Beast Quest comes from a long series of books, 110 to be precise at the time of writing. It’s a series aimed at boys around the age of seven, and target your typical fantasy adventure. Now with a wealth of material at your disposal, you should be able to pull something of worth out and build a solid game around that.
But this is not the case. The game itself comes from mobile (I think), and the features that work fine with no controller and low processing power become apparent and cause more harm than good when you bring them to stronger hardware. Beast Quest is a poor attempt at an adventure game. Nothing more.
The game takes place in the kingdom of Avantia. An evil wizard has cured four legendary beasts, who now cause havoc across the land. Now you would think to stop this evil you would require a noble soldier, a grizzled veteran of war or even a hero with hidden powers. At the very least they would be an adult.
Nope, enter Tom, a young boy who after picking up a key from the floor whilst playing in a field has the task of saving the land thrust upon him; a task he takes without any worry for personal safety or even without a delay to get permission from his parents. All it takes is a little explanation, a basic tutorial and the donning of a blue shirt and a fancy sword and shield and he is good to go risk his life.
You really don’t get any more narrative than this. Avantia is a simple to traverse kingdom, and besides a few simple fetch-based quests and the occasional looting of chests there is no reason to deviate from your main goal.
Apart from the travelling, the majority of your time will be spent in combat. Combat plays out much more like a turn-based RPG than an adventure game. You can shift around your enemies in a circle, dodging attacks when necessary. You can attack with light or heavy attacks which can be chained with wild abandon, and can counter enemy attacks you successfully dodge. Build up enough meter and you can summon an ally to perform a powerful attack which usually will mop up most enemies.
Now nothing here does not work. Each mechanic functions to degrees of wellness. But they are boring, particularly the combat which can become repetitive. They do not develop over time, and you quickly develop a system which can dispatch most enemies with no risk to yourself. Movement as a whole is somewhat hindered by constant input lag, but you will develop a knack of working around this.
This means that Beast Quest is short, landing only around 12 hours of gameplay total. But with the boredom that the side quests are you’ll probably only clock in around 10, and that only will be an impressive show of perseverance to friends. It also is not especially pretty as games go. The detail looks close to the end of the PS3 era, and struggles to hold 30FPS, with no real graphical showcase to explain the failure.
It’s hard to figure out whether Beast Quest was unfinished, underfunded or just accepted at this level of quality. If it was ported form mobile, as I suspect it was, than many of these errors become clear as by-products of a poor transfer. But even for strong fans of the series I would advise you not to bother. There are plenty of better adventure games to give yourself.