Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Review
I’ve just recently begun getting back into the point and click adventure game genre. I plowed through King’s Quest 5, 6, and 7, and the Monkey Island series. I was about to jump into another franchise when I saw a tweet from Evolve PR, the public relations company behind the title. It read along the lines of: “If you are not playing The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 you should be.” So I did, thanks to Tom at Evolve PR. If you have fond memories of the 90s point and click heyday, you will find lots to love in this awesome title from the people over at KING Art Games.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is not without its fair share of problems and issues; these are, however, miniscule when you take into account the game as a whole. Between the charming visuals and sound, as well as the many small puzzles you will encounter, this title is sure to bring you excitement and frustration. Fortunately, it leads to a satisfying conclusion.
Characters and Story
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 isn’t going to blow you away with its story, but each of the four characters that players will get to play as – Ivo, Wilbur, Nate, and Critter – are all charming and have distinct, enjoyable backstories and characteristics. Each feels different, although interacting with them is much the same.
Players use their mouse to click around levels attempting to find hints and solve puzzles that will inevitably help them progress. The developers even added a handy quick key (spacebar) that shows all the interactive objects in a scene! Sometimes, what has to be done is relatively straight forward – early on, for example, you need to lure a bird away from a mirror; the issue is, how? – but figuring out exactly how and when and where items should interact with each other can be a tad annoying. The more you play, however, the better you become at finding those key phrases and words that will help you progress. This game is all about reading, and determining which explorable items and areas are necessary and which are not.
Standing Out and Being Different
TellTale has resurrected the point and click adventure genre, but relies heavily on cinematic storytelling versus frequent puzzle solving. The people at KING Art Games knew their game had to be different than all the others out there; although these differences are subtle, they still make for an enjoyable experience.
What I found most interesting was the ability to partake in some side quests throughout the adventure. I don’t feel like any of the quests I completed where anything major – no sprawling, lengthy side quests like you would see in a Skryim type game – but they still gave players some steam achievements and various outfits that could be used by some of the games main characters. It’s the perfect balance: nothing too major that those who don’t do them will feel left out, yet nothing minor enough to feel cheated when the quests are completed.
No game is perfect, and The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is no different. The problems are minor. First, although I feel it is important to make the games various areas very explorable – if not for the humor of some of the writing, then at least to make some puzzle solutions less obvious – but I often felt stuck in a specific place for too long. Sometimes the dialogue was a bit long when I, for example, examined the bed. I understand why it is there, but too many ‘useless’ explorations made me frustrated at times.
Despite the graphics being above average for this type of game, I found a few instances of graphical tearing early on. Not too frequent to be a constant annoyance, but enough to determine that it was a small issue. To be fair, on the highest graphical setting on my desktop the issue was not present; using medium settings on my laptop is where I noticed the issues, meaning this could be a problem only found at lower graphical settings. One thing the developers should be complemented on, however, is their use to dynamic rather than static backgrounds!
Overall, I never regretted one second that I spent exploring the world in The Book of Unwritten Tales 2. Point and click adventure veterans will find lots to like in this title, and none of the puzzles should be overly difficult. For those who have become accustomed to TellTales latest adventure titles – Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead – will find a much more difficult experience here. Powering through, however, will prove rewarding for most individuals.