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Kingís Quest - Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause
Score: 72%
Publisher: Sierra
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/Classic/Retro/Puzzle

Previously on Kingís Quest:

When we last left King Graham, he was deep into storytelling with his granddaughter, Gwendolyn. In Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember, the elderly king (voiced by Christopher Lloyd) was looking back on his early days when he was just a prince in search of the crown. With gameplay told through stories delivered by his older self, a younger Graham was able to defeat a dragon, outrace a speedster, out-muscle a meathead, and outwit a cunning knight named Manny (voiced by Wallace Shawn), also looking for the crown. The kingdom of Daventry was a beautiful place, and with the help of some bridge trolls, Prince Graham was successful in securing the crown. After his stories, it was time for bed, and we would have to wait for another day to learn more about his history and his early days as King.

A Royal Debacle:

Fast-forward to tomorrow, and Kingís Quest Ė Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause has old King Graham once again telling tales of old, even if the versions have changed over the years. After gaining the crown, a very young, still adventurous King Graham begins to get bored and ventures out of the safety of his kingdom. Unfortunately, a group of rock goblins kidnaps him and others from the village, taking them underground into the caverns of the deep.

It is here where the story, and underlining adventure, picks up. Deep in the darkness, King Graham finds himself locked away with few clues left behind in his cell. By manipulating his environment, the King is freed for the moment, to explore the caverns where he is locked up. However, just outside his door, King Graham realizes his fate may be bleak when he spies Mr. Fancypants, a unicorn goat that helps guide the carriage of an old gypsy man from A Knight to Remember, all tied up and suffering greatly. Venturing further, we learn that Amaya Blackstone, the baking duo, and the crusty old Hobblepots, all characters introduced in the first chapter, are locked in separate cells themselves.


Tough Decisions & The Great Escape:

A king will always have to make tough decisions in his lifetime, and now is no exception. With all of his friends locked away, it is up to Graham to protect the members of his kingdom. To do so, he needs to infiltrate the lair of the Stone Goblins from within, but there is a catch to it all. Everyone is left hungry when the porridge pipes run dry, and it is up to Graham to provide nourishment while seeking answers and a way out. The hook here is that if anyone gets neglected, they are eliminated from the game. There comes a time when every king must face the truth that he canít be everywhere at once, so the decisions on whom to feed coincide with what your perception is that they can do for the greater good of the escape to the surface. The fate of his majesty doesnít just rest on freeing his people, but also getting away from the Stone Goblin King and his henchmen as well. It will take a bit of wit to outsmart the king of the rock people, so after putting on his adventure cap yet another time, King Graham is up to the challenge.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place:

While The Odd Gentlemen knocked Chapter 1 Ė A Knight to Remember out of the park, it is safe to say that this follow-up lacked a lot of the charm from the first. Itís not to say that Kingís Quest - Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause wasnít relatively enjoyable. It was fun to continue in the overall storyline initiated by the premiere in the series, but it just didnít have the magic touch and spark of life that A Knight to Remember had. Unfortunately, Rubble Without a Cause felt very limited in scope and creativity.

The developers made great use of the underground caverns and how to force the user to walk every square inch of them, multiple times, but a great adventure game should be more than fetch and retrieve style puzzles. There was a spark of creativity here and there within the game, but overall, it really was just more of the same. I didnít find myself really laughing out loud (literally) like in Chapter 1 either, as the humor was more limited, possibly due to the more serious nature of the task at hand. For that, Kingís Quest - Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause just didnít have the same charm as its predecessor. It will be interesting to see which tale(s) King Graham graces us with in Chapter 3. For now, however, I think Iíll go back and try to save everyoneÖ Iím feeling pretty bad about leaving my baking friends without food.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele
Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista/7/8; Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 1.86GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ @ 2.4GHz; 1GB RAM; GeForce 8800 GT or Radeon HD 4770 with 512 MB Video RAM; DirectX v9.0c; 13GB Hard Drive Space; DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
  Test System:

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit; Intel Core i7-5930K CPU @ 3.50GHz (12 CPUs); 32GB RAM; nVidia GeForce GTX 980; Xbox One Controller

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