King’s Quest re-imagining does a terrific job of introducing the classic franchise to a new generation of players while maintaining the features that made it special to begin with.
Most of the people who had a chance to play King’s Quest (or any Sierra game from way back when,) probably has fond memories of the point-and-click adventure, but I’m sure they also remember how punishing and harsh some of these titles could be. When Sierra Entertainment announced that they were going to bring back King’s Quest in the form of an episodic series, loyal fans probably wondered if the new game was going to be dumbed-down, especially considering the popularity of Telltale Games and other modern interactive movies. King’s Quest is neither a punishing nor simplistic take on the series and both the story and gameplay do a terrific job of introducing the classic franchise to a new generation of players.
In this re-imagining of the classic King’s Quest series, Graham is telling stories to her granddaughter and all those memories is where the game actually takes place. Graham was once a smart Knight and back in his heyday, he fought dragons, befriended gargantuan creatures that turned into bridges and solved puzzles using items that he found lying around. Those who played King’s Quest back in the day probably remember that you could die in those games. Death is also possible in this game, but it’s rarely a frustrating mechanic. When that happens, you’re sent to the last checkpoint and you need to play the last section or puzzle again until you solve it. Since Graham is remembering the years of his youth, this would explain why when you die, you can start over from the last checkpoint which is a nice touch.
This is a third-person adventure game and for those of you who aren’t fans of Telltale Games’ interactive qualities, here you actually play more than you watch. You usually guide your character exploring different environments, collecting items and solving puzzles. There are still button prompts here and there, so while you’ll need to think a lot when you’re in front of some of the harder puzzles, don’t confuse King’s Quest for an adventure similar to those of yesteryear. As you progress through the game, you find different items that you’ll need to use eventually. If you miss something, you’ll have to come back to it, so you’ll get stuck once or twice, but for the most part, this is an accessible and entertaining point-and-click adventure game.
In terms of presentation, this game really shines. The Unreal Engine helps bring the developers’ vision to life and the cartoony and colorful graphics are more than appropriate to tell a story that both adult and young players can enjoy. Also, the voice acting is terrific and the actors that stands out the most are Christopher Lloyd and Zelda Williams. This is a game that exudes charm: the protagonist speaks in puns, whenever yo use the wrong item in a specific puzzle there’s a joke, there are some memorable characters and moments and the fantastical kingdom is fully realized.
Since Sierra games have always been a different beast when we compare it to other adventure series, I found it surprising that this game shares more DNA with Telltale games that anything else. There are several cutscenes, button prompts, simplistic puzzles and some of the choices you make affect the story (albeit mildly.) I guess the influence The Walking Dead has had on the genre is too strong to ignore at this point even by its competitors, but I still found some design decisions questionable, especially taking into account that King’s Quest comes from a completely different lineage.
Despite these minor problems, King’s Quest: A Knight to Remember is off to a great start and fans of classic point-and-click adventure games will be glad to see this franchise come back in this day and age. Anyone who has an appetite for modern graphic adventures, should give King’s Quest a chance. Its heartwarming story, colorful presentation and fully realized world is experiencing.