Aug 13, 2012As a long-time fan of point-and-click adventure games and fantasy role-playing games, I was eager to try out a game that mixed two of my favourite genres. However, I was sorely dissapointed. The game isn't exactly terrible, but it's just hopelessly mediocre. On the technical side, the game is simply gorgeous, but while the graphics of the game are good, a number of silly glitches andAs a long-time fan of point-and-click adventure games and fantasy role-playing games, I was eager to try out a game that mixed two of my favourite genres. However, I was sorely dissapointed. The game isn't exactly terrible, but it's just hopelessly mediocre. On the technical side, the game is simply gorgeous, but while the graphics of the game are good, a number of silly glitches and inconsistencies break any sense of immersion in the game (such as at the very beginning of the game where you see a gremlin writing in a book, the entire page visibly filled with text and the gremlin simply moving his quill left and right). However, on the whole the game's audiovisual style is very charming, even though some of the voice-acting is mediocre at best and the game's female lead takes the cake for being the most improperly dressed fantasy heroine for a long time. Furthermore, in addition to the sad portrayal of the game's female lead, the game features at least one bit character whose entire purpose in the game seems to be to serve as a platform for laughing at dainty men. While I wouldn't go as far as saying that the game's writers are homophobic, the said character seems to serve no other purpose than to be a target for jokes poking fun at his lack of traditional heterosexuality. Furthermore, the game suffers from very lackluster writing. One might be willing to forgive the game for its cliched plot, seeing as it's supposed to be a parody of fantasy cliches, but at the same time the game seems so earnest with its plot that it's hard to tell what is exactly being parodied. Most of the characters are flat and lacking in any real characterization, and for anyone whose read any Terry Pratchett the characters will seem like cheap imitations of his wonderful dramatis personae. This is further compounded by the fact that the game's cast is extremely small, a fact that the game takes great delight in pointing out. Furthermore, the game's world seems very empty and small, and I feel that the fantasy genre would've lent itself more easily to a more open-ended format in the style of Monkey Island 2 and Sam & Max Hit the Road. Now the game progresses very linearly, without so much as a hint of exploration.
It is also clear as day from the game's script that it is a translation of an originally German script: while there aren't any mistranslations per se, a lot of the dialogue doesn't sit well with the characters and doesn't seem very idiomatic. In addition to this, the subtitles are littered with the occasional misspelling and sometimes the transcriptions of spoken text to subtitle are completely off.
Related to the above point about the game being a very shallow parody, while the game obviously tries to be funny, for me it didn't lend itself to more than a few chuckles. Most of the jokes and gags seem to have been recycled from somewhere else and I noticed a few obvious nods towards gags from Lucasarts' classic adventure games, where the same jokes were better executed in spite of the technical limitations of the time.
With all that said, I guess I could recommend this game to you if you really enjoy point-and-click adventure games, but at the same time I feel that even with the lack of all that many new releases you could do a lot better. I do hope that the game's creators do keep at it, because the game does demonstrate great potential. Were the developers capable of making as beautiful a game as this with less of a linear story and more room for exploration, as well as a larger cast of characters and better writing, it would be a pleasure to play. As it stands, The Book of Unwritten Tales is nothing more than an ultimately disappointing little romp in the world of shallowly parodied and tired fantasy cliches that doesn't seem to be able to decide whether it wants to be taken seriously or not.… Expand
Aug 1, 2012I was pretty disappointed with the speed of the game, sure the graphics are pretty and it follows the same pattern of it's point and click adventure predecessors, but the slow movement speed/walking ruined it for me, especially since it involved a lot of back and forth backtracking like it's inspiration.
Awards & Rankings
Apr 19, 2013The Book of Unwritten Tales isn’t bad—it just feels like the developers weren't sure if they would rather homage LucasArts or ridicule Blizzard, so they tried to do both. Sadly, they succeeded only in making both aspects tepid and bland. That said, I would honestly recommend it to people who love adventure titles because beneath the fetch-questing is a solid game with quirky characters, decent puzzles, and some amusing self-aware humor.
CD-ActionNov 29, 2012The prettiest, most interesting and funniest point'n'click adventure game of the last couple of years. It would be a mortal sin to miss out on it. [CD-Action 13/2012, p.60]
PC PowerPlayOct 11, 2012A smart, lengthy and logical adventure game that is consistently enjoyable without ever trying to be incredible. [Oct 2012, p.81]