucessfully funded via Kickstarter and released via early access on Steam. We start the game with the four heroes coming back to stop the transformation of Aventasia. This game is a traditional style point and click game, unlike most modern day point and click games you can’t move the character around with the keyboard but purely with clicking to the point you want them to be moved too, it’s sort of a refreshing rollback to the genre from the heights of the Monkey Island and Broken Sword games.
Before we go any further into actually reviewing this game I feel we should all take a few minutes simply to enjoy this video, nothing short of a tongue-in-cheek dig at other games it highlights the humour you will expect from the game while at the same time sticking the middle finger up to certain developers.
You start the game off in a very long tutorial which seems to want to micro explain all aspects, it felt like a drag if am being honest and the aspects could have been explained in a faster and more interesting way as you work through the game rather then out of the main game being in a way talked down to by the narrator.
The control system at times is rather too smart and takes out some of the stress to the game, the space bar on the keyboard will highlight everything on-screen that you can interact with, rather than painfully hovering over everything to see if you are able to interact with it or not it simply shows you. I am not sure I like this method as it takes some of the skill out of solving the puzzles in the game. Aside from that feature you interact with objects with right and left clicking, right clicking will look at an object and left clicking will do the next logical things, be it look, use or pick up the object. I also feel this is a let down as I would have preferred a control wheel where you had to put some thought into what you are doing with an object rather than the system telling you what the logical things to do with it is.
In a rather odd move in point and click games you don’t play as a single character but instead control different players at different times as per the original game. Now you would expect this to make you more detached from the characters as you don’t bond with just one player on a mission but in turn you actually create a stronger bond as you understand each of their roles in the game and understand why they are doing what they are doing, it feels sort of refreshing.
The control system allows you to move around the map quite efficiently and move through the story. By all accounts the story stands alone from the prequel, in the sense that you don’t need to have played the first story to dive right into this game. The story throws in some humour which at times is a bit eyeroll worthy but overall the humour works in this style of game, as long as you understand that this game is not going to be as serious as an RPG. To progress through the story you need to solve puzzles, at times you find them not very clear and more or less you are just trying speaking to everyone and interacting with everything until you find a solution to the problem, but no way is this the worst puzzle solving game that I have played. It does find itself in the middle ground where at times you are screaming at the screen wondering what the developers were actually thinking and how it made sense to them.
The puzzles maybe poor at times but you understand why they fit into the story, why the end goal is needed to do the next things and puzzles roll on quite well, without too many illogical steps where it feels like they are trying to fatten the game time out. This mixed with the humourous dialogue is quite good, where you get the feeling for peoples personalities and how they fit into the game be they NPC or a player that you control. The one nagging thing about the dialogue is at time the lip syncing is out of sync with the words, my instinct says this game was coded in German first then translated at a later stage which could perhaps explain it and if we are being honest I am nit-picking to call it out on the syncing.
Graphically the game works, theres no two ways about the fact – yes it doesn’t have the most realistic graphics, it is very cartoony however it works as the game does not try to be over complex with the graphics and will help it stand the test of time unlike a game in this genre that tries to look too good and over time looks like a cheap trick. As for the 8 bit scene… this was great in the sense I understood it as I played that style of game however it does raise a question of how the current younger generation would take that scene, prehaps never playing a 8-bit game before would not get the subtle humour that was being played there.
Overall the game contains about 20 hours of gameplay, most of it being used by dialog and depending on how your mind works it could easily be 30 hours with you banging your head against the keyboard for 10 hours, but that in itself is what makes point and click games special, its not about leveling up but trying to use logic to solve the issue. There are more complex puzzles and there are far easier puzzles to solve in the game but nothing is really that mind tasking that the game could not be enjoyed by any age, the issue could lie with the humour however as if you take everything too serious then you would be turned off at this games attempt to be funny for the sake of being funny.
Summary: If you love point and click games then you will love this game, however, if you never played the likes of Monkey Island or Broken Sword before then this genre is a hard one to get into. If this is the case you will find yourself spending most of your time scratching your head.