King’s Quest is a five part episodic adventure following an ageing King Graham as he reflects on his life of adventure with his granddaughter, Gwendolyn. In this episode’s tree-pun filled tale we follow a teen-aged Graham as he attempts to become a Knight of Daventry.
The old man telling his grandchild a story opening feels like a vague yet welcomed reference to The Princess Bride and is in fact only the first, in a story filled with fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles (except without the torture). The story itself is fun and features a vast array of characters, none of which would be out of place in one of the great humour adventure game of times gone by. The narration angle also allows for some great comments on actions performed in game whether it’s you making a mistake or the game reading your mind on what you’re intending to do with an axe.
While the original King’s Quest was a point and click adventure game, this re-imagined tale has gone a slightly different direction to a “one-button context” style adventure game, so the player can directly control Graham’s actions without losing the style and charm of a point and click. The game both looks and sounds beautiful. With an art style that would put Telltale to shame, beautiful scenery and inconceivable voice actors, it’s surprising how well it will run, even on laptops or lower end machines.
Throughout the game the player is offered choices on how to build Graham as a character and progress the game. You’re often given options allowing for brave, wise, or compassionate choices which open up some branches of dialogue and alter the story as it progresses. The game also features some QTE’s and a few puzzles but there’s not much to them, without much of the challenge that you’d expect from this style of game, however as this is only chapter one we may just be getting warmed up. Some challenges are impossible to fail allowing you the opportunity to try a lot of different dialogue options or just to mess up a few times. However since there is no way to skip cut-scenes this can get very tiresome.
All in all if a humour adventure game is your thing then King’s Quest Episode 1 doesn’t disappoint. It’s not without it’s downfalls but they are easily overlooked as it delivers what it promises, a fun, light-hearted story and an extraordinary journey across the world of Daventry.