The Book of Unwritten Tales is a 3D point-and-click adventure game set in a fantasy world. The game consists of 5 fairly lengthy chapters, although the last chapter was very short compared to the others. The Steam page says the game has about 20 hours of gameplay, but it only took me about 11 hours.
The graphics are pre-rendered in 16:10 aspect ratio, which means that on other aspect ratios there will be black bars on the sides. I have a 16:9 monitor so there were a bit over 1 cm wide black bars on each side of the screen. Aside from that minor issue the graphics are good and the environment looks very detailed.
The story is good, although it's a pretty standard fantasy story. You must find a powerful artifact and not let the evil forces get it. The somewhat silly world and the charming characters make the story a lot better. For example there are 2 NPCs playing a fantasy RPG, in which they must fill tax forms and do other mundane real life tasks. The dialogue is also pretty funny and contains several nods to other games like the Monkey Island series.
I found the puzzles to be easy and simple. I never really had to look for any items as you could get almost all of them on the first time you entered that area. The interactable hotspots disappeared once you no longer needed them or if you had interacted with them for a couple of times. You also had to interact with everything once before you could pick it up, which I learned pretty quickly. That basically meant that all the hotspots remaining after going through them all would be used in a puzzle. The inventory system made everything even simpler as the game showed a text when you could combine two items.
The game is fully voice acted and I thought the voice acting was pretty good. The music wasn't that great, but it was often barely noticeable. There are subtitles available in the game, but they don't show during the few cutscenes the game has.
I thought the game was good and recommend playing it, if you like point-and-click games.
75 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 15, 2014
What the hell was I doing in 2012?
The Book of Unwritten Tales is an old-school fashioned point-and-click (P&C) adventure which essentially catches you off guard right from the beginning. As the story unfolds from a simple quest in finding and retrieving a secret powerful artefact before the forces of evil in the vein of The Lord of The Rings, its strong and well-written narrative creates this deep and intriguing light-hearted story that always makes you wonder what is going to happen just around the corner. Not only that, but as the story progresses in its artistically breathtaking environments, it genuinely gets better and better throughout its impressively 17+ hours long story. While admittedly it is not the most original story on the surface and some of the animations can break the immersion at times, its rock-solid narration easily makes up for them.
To my surprise, the game features some of the best memorable and likeable casts I have seen in a very long time, with plenty of exceptionally written witty humour which mocks (and pays tribute to) almost every single fantasy and video game trope out there, enough for a handful of genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Whether it is J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels or World of Warcraft, you name it -- the game most likely covers it somewhere. Imposingly, the cast also features excellent voice acting accompanied by a fitting soundtrack when, well, when it feels like playing a soundtrack.
What has kept this generation from embracing P&C nowadays could be partially blamed at the inconsistent difficulty-curve caused by illogical and lack of inspiring puzzles in similar games, but The Book of Unwritten Tales fixes almost all of that. The puzzles here are logical and generally easy to solve throughout the game since it encourages you to explore all the hotspots without the game holding your hand along the way. Apart from the second last chapter in particular, the puzzles here should be solved by literally anyone who is willing to explore every single detail out there, and this game has an abundance of small, yet rich, details in places. Plus, there are plenty of interesting (and humorous) dialogues and the hotspots are indeed descriptive. More importantly, there is a constant flow of momentum when solving the puzzles, something I have not seen in many games like this in years, and that is brilliant. There is never that fear of being punished and getting stuck for long periods of time for a poorly implemented puzzle. To my enjoyment, a few of the puzzles were rather genially designed thanks to a character-selection mechanic which allows the player to pick which character they want to perform certain tasks. While most of it comes down ultimately to a specific character being able to perform the certain task, it is a satisfying experience to see everyone working as a group to solve a puzzle, although I strongly feel like this is where the game missed an opportunity to expand on this mechanic.
Just when the game seems to hit the nail on the head in every single aspect of a classic P&C adventure game (and beyond?), it drops the ball really heavily just at the end in one of the most abrupt endings I have seen since Dreamfall, without any sense of climactic fulfilment. It is clear that the ending was left open for a sequel, yet it was poorly executed -- causing more questions than answers. The last five minutes, including the final cutscene, felt more like the developers ran out of time and had to release the game as soon as possible, with little time spent on writing a conclusive and plausible ending. It painfully feels like the story ends halfway through the chapter, subconsciously knowing there has to be more. It is rather sad because everything up to this point was meticulously and well executed. You would honestly be surprised by how such ending can instantly change you from an enthralling mood to a pokerface the moment you see the credits rolling. That was very, I repeat, vey underwhelming.
Conclusively, The Book of Unwritten Tales is the closest thing to a Monkey Island experience in my book. While it does not blatantly rely on nostalgia and references from past classics to suck you in, in fact, it does have its own charming personality. It basically takes almost everything that worked in the past and improves it, or more fittingly modernising the formula, while still keeping that old-school feel of the golden-era of LucasArts/Sierra games and at least trying to break the status quo set by those classics. I can easily say that this is one the best accomplished modern adventure games I have ever played in a very long time and can also say that it will stand the test of time as far as P&C games are concerned. It just falls slightly short from a masterpiece status thanks to its unjustified ending, but The Book of Unwritten Tales is a prime example of how P&C should be tackled for new and old audiences in times like these where military shooters and other saturated AAA-titles seem to take the spotlight in the media. There is more passion and product value in this than in many titles out there and I am glad I actually got to play this, eventually. What an unforgettable and delightful experience all around.
Like I said earlier, what the hell was I doing in 2012? I shall not repeat the same mistake in 2015 when the sequel will be released.
The Book of Unwritten Tales is without doubt one of the greatest adventure games I have played :) It is funny, has a nice difficulty with logical solutions to puzzles and it even has a great story :) Combine all that with great voiceacting and epic music and you have a really nice game :) Its a must play imo :)
Sharp writing, logical puzzles, great characters, and a meaty 15 hour adventure make The Book of Unwritten Tales a must play for any point and click adventure fan. At times, it almost feels like the Discworld books meets Day of the Tentacle, and that's the highest praise I can offer. I was constantly amused and even laughing out loud during much of the game.
Like any game in this genre though, there are some minor rough spots involving items that are difficult to notice/find. Thankfully, this only happened a couple of times during the story, and was far less of an issue than many other games of this type. There was also one puzzle that has you setting waypoints on a map that was extremely obtuse and annoying. Also, be warned that the game does make fun of many fantasy tropes, but it always feels like a sly wink and a nod rather than being cynical or mean-spirited.
Despite the minor rough spots, the game was truly a joy to play and highly recommended if you're a fan of the point and click adventure genre, or simply a fan of fantasy comedy like the Discworld series.
This is an awesome throwback to the days of Kings Quest and Quest for Glory. I love the humor and excellent writing. Puzzles take some thought but not enough to make you frustrated. Graphics and Voice acting are top notch for this style of game as well. I see they are making a part two. Cant wait!
La version française suivra après (car jeu mis à jour)
As most of the reviews already says, this a great adventure game in the vein of old Lucasart's one. Quite good writing, the scenario is interesting and surprising, the music is nice but you wouldn't notice it most of the time and its main pro is the humor and references during all the game. Regarding the references, it's kind of "which one you have found, I could tell you how old you are" as there are plenty from old to new games (adventure, MMORPG...), films etc.
Also, while you play, you will have to manage different characters which make the game more interesting. But the game itself is not very hard to go through. Most of the puzzle are quite logical, just to be careful to check if you have interact with all you can see in each area and talk to every actors of the game. A hint, if you couldn't go further, try to speak to everyone you can again.
All in all, it is a very nice game I really enjoy to play with and I recommend it to those you like adventure game. The one thing I missed (but finally not so much) is that there is no French option... but the English version is very well made.
Update: finally, there is a French version, well not the voice but at least the subtitles which is a good start ;o)
Version française :
Comme la plupart des commentaires en ont fait part, c'est un jeu d'aventure vraiment sympa dans la même veine que ceux de la grande époque Lucasart. L'écriture est bonne, le scénario intéressant et surprenant même, la musique assez sympa même si vous ne la remarquerez pas une partie du temps, et sa principale qualité à ce jeu se trouve au niveau de l'humour et des nombreuses références que l'on peut y trouver. Au niveau de ces derniers cela va des jeux vidéo aussi bien anciens que nouveaux jeux (de type MMORPG, aventure...), films etc.
Aussi, sachez qu'un autre intérêt à ce jeu c'est lorsque vous jouer, vous allez diriger plusieurs personnages. Cela dit les casse-têtes ne sont pas très difficiles et assez logiques, il faut juste avoir bien vérifié chaque tableau pour voir si on a rien oublié et aussi ne pas hésiter à parler avec les différents personnages. Un petit truc, si vous êtes coincés, n'hésitez pas à retourner parler à tous les personnages qui vous entourent.
En conclusion, c'est vraiment un jeu auquel j'ai pris un grand plaisir à jouer et je le recommande chaudement à ceux qui aiment les jeux d'aventure. La seule petite chose qui me manquait (et encore) c'était la version française. Mais cela est maintenant du passé car il y a les sous-titres en français. Cependant la version anglaise n'est pas très difficile à suivre et peut être un bon exercice pour ceux qui désirent s'améliorer avec la langue de Shakespeare.
12 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2015
I wasn't sure about this at first, as it's a little uneven in the early going, but the longer I played it, the more I enjoyed it. It's a fairly standard fantasy point-and-click adventure, where there's a big bad guy trying to get a powerful magic item, but it has a number of features that make it more entertaining than what you'd expect from such a generic situation.
One of the best innovations I've seen in a while is that hotspots will disappear after you've done everything possible with them. That really helps eliminate wasteful backtracking and double-checking of red herrings. You also switch around between three characters, all with totally different personalities and abilities. It's a bit reminiscent of older LucasArts games like Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. These two features help keep the game moving.
The other thing that sets this game apart is its excellent sense of humor. The game walks a fine line between meta-humor and camp while playing with genre tropes and expectations from RPGs and graphical adventure games. Fantasy geeks will appreciate all the jokes referencing other games, books, and movies. The voice acting is also very good, which helps with the delivery of a lot of the humorous lines.
The 3D graphics are mostly good, although there is some clipping and other weirdness here and there, and the cutscenes are only fair. Scenes are shown from widely varying angles to allow access to everything you need, which is appreciated.
It took me twelve hours to complete, and I feel like I went at a fairly steady pace, so I'd expect 10-15 hours for almost anyone to finish it. Overall, any experienced adventurers will enjoy the game quite a bit, and it's easy to recommend for such folks.
This is not just another point and click adventure game where good triumphs over evil. The creative and hilarious dialogue keeps you entertained as you play. Don't mind the minor graphical glitches. The game contains references to MMO's and will get a chuckle out of you. You can finish this game in 10-12 hours.
The game feels like a pop up book, and I love it. The graphics are great, and the dialogue is fantastically funny. The actual game is simple to play but can be a bit challenging at some points. For example, when you are working at becoming a Mage, there are three tasks you must complete. two out of three are simple, but when it comes time to make your potion, the controls are very sensitive; one mistake and you have to start again! I'm stuck! However, assuming I'll complete it one day, I bought the sequel.