The Book Of Unwritten Tales Review
A refreshing throwback to the classic point-and-click adventure genre.
For a game coming out the doors of a relatively unheard-of development studio, a title as awkward as “The Book of Unwritten Tales” (TBoUT) probably does little to help instill any form of excitement or anticipation in your discerning little mind, right?. “But of course!”, you say. Well, don’t let the awkwardness fool you; German-based indie developer KING Art Games managed to take their local community by storm back in 2009 when the game was first released in their native language, and now, they’re ready to do the same with the recent international release of the English version of their smash-hit point-and-click adventure. So buckle up, young lad, and let us aid you on your quest to further educate yourself about this seemingly cool game…
In case the caption of this article didn’t already get the point across, TBoUT is a true blue point-and-click adventure, carefully concocted from all the ingredients that you’d normally expect to find in games of the genre. There’s the lengthy storyline with some interesting twists along the way, a plethora of puzzles to solve, obstacles to overcome, and characters to converse with, and dozens upon dozens of locations to explore and find items in. In short, if you’ve ever followed along with games like Monkey Island or Sam and Max, you’ll feel right at home here; if you’re not too savvy with this particular genre, then TBoUT is a pretty good place to start off with all the same. While some adventure games will have you pushing your gray matter beyond its limits and foaming at the mouth over some insanely complicated puzzle, TBoUT is all about being accessible to as wide an audience as possible, and providing a fun, relaxing romp through an interesting fantasy world.
The story kicks off with an old gremlin, named MacGuffin, narrating his discovery of a strange book that divulges the location of a powerful magical artefact, capable of bestowing its owner with unparalleled power. He therefore prepares to embark on a journey to meet the Arch Mage, the highest authority in the land, so that arrangements may be made to protect the artefact from falling into the wrong hands and being used for evil. No more than a few minutes pass since MacGuffin expresses his concerns, and his hut is invaded by the evil sorcerer Munkus, along with his troll henchman. MacGuffin is swiftly taken prisoner for refusing to cooperate, and whisked off on dragon-back to Munkus’ lair. This opening cutscene sets things in motion, and you’re introduced to (and given control of) your very first playable character.
Yes indeed, you don’t stick with one protagonist for the entire duration of the game, but instead end up meeting three other characters and eventually gaining the ability to switch between them at different points. There’s Ivo, the Elf Princess (with whom you start off); Wilbur, a gnome who yearns for adventure and magic; Captain Nate, alleged adventurer and pirate; and his weird furry creature companion, Critter. Each of the characters have their own personalities, abilities, and quirks, and feel quite well fleshed-out in general. They fit in to the grand scheme of things pretty well, and you’ll get to learn a great deal about them as you guide them in their frenzied dash to recover the powerful artefact before the evildoers do. The same can be said for most NPCs too; you’ll run into dozens of them along the course of your travels, and more often than not, they tend to be quite memorable, with each of them having a different story to tell and varied bits of useful information to provide.