King Art and Nordic Games hit a massive home run with the point and click adventure game, The Book of Unwritten Tales, back in 2009. With the help of a Kickstarter campaign, King Art will release the sequel on February 20th, aptly named The Book of Unwritten Tales 2. The use of Kickstarter and the Steam Early Access program for the Book of Unwritten Tales 2 was an interesting choice for a studio that already had a fan base and a successful hit on their hands, but when I started poking around it appeared that King Art really used these crowd funding and preselling avenues to acquire extra immediate capitol to make a good game much better. Whether the funding was truly necessary or not, will always be up for debate, however the final product is a very polished and fun successor to one of the better point and click adventure games of the last decade.
For those of you that didn’t play the first game, The Book of Unwritten Tales follows four characters through their adventures in Aventasia. You play as the elven princess Ivodora Eleonora Clarissa, the gnome magician Wilbur Weathervane, the human adventurer Nathanial Bonnet, and the furry creature named Critter. The first game ends with our adventurers flying off into the sunset, after successfully hiding the Artifact of Divine Fate from the world.
The sequel begins with our four heroes finding their own paths in the world, that is until Ivo finds a reason to leave the Elfburrow once more to gather the group together. Ivo discovers that, not only is there a growing Darkness in the world, but that she is also become mysteriously pregnant by magical means. Defying her mother, she sets out to find the Arch Mage and Wilbur to discover who would have cursed her with this pregnancy and what exactly this new Darkness is that is spreading across the land.
The story of The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is about 20 hours long, and is entertaining for the entire length of the game. I truly enjoyed playing both the first game and the prequel The Critter Chronicles mostly due to the story lines that were presented, and The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 does not disappoint. The characters continue to be fantastic characters, with their own faults and moments of glory, and the humor just really does it for me. When I heard that I was getting this copy to review, I was legitimately excited to see how the story would continue, and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.
The game play for The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 hasn’t changed since the first game, and why should it. Point and click adventure games have sort of hit the natural ceiling for evolution with their game genre in the game play department, so developers really just need to focus on how the story and characters develop and what types of puzzles to put into the game. The basic point and click mechanic here is flawless and feels just natural at this point. The hint system is perfect, in my eyes, since it will only tell you what you can interact with and not what it does. By pressing space bar, the game will highlight everything you can tough or talk to, but won’t tell you what to say or how to use it. Interactions are contextually based, so the character will know immediately what to do with the item depending on what you have done before.
The puzzles in the game are hard enough to be a challenge, but not too hard to completely stop your progress either. If you are willing to put some thought into the puzzle and look around the scenes that you have access to, you will find your solution. I discovered that I was randomly clicking on items and objects less with this game, then I was some of the other past point and click adventure games that I have reviewed. So, either I am getting better at these types of games, or the puzzles were decently hard but not killer.
If you have played a point and click adventure game in the past, you will know exactly what to do here. There isn’t anything new or different in The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 from a game play mechanic perspective, but what is here has been done to a high polish and works extremely well.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is an extremely gorgeous looking and sounding game, with great voice acting. The actual visual design of the game is very pleasing to my eyes, and the developers have designed many scenes to contain references to other pop culture icons, some hidden and some more blatantly on display. The scenery is light very well, and the colors just demand attention when you are playing the game.
The music is also created to match the tone of the game, and is fantastic. The extra money from the Kickstarter campaign allowed King Art to bring in a full orchestra, and you can hear it in the background music. The voice actors all return from the first game, and once again bring their characters to life. The acting is exactly what the scene needs at that moment, the actors can play their characters straight or over the top, depending on the scene.
The Book of Unwritten Tales was easily one of the best point and click adventure games of the last ten years, and it has a proper sequel. With top notch character development, story line, voice acting, music, visual design, and puzzles, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a production that shouldn’t be missed. To properly get a feel for the story line in The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, I do recommend that you pick up the first game before playing this one, if you haven’t already. Unlike many other games on the market, the story really matters in The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, and if you do not know where these characters have come from, then you will begin the sequel a little lost. I can’t recommend this series enough for anyone who wants to sit down and enjoy an old style point and click adventure game. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 will be released February 20th on Steam.
[easyreview title=”The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”5″ ]