The Book of Unwritten Tales 2

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is the follow up sequel to its well-received original game, which I sadly have not had the chance to play, developed by KING Art and published by Nordic Games. I remember how, as a small child, one of the first games I was allowed to own was Pajama Sam and, throughout most of my childhood, I enjoyed playing many games like the Jumpstart games and the Super Solvers series. In fact, aside from Age of Empires and Civilization III, they were the only games I played for a while. But then, when I turned 10, something happened and I stopped playing games like that all together. Why bring this up? Because it has been ages since I played a point-and-click adventure game. For me this was, for all practical intents and purposes, a forlay into an entire field of gaming I have no experience in. I went in having no clue what to expect.

I'm more than pleased to announce that, even in an Early Access form, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 has more than warmed me to the genre! Following the events of the first game, the story follows the aftermath of Elven Princess Ivodora Eleonora Clarissa, gnomish mage Wilber Weathervane, and human adventurer Nathaniel Bonnet from their prior adventure. Ivo has returned to her homeland and is now being watched over her controlling mother, Nathaniel is M.I.A., and Wilber is trying to get the magic academy, which is currently derelict, filthy, and barely capable of holding classes again.

Sadly, as the game is not complete, I only got to play two segments of the game, so it is hard to say with any degree of knowledge how well things will work out in the long run, but from what I played the story was very interesting and decently well-made. The characters of Ivo and Wilber seem very well made and put together and the visual art is all very well done. Ivo is the one I ended up spending the most time with as, aside from one annoying dead end with Wilber (which got patched just after I finished the game), I breezed through his segment with relative ease.

Regardless... Ivo is stuck locked in her room being watched over by her (pet?) bird named Cheep. Her mother does not wish her to leave for the outside world again and is currently trying to get her into an arranged marriage. However, Ivo is currently feeling unusually sick, which is odd because elves only very rarely get sick in the first place and is determined to figure out why. Meanwhile, Wilber is stuck trying his best to keep the school running. Gnomes cannot normally perform magic and his students mock him for it and his apparent struggles with confidence make it all the worse. To top it off the current headmaster is trying his best to make Wilber fail and assigning him tasks which he thinks are impossible.

The puzzles in the game are fairly solid as well and, unlike some of the other pratfalls of the genre I have heard about which can require some obscure thought, this one was good. It made my brain-thinky-thingy work a bit, but never felt unfair or needlessly complex in its various tasks. For example, at the start of the game Ivo needs to escape from her room to the garden. Only problem is that Cheep is watching her and will tell her mother if she tries. So how does Ivo escape? She gets some sunflower seeds and puts them in a bowl for Cheep to eat, picks up a mirror he was vainly admiring himself in, places it against a statue in the corner of the room, which causes Cheep to go back to the mirror. When he does he'll end up sitting on a music box which can be opened and he'll flutter down absentmindedly into it, where it closes trapping him inside.

The game holds a very solid amount of humor thought it will be very hit-or-miss whether or not its brand of comedy holds personal appeal. The humor is very referential to things in gaming culture. For example, Ivo shares the history of a dragon's head that was given by 40 brave warriors who stepped in to defeat the monster and claim the reward, only for another group of adventurers to come forward with an identical head to claim the reward, and another, and another. Thankfully these jokes aren't in-your-face to the point of being groaners and most are little more than nice little references, but there are a LOT of said references to the point it can potentially be frustrating. For me the jokes were great, but I can most certainly see someone being wary of it.

That is as much as I can really say on the game, as it is nowhere near complete which is a huge problem. Is the story good? What I played seemed good, but for all I can tell the next hour to two may be a jumbled mess, the puzzles could become unfair, and the like... But I doubt that will happen since, so long as they stay the course, they will come out with a healthy and fun game. Considering the reception from KING's previous game, I would say that this game is more than worth keeping your eye on. It single-handedly got me interested in the genre after-all, despite being in a pre-release state.