King’s Quest Chapter 1: A Knight To Remember Review
Although I love all the Kings Quest games, I jumped on the bandwagon late, with Kings Quest V to be precise. Five was outstanding, VI was outstanding, VII was good, but not great, and VIII was a disaster. With that being the last title in the series – and the first without the original development team – it was a pipe dream that we would get another good title.
Rumors swirled for years about the franchise getting another installment, but the best fans ever got was a compilation of all the games made available on steam, and compatible with modern machines. When this latest project was announced by The Odd Gentlemen, I was very excited, and cautiously optimistic. Many franchises have made failed attempts at comebacks years after the last release, and part of me was worried this title just wouldn’t live up to my ridiculously high, and probably unreasonable, standards.
The longer the game was in development the less excited I got. First, news that it would be an episodic game was not well received, as people instantly began connecting it to the games put out by Telltale. Those titles were heavy on story and light on puzzles, which does not really mesh well the Kings Quest franchise. Fortunately, while episodic, this game is nothing like the story driven Telltale franchises.
This latest Kings Quest game does an excellent job of recreating the point-and-click feel of the previous games, and transfers that feeling adequately to a controller. Like previous Kings Quest titles, you will travel around the world, collecting items and solving puzzles. The game isn’t particularly hard, but there were a few times were my wife had to guide me through an area. The moments I spent playing this game with my wife were some of the best hours I played. We laughed together at the dialogue, argued about which path to take – at times the game gives you options! – and inevitably argued about who was the better Kings Quest player. Let’s face it…she is. Regardless of our differences of opinion on certain ways to play the game, I found more joy in playing this with someone in the room, rather than playing solo.
While the game starts off in a satisfying way, near the end of this six hour adventure, players will realize they are doing a lot of walking back and forth across the map finishing trivial quests and puzzles. This is where the game lags. Fortunetly, these moments are not extraordinarily hard, which makes the traveling back and forth less frustrating than it could have been. Throughout the game, there is enough challenge and puzzle variety to keep people interested past episode 1.
When you play this game, what is sure to catch your eye – and your ears; is that possible? – is the outstanding visuals and the incredible voice acting. Christopher Loyd does an excellent job as old King Graham, and his voice really adds an extra element to the game. The writing is great, making the task of examining the world a continually rewarding experience. Even if what you are looking at doesn’t affect the outcome of the game – such as all the signs scattered around – there usually is a witty bit of writing that will make you glad you pressed A. If more of the same is coming from The Odd Gentlemen for the rest of the series, we are all in for a real treat.
If you are a fan of point and click titles, adventure games, puzzle solving, and ultimately Kings Quest, here is no reason for you not to drop 9.99 on this fantastic six hour adventure. This first instillation quelled my fears 100%, and I look forward to playing the other four episodes, as well as the epilogue, throughout the rest of this year. The Odd Gentlemen have done an excellent job recreating this much loved franchise; their dedication to preserving what made Kings Quest so special is evident in the product they have delivered.