The Book of Unwritten Tales Review
These guys either love Fantasy, or really, really hate it.
The Point-and-Click Adventure game has been hanging around for the last few years, refusing to die, while shooters of every kind, and other big production 3-D games, dominate the market. The folks at King Art Games, however, are standing up and letting us know they’ll never forget. The Book of Unwritten Tales is a purist’s adventure game, never straying from the formula, that tells and unconventional tale. Unconventional, meaning that it’s actually quite funny, mixing satire with loving tribute while still managing to stay unpredictable enough to keep you playing.
The book of Unwritten tales plays much like the old Point-and-Click adventures that I was so fond of a few years ago. The game takes place in a series of static rooms or scenes with you controlling one character, clicking on things in the background that look interesting. Each area is a puzzle that can be made up of various smaller puzzles where performing a specific action, with a specific item will advance the story and open up new things to click on and new dialogue to hear. Unfortunately, The Book of Unwritten Tales never really challenges you with it’s puzzles. Instead it relies on you to work out the correct order to perform tasks, but the answer always feels obvious. You can also hold the space bar down at any time to show all of the objects you can interact with, on screen, at any time. Luckily, the audio and visual components make up for the lack of action.
This genre has since fallen to the side as the power of the machines we play games on has eclipsed the adventure game’s ability to impress visually. In the past, Adventure games were a sight to behold since they could use all of the power to display a beautiful, and intricately detailed scene while not much else went on. Even though technology has caught up, King Art hasn’t lost sight of these founding principles and, as such, deliver a game that is compelling to simply see and hear. Each area you enter seems to have more detail than the last and the art style does a fantastic job of conveying the mood of each scene with visuals alone.
The voice acting in The Book of Unwritten Tales is also top-notch, each character is a purposely exaggerated trope but the actors manage to add a separate personality outside of their obvious identity. You’ll get to know each character very well, as there are hours upon hours of voice acting in this game. Somebody is always talking and this serves to help you get lost in the world. Humor is also a big part of the game, as this tale mocks almost everything about the Fantasy genre, in a loving way.
For example: one puzzle early in the game presents you with a statue of a stylized head in a house that obviously holds some sort of secret. After some digging, you’ll come across the instructions to get this stone face to do what you want, which amounts to brewing is a cup of coffee. Hey, ancient stone artefacts need a boost in the morning too. Backhanded comments about how dragons shouldn’t physically be able to fly, how magic is the answer to anything you can’t explain and how gnomes overuse complicated technology are just a few of the targets for satire, in a world where nothing is sacred.
You will likely end up unwriting this book of tales in around fifteen hours, making this one of the longest adventure games I’ve ever played, and speaks to the sheer amount of dialogue that had to be recorded. Not to mention the art and design.
There are no multiplayer modes in The Book of Unwritten Tales.
If you were expecting some sort of ground-breaking update to the Adventure game genre, The Book of Unwritten Tales won’t live up to your expectations. If you were looking for a modern take on the classic adventures you remember from days gone by, The Book of Unwritten Tales will not disappoint. Basic gameplay is backed up by an entertaining story, captivating visuals and fantastic voice acting. This one is worth a look.