The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (XB1) Review

Justin Celani

Fantasy adventure game, must click on everything!

I’ve seemingly been on a role with point and click games, which is fantastic to say the least. I grew up with the genre and it’s always had a special place in my heart, so no complaints here. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to check out the sequel Book of Unwritten Tales 2 on Xbox one but there was just one problem, I never played the prior games. That being said, what I discovered was a franchise I’ve sorely been missing out on.

The story is one of fantasy and adventure. Taking place once again in the world of Aventasia, players will control the same cast of characters from the prior games and meet new faces and familiar friends. Something is mysteriously happening turning beasts into lovable creatures, castles into dollhouses, and more. It’s up to the player to use his eccentric cast of characters to come together and figure out what is causing the problem. This being the first time with the franchise, I worried I might feel a slight bit of disconnect, but I was immediately pulled in. Players might not have a solid grasp on some of the inner jokes and references having missed out on prior games but personally speaking I wouldn’t know the difference and it didn’t affect my enjoyment whatsoever.

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MSRP: $19.99
Platforms: XB1, PC, PS4
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
Multiplayer: N/A
How long to beat: 15+ hours

As a point and click game, players control the characters movement with the left stick and then can move the selection target via the right stick. It requires the players to move around close objects or backgrounds to see the interaction icon. This is pretty standard for the genre, but this title in particular is absolutely flooded with so many things to look and comment on.

As players progress in the story, usually the characters require some sort of means to move forward or get past a story objective, but thankfully they come across plenty of items to use in the inventory to help solve these dilemmas. If it can be seen, the rule is to pick it up as it’s most likely used in some sort of capacity. I’ll admit that this game seems to cater definitely to veterans of the genre and I myself got stuck multiple times, but I’ll get back to that more in a bit.

As far as production goes, this game looks absolutely great in its ability to take players away to a colorful and bright world. With huge vistas, details environments, and elements that bring the fantasy aspects to life. The fact that the game is extremely humorous goes a long way as players can stumble upon a Minecraft sword or rubix cube in the background for example. There is a plenty of little easter eggs and references that are fun to find. The cast of characters that players control and interact with are all voiced extremely well and I was particularly fond of Wilbur, a nervous mage Gnome who can’t seem to keep a class room entertained along with other problems.

As much as I enjoyed my time with Book of Unwritten Tales 2, there are a few things to be aware of. Performance wise it seems mostly stable but a few moments had a slight choppiness to it. Moving is done with the left stick but it feels delayed and not precise, so combining that with having to be pretty close to the objects for interaction can cause turning around back and forth.

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When clicking to examine items or something in the environment, it could be right next to the character and instead of examining it, the character will step away, re-align themselves with the environment and then move forward. It’s nothing game breaking but it sours the experience, if only to take the player out of the world just a little. As mentioned earlier, I got stuck several times, and I’m a point and click veteran. Sometimes due to having to click on something twice to finally be able to interact with it, or something appearing later after leaving or triggering a future event. This is one game that absolutely requires player’s full attention to detail and environment so newcomers might feel at a dis-advantage.

Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is full of humor, inventive puzzles, a grand sense of adventure and a story that can potentially last most up to 20 hours. It’s filled with tons of dialog so expect to be fully engrossed with the story and characters during the long trek. Newcomers to the genre will have the biggest disadvantage in how difficulty this game can be in comparison to other more recently released titles. Stick with it though, as it’s one of the longer and better done point and click games this year and it’s nice to see it have a home on consoles now. It might take the game a bit to get going as it introduces the characters one by one, but it’s a point and click fantasy adventure worth taking, warts and all.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Fun combination of humor and fantasy elements
  • Racking your brain on the puzzles
  • Voice work and soundtrack

Bad

  • Character movement
  • Harder for newcomers
  • Odd animations cycle when interacting
8

Great

Justin Celani
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.
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