Due to the popularity of games like The Walking Dead and Life is Strange, adventure games have seen a resurgence in recent years. While modern adventure games have been streamlined with more quick time events and fewer puzzles, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 takes an old school point-and-click approach in its game design. Developed by King Art Games, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a fantasy game that is as enjoyable to play as it is to watch. It is one of the most polished adventure games to date. Full of endearing characters, challenging puzzles, humorous references and multiple storylines, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is one of the most enjoyable adventure games of the year.
The sequel continues the story of four protagonists: Ivo, Wilbur Weathervane, and Nate along with his partner Critter. Nate is your typical arrogant adventurer with a heart of gold and a quirky partner. Wilbur is a young gnome with dreams of being a respected mage, while Ivo is an elven princess who wishes to escape her arranged marriage and forge her own destiny. The fifteen to twenty-hour story is told from the perspective of each character, with each person playing their role in this grand adventure. There are moments where you are controlling more than one character at a time and interacting with each other in order to solve puzzles.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2: Xbox One [Reviewed] Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, PC
Developer: King Art Games
Publisher: Nordic Games
Release Date: 23 September 2015
Price: £23.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Developer/Publisher]
Just about every character is brought to life through superb writing and voice acting. The production value of the game is very high, with hundreds of lines of dialogue with clever jokes that occasionally contain some social commentary through satire and parodies. Each voice matches their character perfectly, which made it very easy to be immersed in this fantasy world. Furthermore, the game has a very good animation quality, and every character has plenty of detail to them so it’s easy to mistake the game as a CG movie at times.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is chock full of references, tributes, and jokes to other popular books, movies, and games. These include (but not limited to): Harry Potter, Monty Python, Star Wars, the Matrix, Terminator, Back to the Future, Skyrim, Lord of the Rings, and Portal. Most of these references are made through dialogue choices, but there are a few which are shown as physical items in the world. None of it really detracts from the engaging story, however, and it was always enjoyable seeing a pop culture reference that I understood. There was even a side quest that takes the player to the past and allows them to play a portion of the game as an 8-bit and even classic adventure game (one with just text).
The game was released as an episodic game on PC first, and it is pretty obvious that it was made for PC and ported over to consoles. This is mainly because the controls seem to be better suited to a mouse rather than a controller. Having to sift through each of the available interactive objects in the environment, as well as trying to navigate through the inventory to combine certain objects with a controller was a bit annoying at times. Seeing as the majority of the game is about collecting items in your environment and managing them in your inventory in order to solve puzzles and progress the story, it can be quite frustrating when you click on the wrong thing a few times because the controls lack the precision that a mouse offers.
Some of the puzzles can be quite confusing at times, so players who aren’t used to traditional adventure games may find themselves lost and wander for hours trying to figure out what to do since the game doesn’t give any indication to what you`re supposed to do at any given time. The lack of a hint system means that anyone who finds themselves in this situation would need to resort to a guide or a walkthrough in order to overcome their current obstacle and progress the story. The ending is a bit disappointing as well, with a cliff-hanger that leaves a couple plotlines completely unanswered, leaving those that want to know what happens next hoping for a sequel.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is the perfect game for fans of the classic style adventure game. With relatable characters that are used to tell a creative and engaging story, great graphics, excellent voice acting, humorous references, and top-notch production value, it’s hard not to recommend The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 to anyone looking for an enjoyable experience. However, the game does little to convert those who are turned off by classic point-and-click adventure games that do little handholding. For everyone else though, this is one tale that shouldn’t be missed.