Hits & Misses: King’s Quest – Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb
After finishing the latest chapter in The Odd Gentlemen’s reboot of the classic “King’s Quest” franchise, “King’s Quest – Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb,” I have come to the conclusion that I have to adjust my expectations. The first chapter offered over five hours of gameplay and a fairly wide variety of puzzles and characters – as well as a more open approach to the game environment. With Chapter 2 and, now, Chapter 3, the developer has reigned in the game and delivered shorter, much more linear expansions of the story and the associated gameplay.
The thing is… although shorter and much more concise in the gameplay offered and plot focus, Once Upon a Climb continues to deliver on the story (this time around, it is all about Graham’s search for the love of his life), the new characters introduced (and the old that continue to be part of the mix – seriously, is there anyone that doesn’t love “Whisper?”) and the sweet, gentle nature of the narrative. I know that the gameplay is simple and elements are reused from the prior chapters, but that all really takes a backseat to my desire to see the evolution of King Graham’s journey – I care about him, his family and the various denizens of his kingdom of Daventry enough where it is more important to me to continue with their story arc than take issue with the quality of a particularly annoying puzzle (I’m looking at you, lute!)
That being said, at a price of $9.99 for each three hour chapter (after the first), I can see why some would say that this is a relatively high price to pay for a game that is becoming less interactive and more linear as it moves forward, but I respectfully disagree. I consider the price well worth it for the quality entertainment on offer and, once all five chapters are complete (assuming they continue along the lines of the last two), I will have spent $50 for a game that delivered memorable, and wonderfully quirky, characters, great voice acting, and that made me care about the world and its inhabitants. And, it will have done so over the course of 15-17 hours of total gameplay. So, taken in that bigger context, the investment in King’s Quest puts it right in line with most games on offer in 2016.
Before I wrap this up, I need to drop some of my favorite Whisper lines on you… love that guy!
- “Whisper shall… whisper”
- “Whisper’s lips will whisper no more”
- “If the ladies see Whisper, King Graham won’t stand a chance”
- “Whisper loves Whisper”
King’s Quest – Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb
- Publisher: Sierra
- Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
- Release Date: 4/26/16
- Price: $9.99
ICG Verdict: Hit
The third installment in The Odd Gentlemen’s reboot of the King’s Quest series focuses on King Graham’a quest to find the love of his life. Of course, as only can happen to Graham, things get a little… odd, and the story takes on another dimension as it evolves – leading to an intriguing cliffhanger. Like Chapter 2, Once Upon a Climb is about three hours in length with a few puzzles that need to be solved, some climbing sequences and a lot of exposition. And, like the previous chapters, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
King Graham – Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places?