The Book of Unwritten Tales


By: Conrad Reyners    On: PC
Published: Tuesday 31 Jul 2012 3:00 PM
 
 
 
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Independent games always surprise me - not because they are always amazing, but because they always come up with something new. And that’s heartening, even if it's just a new take on an old format.

The Book of Unwritten Tales, by German Developer King Art, is based on a style that’s as old as they come. Point and click adventure gaming was once the staple of the PC gaming genre, so it's great to see independent developers returning to old roots.

For those of you who have played adventure style games before, the action will be very familiar. These titles are ones that make you think. There are no adrenalin inducing camera angles, no multiplayer flick shots, and no one blows up the Eiffel tower. And as odd as it might be to comprehend, some gamers are into that.

Unwritten Tales does little to deviate from the point, click, think style of play - but that doesn’t mean it's rote. What makes it interesting, innovative, and engaging is not its mechanic, but its charm.

Set in a fantasy world, where a seemingly never-ending war is raging between evil monsters and valiant souls, you are tasked with directing three heroes to bring a resolution to the conflict; Ivo the elven princess, Wilbur the Gnome, and nathaniel the brash human adventurer. They are tasked with returning a magical ring, given to Wilbur by a gremlin archaeologist, and saving the day for everybody.

When written down on paper, the storyline and characters all sound a bit naff. And in a way they are, but the beauty of this title is that King Art knows that they are and, with tongue in cheek, they exploit it to great effect.

Mostly this is done through fantastic characterisation. The voice actors and script writers who have leant their craft to Unwritten Tales deserve a special round of applause - their characters hum with vim and verve. And thank goodness for that, voice acting can make or break a title at the best of times, but for point and click adventure games (where the narrative and immersion is created almost entirely through dialogue) it's absolutely vital. With one or two minor exceptions, King Art get it right.

But there are places where marks must be deducted. Visually, Unwritten Tales’ gameplay is stylish and quirky. Its mise en scene is well designed, and well rendered, and the set pieces that your characters fumble around in work well with the story. But the same can’t be said for the cutscenes, they are blurring, outdated, and were it not for the dialogue, they’d be very disappointing. This is frustrating, as so much of the game’s meta-story is set up by these events and their sharp shift in quality pulls you out of the game. Structurally, Unwritten Tales could do with an edit; it's a little slow to get going, but once it does it hooks you in.

Overall The Book of Unwritten Tales is a solid, engaging, and charming adventure title. Fans of the genre would do well to pick it up and ponder its secrets. Independent developers deserve our continued support, and sometimes that means rewarding them for dusting off old recipes, and cooking them well.


The Score

The Book of Unwritten Tales
"Adventure gaming returned to form"
8.4
Great
Rating: PG   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min

 

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Comments (13)

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Jake
On Friday 3 Aug 2012 2:17 PM Posted by Jake NZGamer.com VIP
Comment has been removed.
The grammar and punctuation in your post gave me cancer...
 
 
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Jake
On Friday 3 Aug 2012 2:44 PM Posted by Jake NZGamer.com VIP
Comment has been removed.
wat ur problamb man ti is a faire skore so shute up nd leaf u hatr

yu shud be ashammed of yourself nob
 
 
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This comment has been down-voted by the community.  
phantom
On Friday 3 Aug 2012 2:51 PM Posted by phantom NZGamer.com VIP
Comment has been removed.
Are you involved with the development of this game or something? Your contribution to the discussion seems... invested, somehow.

Either that, or some sort of parody / farce...
 
 
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Osricson
On Saturday 4 Aug 2012 10:38 AM Posted by Osricson
Comment has been removed.
Please learn to use a spell checker (seeing as you obviously can’t spell), I’m getting a headache trying to decipher your comments which negates any valid point you may have had
 
 
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Emz86
On Saturday 4 Aug 2012 7:04 PM Posted by Emz86
Comment has been removed.
If you don't like the review then how about you go and get your own website and write your own review (which no one would probably read anyway due to your horrid spelling). 8.4 is a great score anyway and I'd still consider getting this based on that review.
 
 
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phantom
On Monday 6 Aug 2012 1:38 PM Posted by phantom NZGamer.com VIP
how is babby formed?
 
 
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Jake
On Monday 6 Aug 2012 3:16 PM Posted by Jake NZGamer.com VIP
You were 'out'... playing WoW. Huh

a Chiksor? What is that, half sexy brunette half Decepticon?
 
 
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ByrdmanNZ
On Monday 6 Aug 2012 4:55 PM Posted by ByrdmanNZ NZGamer.com VIP
Comment has been removed.
just to help out those trying to make sense of silly baby comments i have made a translation list.

terribel = terrible
inaccurat = inaccurate
revuiew = review
revew = review
nub = noob
lern = learn
adveture = adventure
bok = book
taels = tales
insted = instead
mastarpiece = masterpiece
deserv = deserve
ashammed = ashamed
buthurt = butt hurt
werent = weren't
mayb = maybe
u = you
kno = know
cancel = cancer
articel = article
clains = claims
r = are
a = are
playa = player
hatas = haters
hat = hate
jellos = jealous
gud = good
bub = bubble ?
gams = games
onley = only
uin = in
playin = playing
grate = great
maks = makes
saleout = sellout
causal = casual
shelvs = shelves
soz = sorry
hav = have
ur = your
hot chicksor = hot chick (cousin)
mabbe = maby
shud = should
mankey = monkey
lern = learn
teh = the
mam= mum
prostitote = prostitute
silly baby = silly baby
silly baby = troll
 
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This comment has been promoted by the community.  
Jake
On Monday 6 Aug 2012 5:02 PM Posted by Jake NZGamer.com VIP
6 August 2012, 04:55 PM Reply to ByrdmanNZ
just to help out those trying to make sense of silly baby comments i have made a translation list.

terribel = terrible
inaccurat = inaccurate
revuiew = review
revew = review
nub = noob
lern = learn
adveture = adventure
bok = book
taels = tales
insted = instead
mastarpiece = masterpiece
deserv = deserve
ashammed = ashamed
buthurt = butt hurt
werent = weren't
mayb = maybe
u = you
kno = know
cancel = cancer
articel = article
clains = claims
r = are
a = are
playa = player
hatas = haters
hat = hate
jellos = jealous
gud = good
bub = bubble ?
gams = games
onley = only
uin = in
playin = playing
grate = great
maks = makes
saleout = sellout
causal = casual
shelvs = shelves
soz = sorry
hav = have
ur = your
hot chicksor = hot chick (cousin)
mabbe = maby
shud = should
mankey = monkey
lern = learn
teh = the
mam= mum
prostitote = prostitute
silly baby = silly baby
silly baby = troll
You are a genuine Good Samaritan :)
 
 
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Jake
On Tuesday 7 Aug 2012 3:16 PM Posted by Jake NZGamer.com VIP
Dude, Byrdman has a awesome (although Minecraft-night impeding) baby, get yo facts straight
 
 
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Conrad
On Tuesday 7 Aug 2012 3:37 PM Posted by Conrad
Comment has been removed.
This is the best reaction to one of my reviews that I've ever, ever, seen.
 
 
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PunisherNZL
On Tuesday 7 Aug 2012 3:43 PM Posted by PunisherNZL
Comment has been removed.
LOL!!! ur a joke "playing WoW with a hot chick" everybody knows there are no "hot" "chicks" playing WoW they are all really fat men that are roleplaying that dont get any pu$$y in "REAL LIFE!" an btw everybody knows that HOT CHICKS ONLY PLAY PS3.
 
 
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PunisherNZL
On Tuesday 7 Aug 2012 9:04 PM Posted by PunisherNZL
Comment has been removed.
ur thanking me for that? i dont no what to say about it.. ur a weird 1 arnt ya lol
 
 
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