Book of Unwritten Tales Review - A Tale Best Left Unwritten



Book of Unwritten Tales Review - A Tale Best Left Unwritten

December 7, 2014

By: Steven Stites


I'll be honest. Right here, right now. The only things I found enjoyable about this game are the music, voice acting, and the humor. That's about it. It's been a little more than a week since I beat both this and the expansion/addition The Critter Chronicles. I had enjoyed the game while I was playing, but it really didn't last long after that dreadful ending. Anything I liked about the story was killed when the credits started rolling and I questioned whether the developers were seriously just dropping everything the story built up.

I didn't really chuckle very much during this game, either. It definitely didn't make me fall out my chair laughing, but I did have a constant "Heh" reaction to the jokes that I've heard a million times in other games before. It's not the first time someone made a crack at World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings and it certainly wouldn't be the last. Despite the lack of impact the jokes have, the games make up for it with more jokes. Jokes everywhere, in every corner, in every screen, something is a reference to another thing. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly didn't help when I got tired of them.


Book of Unwritten Tales - Screenshot

OK, let's not talk about the terrible things of this game too much. The graphics were pretty gorgeous as well for such a small studio, but the character models were rather clunky and disgraceful in comparison to the world around them. I found the music to be phenomenal. I still have a few of the tunes going 'round my head. The voice acting is leagues above what one expects from such a small game. Wilbur's accent is a bit... quirky at times, but it still captured his charm.


Which brings me to the next point. The characters have charm, yet they don't really exceed beyond the stereotypical. The first character we control is Ivo, generic elven princess who sees herself as above mortals and clothes and background stories. Next is Wilbur, generic outcast who wants to search for adventure and do magic, which apparently he doesn't have any talent for until he suddenly he does have talent. Third is Nate, which really felt like a watered-down version of Rufus from Deponia, self-centered but only up to a point where it would be inconvenient for the plot. Finally, Critter. Well. Critter is Critter. there isn't much to say, he's an alien and speaks gobbledygook.

The puzzles weren't that hard either, except in Critter Chronicles - that took actual work to progress through the game. Most of the puzzles consisted of finding as many intractable objects as possible and using them when necessary. Unfortunately a lot of other point and click adventure games adhere to this method of puzzle solving, so Book of Unwritten Tales isn't worse than the standard. I'm only pointing this out because I continue to see people giving this game a perfect (or near perfect) score despite not deviating from the norm.


And finally, the story. Oh boy, you could not have made a more bland, more uninspired, and more tedious story than Book of Unwritten Tales. "Save the world? OK, from who?" Big evil monster creature. "Why?" Big evil monster creature is big and evil. "Uuuuh, alright, how?" Take a ring to the Arch-Mage. "That's it?" Yes. "Oh, OK then."

[caption id="attachment_21480" align="aligncenter" width="528"]Book of Unwritten Tales - Screenshot 2 Despite the story, the art is gorgeous.[/caption]

I would rather eat oatmeal left in the sun for three days and sprinkled with uncooked rice than retell the story of Book of Unwritten Tales. And then, the ending just drops everything the story built up to and everything is suddenly happy and good once more. Not going to explain how 'cause of spoilers, but it's terrible. The worst ending I've ever seen in a game since Mass Effect 3. No, that's giving Book of Unwritten Tales too much credit. At least Mass Effect 3 made me feel something instead of just leaving me to dry.

Am I being harsh on Book of Unwritten Tales? Probably, but only because I know for a fact that KING Art Games can do better. They're already working on Book of Unwritten Tales 2, and I honestly hope it's above and beyond anything that the first game presented. This game had major potential to rival the LucasArts games, but I found that it fell flat on it's face.


I probably wouldn't take my word on it, though. I would suggest trying the game out for yourself and forming your own opinion of the game. Is the story really as bad as I found, or was that just me? Was the humor too forced or lacking? You can find the game on Steam, but I would suggest waiting until it was on sale or you had one of those 90% off coupons I've seen floating around.

This game was purchased by the reviewer on Steam and played on PC

Review Summary

Review Summary


Severely lacking in originality; Doesn't restrict itself when poking fun at fantasy tropes.