If you have been reading my King’s Quest reviews, you will assuredly know that, for the most part, I’ve been a big fan of this episodic update to the classic gaming franchise. If you haven’t been reading them, it might behoove you to go back and take look prior to continuing this review. My biggest and most repeated complaint is that the wait between each episode has been exceptionally long, and that remains true here.
Nearly 14 months after the first chapter debuted, the fourth, “Snow Place Like Home,” has hit consoles and PC, and as with the ones which preceded it, this entry has wit, enjoyable graphics, and requires some thought. Where it differs, exactly, is with the portion of King Graham’s life that it tells (for the bulk of it, Graham not only has children, but they’re teens), and the sort of puzzles one has to solve.
In fact, for much of the episode, there is but one type of puzzle that has to be solved, but the various iterations of said puzzle keep it going. Essentially, the puzzle is this – Graham is attempting to get to his family and progressing from room to room in a frozen castle and needs to unlock the next door. The floor of the rooms are divided into squares, with some containing a purple line. Graham must move the floor tiles around in various ways so as to create an unbroken purple line from the start of the room to the door, and then Graham must traverse the line. Not every puzzle follows this pattern, but the vast majority do with the variations coming about in the exact rules for how to move floor tiles to open a path.
“Snow Place Like Home” succeeds despite its simplicity, offering great dialogue and some truly laugh out loud bits. As with all the King’s Quest entries, I wish that this one was longer. It does well with its variations on a theme puzzle-structure, but upon completing it, I wished for more variations and more puzzles. The game could also do with fewer cutscenes – as good as the dialogue is and as immersed as the game gets you in its world, the cutscenes this time out feel both overly long and too numerous.
We are, at this point, only one episode away from the conclusion of King’s Quest, and through four chapters it has proven itself to be great more often than not. There is always the chance that The Odd Gentlemen could completely drop the ball and deliver a fifth chapter that negates the enjoyable entirety of what has come before, but that seems unlikely.
That last paragraph is all to say that if you have been on the fence about whether you wanted in on King’s Quest, and figured you would hold out to see how it develops, I highly recommend jumping in. As for me, I await the final chapter with bated breath.
King’s Quest is rated E10+ (Everyone 10+) by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence and Comic Mischief. This game can also be found on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows PC.