There is a ridiculous sentiment floating around the gaming community that PC gaming is dead and that point and click adventure games are relics of a bygone era. Sure point and click games are about as old school as one could get barring a return to text gaming but they, much like PC gaming, continue to live on through the efforts of a select few companies. The biggest, and most progressive, of the lot is Telltale Games but they are not the only ones out there supplying these classic gaming experiences. KING Art games is the latest one of those companies to pick up the banner for classic adventure gaming and they’ve done so with one of the best entries in the genre in years, The Book of Unwritten Tales.
Every adventure game needs to do two things to be successful. It needs to have a well written and engaging story and it needs to have puzzles that will tax the brain on the player. The Book of Unwritten Tales knocks both of these aspects out of the park, albeit it does one better than the other.
Where The Book of Unwritten Tales shines is in its narrative. While the overarching story is quite generic, it is the characters and execution that make it something special. A gremlin archeologist finds an artifact of untold power, one that could sway the ongoing war between good and evil and end it once and for all. But as he sets about to bring it to the proper authorities he is captured by evil doers and the fate of the world gets thrust into the hands of trio of misfits.
The world of The Book of Unwritten Tales feels like Tolkien on crack. The game knows how generic its story sounds and openly mocks itself as the game progresses. Despite being a land of constant war and death, it is happy and whimsical world and an absolute joy to experience. Playing its story so loose and going for the comedic side of things could have been a major risk but thankfully the jokes hit just as intended. Nothing in the world of gaming or entertainment is safe from its parody and anyone with any sense of pop-culture will have a large smile on their face as they bear witness to the story unfolding.
As funny and engaging as the game’s narrative is though, bad puzzles in an adventure game can kill a title before it even gets off the ground. Fortunately the puzzles in The Book of Unwritten Tales are quite well thought out. One of the nice things about the puzzles in the game is that, for the most part, the puzzles follow a logical thread, so there is no connecting a fish to a jar of peanut butter to pass a quest in The Book of Unwritten Tales. Still the gameplay mostly devolves into standard point and click adventuring, click on everything in an area to collect it all and then figure out the puzzle by joining the items together or delivering them to the proper quest giver.
The Book of Unwritten Tales gameplay tropes are, by today’s standards, quite old and some people just will not be able to get into it. However for those that can stomach the tried and true gameplay, The Book of Unwritten Tales offers up an entertaining story with some smart puzzling to boot. And ultimately it serves as proof that the genre is still alive and kicking outside of Telltale Games.
- Engaging story with smart characters.
- Extremely funny.
- Logical puzzles
- Gameplay devolves into point and clicking at everything anywhere.
4 / 5