Monday, December 3, 2012

The Book of Unwritten Tales

The Book of Unwritten Tales is a point and click adventure game made by King Art, a German developer.  A translated English version came out last year.  

As soon as I saw the trailer for this game, I knew that I had to play it.  Not many point and click adventures have been made since the “good old days” of MS-DOS games such as King’s Quest and The Curse of Monkey Island.  The Book of Unwritten Tales takes all the humor, difficulty and great storytelling of the old games and gives it pretty 3D graphics on top of that.  Let’s take a closer look at what makes this game so good. 

It’s Funny

For most games, having funny bits in there is just a bonus. For point and click adventure games, it’s almost like a requirement. The humor in The Book of Unwritten Tales is great. World of Warcraft, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings are only a few of the franchises that are referenced. 

The “fourth wall” is broken more than once when the character you’re playing speaks directly to you. Puns abound and you often end up doing the things that are the most unlikely.

Memorable Playable Characters

 The three (technically four, I guess), characters that you get to play in The Book of Unwritten Tales have great personalities, are voiced well and are just generally make the game that much better. Ivo is an immortal wood elf who loves adventure and is constantly berated by her bird friend; Wilbur is a sweet, yet often clueless gnome who wants to be an adventurer; Nate is a sarcastic, yet dorky human who’s mostly out for himself (He reminded me a lot of Flynn Rider from Tangled), and Critter is, well… a critter who’s obviously more than meets the eye. Each of these characters are very interesting to play.

Multi-Character Gameplay

Most games, especially in this genre, give you control of one character.  The Book of Unwritten Tales sometimes gives you control of two characters at once, which adds to the difficulty of the puzzles.  It also is a lot of fun to discover a certain character’s strengths and use them to your advantage.  Wilbur, for instance, is a gnome, making him small enough to fit into places where other characters can’t.  He also can’t reach things that are up high and isn’t the strongest guy.  Sometimes you have to make two of the adventurers work together to accomplish tasks that neither would have been able to on their own.  

The Not So Great

So, while this game has many strengths and I enjoyed it immensely, I must give some warning that it’s not totally without spot.  It’s not rated here in the US, but if it was, it would probably be rated T.  There’s some innuendos, mostly as Nate flirts with Ivo.  She rebuffs him and it’s played off for laughs.  There is also some gore, since in one part of the game you come across a zombie head that you must reunite with her body.  Even this is made fun of as your character says something like: “A head on a pike.  What will PEGI say?”  (PEGI rates games in Europe) 

There are also a few instances of minor bad language and one instance where several strong words are bleeped out… just barely.  

When All is Said and Done…

The Book of Unwritten Tales is a game that deserves a look, especially if you’re a fan of point and click games that make you use your brain.  It’s currently $19.99 on Steam, but you can of course try the demo for free.  I can’t wait to play the prequel when the English version comes out on December 5th, and I hope we hear news of a sequel.

My review of The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles will be coming soon.  



  1. Totally unrelated to your blog post (though it is great), but I was wondering how you got your "Goodreads- To read shelf" gadget on your blog. I tried to do mine but I can't figure it out. I am not overly techy. :)

    1. Hi Lois! No problem.

      First, click on My Books. On the left under tools will be the link to the widget page. There's a few different widgets to choose from, but I picked the first since it's so customizable. Make it however you want, then copy the text in the box.

      Now, go to your Blogger design page under Layout. Click on Add a Gadget wherever you would like the widget to show up. Under the basic tab, there will be a HTML/Javascript option. Select this, paste the code you got from Goodreads, and you should be done.

      Hope you get it to work. =)