The Book of Unwritten Tales is a Point and Click adventure developed by King Art Games and published by Lace Mamba Global. The voice work for the English version was provided by OMUK’s studio who were given full reign over the English localisation, to do it how they believe it should be done. It is set in a beautiful fantasy world and is very humour based and is fully voiced in English with regional accents.
The game starts with a gremlin archaeologist named MacGuffin who has just found the location of an all-powerful artefact that could finally end the war waged between the Alliance and the dark army of Shadows. Just as he is finishing writing about it in his journal he is set upon by the shadow army and kidnapped.
From there you get to take control of: Princess Ivo, a Wood Elf with an English accent and clothes that may as well be painted on, Wilbur a Gnome who dreams of being more than a brewer’s assistant who has a very naïve look on the world and a Welsh accent, Captain Nate, a Pirate of loose morals, who is rude, out for himself and sports an American accent and finally Critter a small creature that acts as Nate’s companion on their travels.
The game travels across a wide variety of locations: from snowy mountains to hidden island ruins. Even with some of the locales being quite tightly packed, you will still end up going back and forth quite often. Even though you revisit areas time and time again it never really comes across as filler as the puzzles aren’t too difficult and there is a reasonable amount of dialogue to keep you occupied.
Graphically the game is brilliant but does have the occasional ropy animation. The backgrounds are vivid and full of detail, while characters are all very different and interesting to look at. Animation is present more so than in most point and click games, the characters interact with objects more often and it brings you into the world a little more.
Audio-wise this is probably one of the best voice adventure games out there, few games manage to bring voice talent as good as this but once again Ivo is sometimes a let-down by comparison to the other characters, with Wilbur stealing the show. The music complements the game well, with various fantasy themes that suit areas and situations well.
The story is well written and funny despite it using the age old good must stop evil from getting the all-powerful artefact cliché. There are some twists and turns that are obvious but others are genuinely surprising and make for good story telling. A lot of the characters or dialogue takes influence from popular culture with some interesting takes on fantasy versions of real life things. Unfortunately the end does come about rather abruptly and feels quite lacklustre compared to the build-up that was expected.
Presentation and Audio
One of the most beautiful 3D adventure games you’re likely to see with some great character designs and some more animated movements in the game bring the fantasy world to life. Ivo could have done with some clothes being more visible on the model rather than seemingly textured on as it looks out of place when you consider Nate, Wilbur and the other characters. Unfortunately the backgrounds don’t fill widescreen properly which can be a little annoying. Brilliant voice work and some beautiful music bring tone and scale to the game.
A brilliant journey full of many wonderful things; from a funny script, to beautiful visuals and engaging voice acting. One of the best adventure games in recent years and one of the best voiced games made. Even though the puzzles are sometimes a little too easy the game manages to pack hours of content in.
The Book of Unwritten Tales was particularly fun for me as Point and Click Adventure games were the bulk of what I grew up playing and more recently died down until they saw a resurgence in the last few years with the likes of Telltale Games, Pendulo Studios and Lace Mamba Global bringing them back. This game in particular captures the humour and feel of many of the genres classics by never taking itself too seriously. It was funny and the voice work is just incredible, which really surprised me as adventure games have a tendency to have very bland acting. While it isn’t my favourite Point and Click game it is definitely up there and is certainly worth checking out.
The game is available via retail and digital distribution. The retail game is available from all good retailers. The retail version also comes with added bonuses in the form of a double sided poster, a concept art book and the soundtrack.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.