Review | The Book of Unwritten Tales
A three-year-old game has finally made it stateside.
The Book of Unwritten Tales actually came out in Europe in 2009 by King Art. It just now is finally making the stateside tour on Steam, but point-and-click fans will be glad it is.
The game harkens back to the time where these games reigned supreme. It brings in elements and humor from games like Monkey Island and tries to make it fun to enjoy today.
The story borrows elements from various fantasy universes. You have the standard races in the game (elf, human, dwarf, gnome, etc.). The game has you controlling four different characters as they try to find the titular book before Munkus does. As you can probably guess, the book is all-powerful and could alter the fate of the world.
An interesting feature in the game is that you do change characters in chapters. Players will control Ivo, a scantily clad elf that’s agile, Wilbur Weathervane, a gnome that wants to adventure, Captain Nate Bonnett, a rogue ship captain, and a character I won’t reveal the surprise of. Some areas have you switching between two to three at once, utilizing different abilities to solve puzzles and get items.
While there may be a lot of jokes and jabs at other fantasy titles, the game never really grows old during the 10 hours of play. In addition, the game doesn’t rely on the humor alone to stay interesting. While you can see the developers in the background giving a nudge and wink from time to time, it’s not always in your face and forcing you to acknowledge it. Plus, puzzles change frequently enough and areas jump back and forth before you get tired of seeing a city or dungeon for too long.
The puzzles in the game are also about the right difficulty level. You’ll never find a puzzle that are hair-pulling difficulty, but most puzzles will offer a tad bit of challenge. However, some puzzles are a bit too easy, as I’d find myself already knowing the steps to solve it but the game wouldn’t allow the solution until I triggered something else.
In addition, puzzles flow nicely into other puzzles. There are never any awkward jumps from one puzzle to a new puzzle in another area. The flow has been nicely done by King Art and it shows.
To solve the puzzles, you’ll be using plenty of items. The game has you picking items up at every turn to combine, break and use to progress forward. Most combinations won’t have you scratching your head, instead just letting you use common sense to use them.
Another strong point of the game is the graphics and sound. The graphics are cartoonish but fairly colorful. They fit the fantasy world nicely, and make you interested in seeing the new areas.
Meanwhile, the voice acting and sound is both top notch as well. The characters each have personalities that the voice actors portray nicely, which actually keep you involved in the game throughout. The sound is also nicely done, making it enjoyable to listen to.
The Book of Unwritten Tales harkens back to the golden age of point-and-clicks and does a great job of it. Fans of the genre will love seeing a new entry into the genre that’s enjoyable to play. Other PC gamers may want to check it out, as even the puzzles don’t require a huge amount of thinking to solve.