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The Book of Unwritten Tales - review

Jack Graal
9 December 2012

Over the last decade the whole genre of adventure games didn't have it easy, and the best titles were produced by independent developers. The Book of Unwritten Tales is also a work of an independent game studio, although when I look at this production I feel like it was made by of a well-known, experienced team supported by one of the publishing giants.

The beginning, nay, the entire story is a conglomeration of many well-known themes from games, movies and famous fantasy universes. References attack player from each side, but not too aggressive, so there is no feeling that it was somehow forced. The game is very climatic and has not too pushy humor. Already in the first dialogues one of the characters says that artifacts, the struggle between good and evil, and similar things are cliché. This gives you the clear understanding that the KING Art studio was aware of the banality of many references and, despite that, they managed to turn it into a huge advantage of this production. I wonder how would the game do for someone who is not familiar with universes of for example Lord of the rings or World of Warcraft. Would that person have the same amount of fun with that production?

The story focuses on four playable characters - a gnome (Wilbur), an elf (Ivadora) and a human (Nathaniel) who is accompanied by hysterical creature known as Critter. All of them (except Critter) use the English language in the most British form possible. For some time, it is even an enjoyable experience, but after a few hours, I have had enough.

The game was created on proprietary engine designed especially for it. It allowed developers to generate very detailed and pleasant to the eye 3D graphics mixed with 2D elements and backgrounds. The game uses a very different camera shots - from the standard view known from some classic adventure games, through isometric, until 2D camera just like in most of platform games that show a cross-section of the building. It allows to construct a more distinct and various puzzles that may not be too demanding, but very pleasant and thoughtful. In addition, by pressing the space bar on the keyboard all interactive elements are highlighted. Every now and then there are also some Quick Time Events (mini games consisting of pressing the keys in the right order and intervals). Overall, the game does not have any major defects apart from a few technical bugs or unforeseen situations. For example, you have to backtrack a few charts to activate some element.

The Book of Unwritten Tales is a 9 out of 10. It is a great game and keeps you in front of computer for more than 15 hours of extremely rich fun. I also can't complain about the level of AV, or on the quality of the story. This is the perfect choice for people who like easter eggs and references. The Book of Unwritten Tales should also appeal to players who have not had the opportunity to play a decent adventure game - of course under the condition that they manage to slow down a bit and sit calmly without waiting for explosions, the omnipresent death and quick action. As I mentioned earlier, I am very curious about how this production would have been received by an average person in the subject of popular culture. I do not believe, however, that someone like this lives, so I can do nothing else but recommend this production to all who can appreciate a well thought-out and gripping story.



The Awesome

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  • a lot of reference and humour
  • well developed
  • long story

The Awful

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  • british accent may be annoying after some time

Copy of the game for review was provided by IQ Publishing.



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