Right from the start, this episode already seems like it will be better than the second, in the first scene we get a mini puzzle, this one involving time travel, nicely explained away by our framing device of Grandpa telling his stories and forgetting a bit of it. When we get to the present we’re now following a Graham in the prime of his life, again, a few years after the events of the last chapter, this Graham is strong, confident, and seriously buff. The Kingdom is running better than it has done in years and Graham has finally relaxed into his role as King. But there’s something missing in his life. Love. After a particularly cringy puzzle Graham is shown a vision of a damsel in distress at the top of a tower and he immediately sets off to the rescue.
The journey Graham takes to reach the tower and the quests he goes on once inside provide a nice insight into the world outside the town of Daventry, we get to see jungles, fields, beaches, massive rivers and we get an introduction to the Continent of Kolyma and the Kingdoms of Eastern and Western Kolyma.
The story is great, fun, and just as light hearted as the first episode, but with a very slight undertone of regret and loss that can be depressing if you focus on it too strongly. In general, there’s so much more story, adventures, puzzles, QTEs, gameplay, characters, you name it, in this episode than in episode two and it is great seeing The Odd Gentlemen back on top form. As an added bonus, we’re finally seeing some repercussions from our decisions throughout the past games, although it’s nothing too important, it’s always nice to see some form of influence from my decisions and it still made me regret one or two of my choices. While fun, the story is pretty predictable, but due to the story being well told I didn’t feel this to be that much of an issue.
This episode is clearly influenced by Rapunzel, particularly Tangled. Hell, our Graham even breaks out “The Smolder.” (They never get the nose right).
As well as that some of the new characters share a fair few characteristics of both classic and Tangled versions of Rapunzel whether it be in appearance or behaviour. Speaking of the characters, not only does this episode bring a number of new characters into play, but it also sees the return of a lot of our favourite characters from the series and yes, WHISPER RETURNS, finally! Some of the new characters were unknowingly already integrated into the overarching story and as we’re introduced to the characters, events are starting to unfold and pieces falling into place.
The artwork is some of the best I’ve seen in this series so far, while still not graphically spectacular in terms of what’s available today, for this style of game some special effects were absolutely knocked out of the park and finally put a strain on my poor little laptop, mix the strain with a section in which the controls are fairly cumbersome at the best of times it made for a pretty but tiresome section of the game. At least… that’s my excuse.
Other than a few issues I had with the controls, a somewhat predictable story, and a couple of irritating moments this episode had me genuinely laughing, the story was progressing nicely, and it added a lot to the world, the new characters blended in seamlessly and I’m more intrigued for the future of the game than I was before. This was a very strong addition to the series and I think it has edged out the first episode as my favourite.