The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 – Review

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is about a group of heroes of all shapes and sizes that is trying to save the world. There is an evil force threatening the land and it is up to you and your group of friends to stop it. Along the way you’ll come across an elf princess, a wannabe mage, some rats, some zombies and more. They will all make up your eclectic team that will give you access to just about anywhere whether it is the school, underground in the sewers, on a flying pirate island and more. Amongst the overall story of trying to save the world are a bunch of sub stories such as Ivo not getting along with her mom, Wilbur constantly trying to prove himself, Esther trying to make a better life for her family and more. It is a nice mixture of characters that come from all walks of life but come together to do whatever they can to help save the world.

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a point-and-click adventure game. There is very little action as you are constantly exploring the environment you are in, trying to find clues as to what is going on. Once you find an item you have to try and figure out whether to use it or to perhaps combine it with another item to use it that way. This is a PC franchise that was ported over to consoles and it really shows in certain areas. For starters the controls for this game were not optimized for console. There were many times where when I told my character to go somewhere they would either pause or stutter step before going in the direction I told them to. Even if I wanted to head right to get to the next area as soon as I would get to the next screen there seemed to be a momentary pause and sometimes the character would walk in a circle briefly, almost as if they were trying to get their bearings. It is really weird and not something that you see in Telltale’s games, for example. The button inputs didn’t always work at first either. If there was a situation where I needed to push the “A” button for example, sometimes I had to push it a couple of times to get the game to recognize it. This didn’t happen all the time but it happened enough to annoy me. When you are talking about adventure games like these it isn’t as essential to have really tight controls like it would be for an FPS game so it didn’t really hinder the game all that much other than some minor frustrations I would feel from time to time.

Aesthetically speaking this is a very pretty game. It is a bit cartoon-ish and has a pretty nice pastel color palette. Each area is different which gives some variety to the game even if you are essentially doing the same type of things in every area. There is a town where the wannabe mage is a professor trying to teach magic to his students, the elf kingdom where Ivo lives a life of privilege, a flying pirate island, ancient ruins, a dark and creepy forest and more. Each one will have you solving different puzzles whether it is trying to find your way inside a pyramid, trying to navigate a forest that can wreak havoc on your senses, being a servant in a castle as you try and explore the premises and more. The story also has a lot of references to the industry from hearing about a guy named Mario, to talking about using a walkthrough to figure out a problem, to a Back to the Future reference and many more that I won’t spoil. These definitely made me chuckle a bit and I loved how that they were able to poke fun at certain things about the gaming industry and pop culture as a whole. The audio for this game is also really well done with all of different and distinctive characters to the overall soundtrack playing in the background as you are progressing on your journey. They do a great job of having the music be representative of what is happening (or about to happen) on screen to put you in just the right mood. I played part of the game listening to it through the television speakers and the other part using a Turtle Beach headset I have and you’ll definitely want to have some headphones to really appreciate how the game sounds.

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a fun game. The console version didn’t really receive the care it should have in certain areas but I enjoyed the game overall. For those of you who are achievement hunters I was able to get the full 1,000 gamerscore pretty easily. There are some achievements that are missable so you might want to use a guide. The game has a decent length as well clocking in at a little over 20 hours. I assume (and hope) there is going to be a third game in the series as there are still questions left unanswered after having beat the game. Be sure to watch the end credits as well. There is an achievement that won’t unlock until after the end credits are done and you are back on the main menu. If you are a fan of these point-and-click adventure games then I would definitely give this game a try. If you haven’t been a fan of this genre in the past then this won’t be the game that changes your mind. If you have played the first entry then this is a nice continuation of the story as well.

Score: 8/10

Originally posted on Gaming Target

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