We sit down and review King’s Quest: Snow Place Like Home. This is the fourth episode of The Odd Gentlemen’s reboot to the famed franchise from Sierra Entertainment. Here’s our review of King’s Quest: Snow Place Like Home
It’s been about five months since the last episode of King’s Quest was released so it seems like it was about time to get the next episode in the mix. Right? Of course it was and that is why The Odd Gentlemen and Sierra Entertainment have just recently released the fourth episode of the game for all of us to play. Seems like one hell of a delay between each episode for King’s Quest but beggars can’t be choosers here and we’re just going to have to deal with it. None the less, here is our review of the new episode and how it landed in the mix of everything.
King Graham has finally met his bride and they have settled down to do what newlywed couples do; make babies. Make them they did as their first born are twins that of course are the parents of the two youngsters hearing the tales in the grander scheme of it all. Wouldn’t you know, Manny is up to his horrible stuff again and kidnaps the boy, Alexander, and threatens to raise him in a way that will come back to haunt Kind Graham and show him just what Manny has lived through. 18 years later Alex comes back and the family decides to go on a holiday to celebrate but of course things couldn’t be that easy…
If you think that my description of the story feels a bit off, that is because the overall story of this episode of King’s Quest is just the same. We start out with the babies, see the kidnapping, see Alex come back, and then kind of forget about it in general as there is a different set of events that kick off. All of this in the first chapter of the episode. It was led to be such a huge thing in the story and then it became more or less a footnote in it all that was brought up every time Graham and Alex needed to butt heads. It felt like it was going to be a huge character thing but it was all to set up a different story that also had little payoff.
On top of that, when King’s Quest was first announced and details about its episodic nature were given, The Odd Gentlemen made sure to specify that the whole game has one linked story but each episode of the game could be played on its own and still make some sense. Something I never planned on trying for King’s Quest but given the five month delay between the episodes it felt like that was the case. This also fell flat as the characters and story relied heavily on events and characters from the previous games and one of the “shocking” moments was lost on me as I had forgotten who the character was in the first place. How is a newb to the game here supposed to get that shock and awe when someone who has been playing since day one can’t get it with the “inside references?”
This whole episode felt like it was forcing a link between everything that was needed out of the gate and given the fact that there has never been a solid “recap” of the episode due to the compartmentalized nature of the development here, it all just fell flat and made me less interested in the story and wanting to focus on the gameplay. Not good in a game that is known for its amazing story from King’s Quest‘s past and also up to now in its reboot. Did they swap out writers and developers mid-season? That is how all of this felt and it left me less attached to anything and just pressing on to get things done.
Previous episodes of King’s Quest have had a few good and fun puzzles in the mix of all the story and action going on. This episode was all about the puzzles and some of them were a bit tricky in general. Given that the story didn’t really advance much further nor was it any level of inspiring, this was the aspect of the game that I grasped to and it paid off. This made King’s Quest less of a walking and talking simulator and something of an actual game. Even if the puzzles were not brain busters that required internet searching it was amazing to have this change in the gameplay. Even if some of the movements and design didn’t really seem required.
Particularly with the puzzles, I have to give a huge “shout out” to the luggage stacking puzzle as it was not only the most challenging but it was one of my favorite in the episode and King’s Quest in general so far. More or less it was a 3D Tetris style puzzle that required a lot of planning and patience much like in real life. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was all based on one developer’s travels in the past and they made it a great gameplay feature. Hopefully the future episode will have something like it but different that links into the story yet again.
I am really torn on this episode of King’s Quest in general. On one hand it had some great puzzle elements that seemed to be missing in all of the past episodes. On the other hand it had one of the most pointless bits of story for the franchise so far. Not good in a game that is supposed to be all about the story and choices. Of course if you’ve been playing since day one you’ll obviously want to see how it all plays out and links in; just make sure you replay the past episodes right before it or you will miss out. If you were thinking of picking King’s Quest on an episode basis though, this is one you can skip as I am sure you’ll be lost and there are better puzzle games out there that don’t require a lot of back-knowledge to appreciate fully.
I give King’s Quest: Snow Place Like Home Three Finger Snaps on the Finger Snap scale.
King’s Quest — Snow Place Like Home
King’s Quest: Snow Place Like Home was developed by The Odd Gentlemen and published by Sierra Entertainment for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC on September 27th 2015. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.