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Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Review (PC)

BookUnwritten2Four years ago I reviewed “The Book of Unwritten Tales” and I was absolutely enthralled. I couldn’t stop playing and didn’t sleep much until I finished it. So you can imagine my reaction when Tom, quite nonchalantly said “Do you want to review “The Book of Unwritten Tales 2”?” I almost screamed “Yes” (we were at work, so I couldn’t do it at full voice). I think I gave him a grateful hug though (or at least I was thinking of doing it).

So I had great expectations for the new installment of the saga. Which, in hindsight, was probably not a good way to approach a new game. My early impressions were that it wasn’t completely glitch free (one dialogue didn’t have the sound and the text matched up at all), but now that it’s out of Early Access most of these issues seem to be getting fixed.

The games is a point-and-click adventure that follows the heroes from the first game and the Critter Chronicles (a sort of prequel to The Book of Unwritten Tales) – Wilbur Weathervane, Ivo, Nate (Nathaniel Bonnet) and Critter. The graphics are just as great, the game plays the same way and it’s basically a new adventure with new puzzles to solve, so it is what you would expect from a sequel to a brilliant game.

BookUnwritten2dWhat was slightly disappointing for me was that the puzzles are now way too contrived, have too many little steps, and generally they have made them so complicated that at points I was completely losing the will to live. There were simpler solutions that would have worked, but no, you have to go around the four corners of the world, talk to everyone about everything and then come up with some obscure solution of the puzzle. There is a fine line between a simple but boring puzzle and a super complicated one, which you get bored trying to figure out because it takes so long. I think the first game had the perfect balance of the level of complexity in the puzzles and this second edition has gone a bit too far for some of them.

The other slight disappointment was the humour. After the brilliance of the first one, I should have been prepared that nothing will match it or exceed it for a while, but I was hoping that whoever in King Art team had this brilliant sense of humour will still be involved and it will be just as funny. It was however, not as exciting. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a great game and there are some brilliant moments. My favourite moment in the game is simply genius… Spoiler alert!!!!

BookUnwritten2cAt one point Wilbur needs to go back in time to save some books that have been left under a leaking roof. So when he going back in time to try to fix the roof, the game’s graphics get worse and the sound quality drops, the sound effects get all annoyingly midi sounding. Then he needs to go further back in time and the graphics and colours get worse again and there is no voice from Wilbur, it just comes as written text on the screen and he is quite shocked that he can’t hear himself. But worse still, he needs to go even further back in time…. Then the whole world is reduced to black screen with text instructions and commands! I found little touches like this made me smile.

Bottom line, I still love the game, but I find it a bit less awesome than the first. That may simply be my fault, for expecting too much!

4 pink hairy critters out of 5

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