This point and click adventure provides the punch in the chest, awesome introduction right from the start to get players off their feet and interested in the story it is about to unveil. After this crazy opening sequence which entails scrambling for what to do while falling from the sky, whether or not you’ve played the original, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 can most immediately be recognized for its very high quality voice acting and graphics. The title provides a handful of unique playable characters including Nate, Wilbur, Ivo, and Critter, and spans various time periods as multiple journeys and interconnected events are experienced throughout Aventásia.
For die-hard fans of the genre this title will stand as one of the best ever seen by a long shot. Without holding hands, this point and click challenges players to figure much of its There are subtle hints of the fourth wall in which characters are made aware of the fact they are in a game around them, as well as other clever bits of humor sprinkled on top of a rich and deep narrative concerning immediate dangers and long-term aspirations.
Transporting gamers to a land of talking books, genies in a bottle, bounty hunters, pirates, floating islands, and corrupted schools of magic that appear and disappear like the castle of Dracula, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 provides various enchanting scenes full of exploration. The puzzles that occur organically in the game are not so much puzzles as much as they are life experiences for the playable characters. Many plot lines are followed, and typically out of order, but an overall encompassing narrative does fuse them all together as players push forward through the many vividly detailed scenes and breath-taking art pieces found therein.
In terms of features beyond what I’ve mentioned above, the game’s got scenes where players have to switch between more than one active character to solve a situation versus other scenes in which players get one character per scenario. There’s an inventory system in which items can be acquired and sometimes combined or used with objects in the world around you. Much of what goes on relies on the player paying attention and intuitively figuring out what to do, but when all else fails it can sometimes be possible to advance just by trying to click everything possible in every room available. Sometimes though, it really is a game of wits and intelligence with players hitting a brick wall until they get that mental breakthrough. Dialogue choices with characters mostly provide the chance for choosing which order to hear things in, rather than provide choices that change / branch the story.
Mouse and Keyboard support is the standard control layout but controller support is also available. Steam Cloud save file support and Steam Achievements are in as well as Steam Trading Cards. Additionally, if you’ve purchased the game outside of Steam, you will need to activate it through Steam as a third party DRM since the title uses SteamWorks in all versions.
Some ways that the almost perfect formula from KING Art could be improved include decreasing the amount of repetition in dialogue when a player doesn’t know what to do. Granted, this can be skipped by simply clicking the left mouse button during talking, it serves as a slight annoyance that we could all do without. That being said, the game does get very frustrating at times and this is by design meant to be a hardcore point and click game. Some sort of increased guidance in certain areas of the game would have been nice, while other areas seem to tell the player a bit too much as dialogue drones on with too many words in many areas. These are minor complaints however, and overall the polish of the game and rewarding feeling of accomplishing progress in it trumps the slight negative impact these factors placed on the experience.
Where developer KING Art shines the most is perhaps overall presentation and polish. This title booms quality from the inside out in terms of graphics, voice acting, engine stability, and fun factor. Interesting characters all have their own personalities and dilemmas and it is genuinely entertaining to see each scenario through to its end despite how hard it is to progress at times. In fact, the way the game doesn’t make things too easy is often a great thing. It was often times surprising what could be done in terms of item and world interactivity since much of the writing and planning of this game is so well thought out. With slightly less of a monotone approach to character speech, a few choices that actually effect the game, and a bit more balance in dialogue and difficulty, this BouT 2 would have reached a perfect score. As it stands all gamers should give it a shot and would likely be surprised how enjoyable it can be. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 receives a 9 out of 10, making it one of RGN’s Gold Games of 2015.
Overall Score: 9 / 10
RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: KING Art
Publisher: Nordic Games
Available On: Windows PC | Linux | Mac OS X | SteamOS
Played On: Windows PC
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.