A vacation most unexpected.
King’s Quest has been an interesting episodic release. Granted not necessarily the best in terms of release times or refinement after each episode. Yes, the series has been taking an overly long time to release the next chapters, but they have all been worth my time. What I can say is that each one is filled with humor, interesting characters, and scenarios. How does episode 4 fare? While Episode 2 still is the weakest entry for me, I feel the franchise has a bit of an identity crisis overall. Snow Place Like Home does offer some great story telling though, and it’s definitely recommended to those playing the game since the start.
In the latest episode, the core theme at play in the story is about family and sticking together. I won’t divulge too much of the plot other than King Graham and his family go on what they think is a much needed vacation. Sadly, they end up stuck in an ice palace, filled with lots and lots of puzzles. Presentation wise, this one stacks right up there with storytelling and characters of prior episodes. Graham’s kidnapped son from the intro returns, leading to some fun father/son moments. The banter between father, son, and the rest of the family stayed right in line with the humor we’ve come to expect, but also added a touch of heart.
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
How long to beat: 3 hours
Once again we have an episode though that plays out to almost an entirely different style of gameplay. Where the first episode was the most like a classic point and click adventure, episode 2 went for more decision making and limited scope in environments. Episode 3 had more storyline in an almost Telltale like quality, while 4 seems to go to a huge assortment of line puzzles and process of elimination aspects, from putting luggage stacked like Tetris blocks, following lines to doors, and figuring out how to get said lines completed. By the time I finished, I never wanted to see another line puzzle again. They also throw in some riddles, which was probably my favorite moment in the episode as I really had to think on these, granted it could be brute forced eventually.
It’s not that these puzzles are inherently bad, but they all stick to a rather similar idea of completing a line or movement, from point A to point B, and are just dressed up in different ways. They just throw a few too many at the same time, and it comes off feeling more like a puzzle challenge game versus a story oriented experience. Think less along the lines of the first episode and more along the lines of a game like Professor Layton. Puzzles, followed by puzzles, story, and more puzzles.
One more episode to go
I overall enjoyed my time with episode 4, but as I mentioned earlier, it just feels like each game offers a different experience. Not that this is a bad thing, but the gameplay and what to expect just sort of feels all over the place. Presentation and humor stay relatively the same, and that’s great as they nailed the visual style and funny elements perfectly. This just obviously will lead way to most players having various experiences throughout the entire collection of episodes. One never feels like another, which will be a pro and con depending on who you ask. The story elements also seem a bit disjointed as a result. Yet all that said, it’s great to see the king go from young to old, and seeing how it all wraps up in the final episode is something I highly anticipate.
Favorite moment: The father and son banter and relationship was fun. The heart this episode had also won me over, as cheesy as it may sound.
Worst moment: So many puzzles in quick succession had me wanting to pull my hair out at times.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.