Being the first real point and click adventure game I’ve played The book of unwritten tales was a nice and simple introduction to a genre that is quickly became my favourite. The book of unwritten tales as first glance appears to be a cheesy game with more pop-culture references than a south park episode, a name that if you think about it doesn’t quite make too much sense. But as we all know books shouldn’t be judge by their cover, with it’s own interesting plot that has evidently got inspirations from countless fantasy novels and movies, it keeps you immersed it’s its grand world of adventure and magic.
Like many fantasy worlds it’s being torn apart by war, a gremlin archaeologist called Mortimer Mcguffin stumbles upon a dark and ancient secret artefact that could decide the fate of a long endless war. Shortly after the game begins Mortimer is kidnapped by the leader of the shadow army for his information. The leader wishes to find the artifact and use it to win the war.
The story is focused upon three characters. Wilbur Weathervane, Ivo and the Han Solo like Nathaniel Bonnet. Each character will be introduced at different times in the story with hardly any true back story and throughout the game you’ll control all of them within their own side story or use switch between them to solve puzzles in the game.
Wilbur Weathervane is the true personality within the game, being the core character who you will at most of the time be playing and he is quite possibly going to be your favourite. Nathaniel and Ivo how ever just seem to be placed as generic filler characters, which add a game play element within the game for you to work with to solve more elaborate puzzles. This is a quite fresh element and extends the game play time, switching between each characters with different inventories, or see what different dialogue you can get from the side characters. Ivo has a very passive, innocent personality to her and will constantly over describe situations while Nathaniel Bonnet is the cocky self motivated character similar to nearly every single captain in fiction a like to captain jack, Han Solo, Malcolm Reynolds to name just a few.
I found all the characters where lacking a human element and felt awkwardly pushed into the world and easy to be accepting their role too quickly without judgement. Risking their lives for gremlin that they’ve never spoken to for long and just undoubtedly accept his requests. This just makes me feel the characters are lacking a back story, easy to jump up from their previous obligations.
The book of unwritten tales isn’t a game that is aiming to be taken serious. It manages to make fun of countless books, games and movies but this never really damages the story however. This is because this game actually has a unique personality. I mean sure, I know fantasy parodies have been done before but this isn’t a case of taking it too far. The art is fantastic, and frankly without the references it’s not a bad plot that will keep you fully entertained. The characters have some genuinely funny moments and probably will be one of the reasons you will go out of your way to listen to all dialogue, and progress through the game.
The puzzles you will aren’t anything hard and it always feels that the game is attempting to hold your hand throughout as best as it can. You can find most items by simply clicking in obviously locations and the puzzles wont really distract you from progressing. Even though this is pretty traditional in point and click games, its simply doesn’t do anything new that the genre is in serious need for, innovation. The book of unwritten tales will in no way influence many modern gamers to picking this up and is a really good game for anybody seeking some type of nostalgic flash backs from the days of Monkey island Which is where the game really does appeal in strides. It manages to bring back a quite dedicated community to a genre that doesn’t appear too much in modern gaming. It understands who it’s trying to focus towards and achieves it fully. It’s something fun and quick to pick up even when the elements don’t challenge you too much, the game appeals enough for you to want to keep progressing to see what will happen next. With the addition to the brilliant art and colourful characters it makes for a quite grand world that you will want to explore.
The book of unwritten tales is by far a truly great experience. It has managed to understand the audience it’s clearly targeting and when mocking the likes of the lord of the rings never does it in a dis-hearted way. The story is quite epic, and the side characters are always interesting and have plenty of dialogue for you to listen to on your journeys.
It is a must have for any fans of the classic point genre but may not appeal to as much of a broad audience as I believe it should. The world is interesting and colourful and has vast inspirations from many popular films. The book of unwritten tales introduced me to a genre I never expected my self to enjoy and I hope it can have the same affect on others. Even though the game play isn’t anything new the characters are always the bright light and the core of what makes this a great game for me, and for this reason I give it a well deserved: