After a somewhat disappointing second episode, the third brings back the fun lighthearted nature that I loved in A Knight To Remember. It’s funny, clever, and brings me back to why I love to play games with this episode’s irresistible charm.
Years have passed since the last episode. Now grown up and built up with abs, our hero Graham, now King of Daventry, is lonely with no one to share a dinner with. However, the mirror he acquired in the first episode has called out to him with a new adventure: an adventure to save the princess in the tower! There is a twist, however – there are two princesses, and it is up to you to choose who Graham falls in love with.
The bumbling Graham is hilarious in this episode as he fumbles his way into either princesses’ heart. The characters are as charming as ever with callbacks to the first episode’s cast. These inclusions lead towards funny scenes. At this point, I felt a twinge of nostalgia towards the first episode and attachment to King’s Quest’s characters; if any of them die in future episodes, it would be heartbreaking. This is also apparent in the overlaying arch of the story between Graham and his granddaughter, Gwendolyn. The bond between the two characters is so heartwarming in this episode as the threat of losing him is looming over the castle. There is a real gravitas to the story, and the plot behind the goblins thickens further in an interesting way.
The puzzles are easier in this episode than the previous two, and that’s a plus. Rather than aimlessly wandering around the town trying to find where to go, the game is more direct and less expansive than previous episodes when it comes to finding items. This could be good or bad depending on your preference, but I enjoyed this game a lot more because it relied on my puzzle solving ability rather than eyesight. I remember how, in the first episode, I couldn’t find a parchment paper in a dark forest; I was stuck with the game for hours, trying to find this one item I needed.
Nevertheless, the puzzles are still relatively difficult to figure out, and it’s still satisfying to solve them. I felt like a genius throughout a majority of it as I figured out most of the puzzles easily.
The playtime is shorter than previous episodes, as it takes approximately 2 hours to finish, but this episode is where replayability comes into play. Your decisions in Episode 2 deeply affect who you can talk to for advice, and there are some scenes and details you miss if you only play it once. This is a cool aspect of the game design, as your decisions really do affect the outcome of certain relationships within the narrative. There is also one choice in the first episode that the third episode seems to be foreshadowing to have grand implications.
The production values are still there. The watercolor look of the series is still stunning, and the tower that is moving by itself looks huge as it stumbles across the fields of The Odd Gentleman’s fantastical version of England. While on the tower, you can also see it move across the area in the background, which draws me ever further into the world that the developers have reimagined from the old IBM PCjr era. The emotions on the characters’ faces add to the laugh out loud comedic effect of each line as Graham awkwardly proposes to each of the two princesses and tries to act suave.
The soundtrack, sound effects, and voice acting are (for the most part) on point, and that overarching theme still gives me chills. The soundtrack is still stellar, and while there aren’t any standout themes in this episode (except for one theme at the end that I won’t spoil), it still is spellbinding with its melody. Each sound effect, from the earth shaking to the sound of grabbing an item, is perfect and is in tune with the game that the developers are creating. However, some of the voice acting by the two princesses is annoying in parts. While the characters themselves are engaging to interact with, the voices can sometimes become arduous when you have to go through a cutscene over and over again to solve a puzzle the right way. Other than that, this episode delivers an outstanding voice cast who portray their characters in the best way possible, and impeccable comedic timing to boot.
King’s Quest Chapters 1 and 3 hold some of my favorite memories from the PS4 generation so far. The characters are likable, and the comedy from their relationships and personalities is unmatched. The puzzles are so satisfying to solve as well, and The Odd Gentlemen always find a way to make each gameplay mechanic feel fresh each episode. Plus it’s nice to finally have something quirky with great production values. If you haven’t checked out King’s Quest yet, do yourself a favor and give the Kingdom of Daventry a visit. You might not want to leave, just like how I felt when the credits roll at the end of each episode and at this point, I hope there is a second season.
And now…the long wait for the next adventure…
A PS4 code was provided by Sierra for the purpose of this review.