‘The Book of Unwritten Tales 2′ Review

Platforms PC, Mac OS X, Steam OS + Linux

Developer KING Art   Publisher Nordic Games

Genre Point and Click Adventure   Platform Played On PC

Somewhere between an elven princess talking to a small tree and a spoiled child turning the world pink and fluffy, I realized I was in love with The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, the sequel to developer King Art’s 2009 title The Book of Unwritten Tales. The characters are likeable, the gameplay is simple, and the puzzles are suitably challenging. As someone who did not play the first game, I was surprised to find myself settling into the story with very few, if any, questions.

Despite a relatively tedious, if adorable, tutorial, BoUT 2 begins with a bang. Nick, the rogue with a heart of gold, is falling through space, scrambling up various bits of debris in an attempt to save himself. After this brief scene, the game opens in earnest, giving the player control of Ivo, a rebellious elven princess who feels sick despite the elven resistance to disease. Upon consulting a magical talking book safely stored within a library decorated with iconic pop culture references ranging from Disney to Minecraft, Ivo discovers that she is pregnant, and not by conventional elven or human means. This mystery is but one in a string of strange events that have been plaguing the land of Aventasia. In order to solve the mystery, the player will take control of Nick, Ivo, a gnome mage named Wilbur, and a furry critter called-you guessed it-Critter, as the game progresses. These four friends (exes, in Nic and Ivo’s case) must work together to save their home.

Though the game’s fairy tale premise and storybook interface seem almost cliché, it becomes obvious early on in the 15-20 hour adventure that The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 has a personality of its own. The game offers clever dialogue accompanied by strong voice acting, pop culture references galore and a self-aware brand of humor that frequently includes the player in the joke. I caught references to PortalAladdinHarry PotterStar Wars, and even Game of Thrones. At one point, I found myself completely delighted as I guided Wilbur back in time to increasingly pixilated destinations. In a world where games often take themselves a bit too seriously, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 offfers a refreshing ability to not only laugh at itself, but to let the player in on the joke.

Mechanically, BoUT 2 is relatively simple. You click on items to examine, use, or place them into your inventory. Much of the game is spent collecting and combining items to help the characters advance in their journey. The puzzles themselves are elegant and witty, often requiring the player to take control of more than one character to work toward a solution. Switching between characters adds a new layer to gameplay that, while it serves to make the adventure a bit more interesting, occasionally becomes tedious; maneuvering the right character to the right location can often take a few minutes that seem entirely unnecessary. That said, the only real complaint I really have about BoUT2 is that it is occasionally glitchy. Lines of dialogue are occasionally skipped and characters sometimes do not respond to player commands.

On the whole, BoUT 2 is a charming and witty adventure that offers relatable and unique characters. In spite of a few glitches, the overwhelming personality of the game takes hold of the player and refuses to let go. The simple mechanics are well suited to seasoned gamers as well as newcomers, and the story offers plenty of twists and turns. The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a virtual storybook worth “reading”.

The Good

  • Engaging characters
  • Unique, self aware humor

The Bad

  • A few gameplay glitches here and there

The Score: 9