“King’s Quest” is proof that the classic adventure style game can still work in the modern era. Developer The Odd Gentleman has done a fantastic job of capturing the feeling of the original games, while bringing a modern flavor to the series. Unlike some of the more popular adventure games from recent years like TellTale’s “The Walking Dead” and “The Wolf Among Us”, “King’s Quest” is a fun departure both in the terms of the narrative and gameplay experience. It’s a nice throwback to the classic adventure games that does little hand holding, and encourages exploration and puzzle-solving over dialogue choices as the main focus.
The story in “King’s Quest” is told through flashbacks from the perspective of Graham, the elderly king of Daventry. Each story is narrated as a bedtime story that Graham gives to his young but spry granddaughter Gwendolyn. In these stories, Graham recollects his adventures as a young adventurer, looking for the glory and fame associated with being a newly crowned knight of Daventry.
Throughout the game you’ll occasionally hear Graham narrate and comment on certain parts of the story, or hear Gwendolyn interject with her interpretations of the events that unfold. It’s a neat way to tell the story, and one that allows for funny explanations as to why Graham gets killed whenever you make a mistake as a player that leads to his death.
The gameplay in “King’s Quest” is much less linear than other adventure games over the last couple of years. The majority of the gameplay centers around finding critical items needed to solve a puzzle, completing quests to receive important rewards, and examining the environment to understand what exactly you need to do in order to bypass obstacles. That’s not to say that there aren’t any player choices here though. Certain dialogue interactions allow you to reply with a different response, but these dialogue choices are presented less often than the TellTale games, and don’t do much to affect the overall story.
There are also a few quick time events as well, but those are fairly easy and don’t occur often in the game. The puzzles however, can be frustrating at times, especially if you happen to miss a critical item that is needed to fulfil an NPC’s wishes and move the plot forward. It can be easy to find yourself running around in circles trying to figure out what exactly you need to find or do, because the game does little to indicate what your next objective is.
“King’s Quest” has a solid presentation both in the audio and visual departments. The voice acting gives each character their own unique style and charm. Actor Christopher Lloyd did a great job as the voice of the elder Graham who recounts the tales of his past misadventures in a silly yet charming way. It was easy to warm up to him as Gwendolyn did sitting next to his bed as he spun the tales of his past, often forgetting important details or humorously adding things that probably didn’t happen just for dramatic effect.
The rest of the cast sounds great as well, which made it easy to be immersed in this time of knights, dragons, and trolls. There are great jokes thrown in throughout the game, and most of the characters are hilarious exaggerations of character tropes from that time period. Visually, the game is drawn with a cel-shaded style much like “The Walking Dead”. It’s all very bright and colorful, and matches perfectly with the tone of the game itself.
“King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember” is a great start to the “King’s Quest” reboot. The first chapter did an excellent job at creating the setting and tone of the game for the rest of the series to come. At about eight to ten hours to complete, “King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember” balances the style of the classic adventure game, while easing it for adventure newcomers with gameplay elements seen in most modern adventure games. It’s easy to be immersed in this story as Graham, the young wanderer with a heart for adventure, and I’m excited to see where the next chapter of his story takes him.
Kings Quest A Knight To Remember was reviewed on the Xbox One
Disclosure: game copy was provided by developer/publisher