Initially I picked up this game because the game grumps were playing it and I thought it looked cool. The first chapter was very cool looking with interesting puzzles so I thought I’d but it for the future as I knew more chapters would be released.
So two years later (yes it came out late 2015) all the chapters were released and I eventually got round to playing them and I felt that they we’re a huge waste of money and a complete let down.
To make a let-down become so server as it was in this game the first chapter needs to be good so that you’re let down by your high expectations. So instead of saying why this chapter is bad (theirs five chapters the game) I’m going to say why it’s so good and why it set my expectations so high.
Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember
This chapter seemed like a very good establishment chapter, introducing the character of Graham and his adventures to becoming a king. With interesting moments like the dragon, giants and trials is was a cool mix of lots of things happing to make a cool story. The characters that are introduced are also cool and the fact that there’s three different ways to solve some of the puzzles adds an illusion of depth in the game which you wouldn’t ordinarily have. Besides the three merchants which can help you out, the contestants for the kingdom are also engaging and funny.
Theirs brilliant character moments with Achacka and fun comedic moments with whisper, making the trials memorable and fun due to the fact that they make the job seem important whilst still knowing how to balance the serious and comedic tone of the chapter.
Part of my intrigue was due to the Manny who I strongly suspected to be a terrible and corrupt villain. If you’ve read my “The Problem with Mystery” post then you may already see where this is going. It was cool to have a friend in Manny whom I was happy to go along with (until I’d backstab him) but I thought deep down that I’d be backstabbed in the end. This was actually resolved quite impressively by using a story centring around the trial of wits to make me satisfied with the resolution and wanting to see Manny more. The other trials are fun yet more gimmicky – the ideas are really entertaining it’s just that they don’t feel as important or hold as much relevance to the story. This isn’t really a problem though as the lack of scheming and such cause a much better experience later on.
When it comes to the near impossible task of obtaining a dragon eye the three routes that you can go down make the world seem more fleshed out. You can actually slay the dragon using the 1st merchant route; this will take you through a long story involving Achaka letting you actually get the eye. The consequences of this route show up throughout the rest of the story (which I won’t spoil in this post at least) and always make you wonder. As well as this the other eyes don’t get obtained in the same way, they all use interesting things to get. As well as this the things that you don’t do will be reused later so that you still do everything, so it doesn’t always feel like you’ve missed a lot, which can be a good or bad thing.
The mysteries presented don’t also feel cheap or dull (in this chapter) so the wonder of what would have happened if you did something else never really bothered me. It didn’t feel like a cheap trick to add re-playability.
What I also like about the start is the dynamics of the three merchants. One encourages strength and bravery another encourages smarts and quick thinking. By far my favourite was the old couple who ran the potion shop, they we’re cool and I liked them as mentors due to their knowledge and differences from the alternate shop owners.
As well as these things the game felt quite long for the first chapter, it made the game look promising and I quit for the first time after completing the game looking forward to the future chapters and the awesome adventures in Daventry.
But the rest let me down from here, the game slowly dwindles into a poor, boring narrative which infuriates me.
As this post is about twice the length of most of my other posts so I feel like cutting it off here and writing a few more parts talking about what the game does wrong and the few things that I do think redeem some chapters. So follow if you want to stay updated, you don’t have to but it’s a good idea. I really hope that these posts don’t also dwindle into a really terrible and disappointing series – it would be one of the most Meta things I’ve ever done. I don’t think that every game will get its own post so if I find myself repeating myself I’ll just condense what I say if I’m constantly complaining at the same thing.
To provide balance to this argument some of the puzzles in this chapter we’re obscure and the world map could be confusing at times. There were a lot of minor issues that feel petty to complain about but don’t really affect the rest of the game a whole lot so I probably won’t talk about them. Outside of these I’ll raise a glaring issue in the next post which I’m looking forward to writing about.