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The Book of Unwritten Tales 2

Score: 98%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Nordic Games
Developer: King Art Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 reunites the snarky and meta heroes of Aventasia in a new adventure. This time, they must find out the cause of a strange curse that is covering the land.

Both the game's audio and visual aspects keep the look and feel of the first game. The settings and characters all feel like they belong in pretty much any fantasy world you might have read or watched, and given the character's often off-handed pop culture references to some of those other fantasies, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 seems to try and sew many of those worlds together.

Characters like Wilbur, Nate and Ivo all look as good, if not better, as they did in the previous game, while the many bits of dialogue remain top notch both in the humorous script and the execution by the voice actors.


The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 starts off not long after the events of the first game. The heroes have all gone their separate ways, but it isn't long before they each find an excuse to get together and tackle the new threat that is looming over the lands.

When describing the new plight in the world, Ivo's mother references The Darkness that once swept across a distant realm (a reference to The Neverending Story), but says the force encroaching on Aventasia is much more horrific. And indeed it is something special. This magic force is changing castles into dollhouses and monsters into puppies. While I wouldn't call it worse than The Darkness, it is definitely causing some problems.

With a 25 hour or so gameplay time, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2's story is lengthy and in-depth. For instance, there is a good chunk of story that the player has to work through before the party even gets back together. At first, the game is all about setting up the characters in their current predicaments and getting them to all move to the same place. When the game starts, Nate finds himself falling from the sky, Ivo is locked away at her parents' palace and feeling a bit under the weather, while Wilbur is teaching at the recently reappeared mage school. The game switches between the main characters slowly bringing them together, and only once they meet does the game's story seem to really pick up and get going.

The lengthy gameplay time is a big selling point in this game. While there are still plenty of companies coming out with full length adventure titles, I find myself spending a lot of time playing Telltale Game's episodic titles. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them and anxiously await the next part soon after getting through the latest episode, but it makes the game a series of short, choppy stints of adventure. Sure, by the time the season is done, the game might clock in at 10 or 12 hours, but being confronted with a massive undertaking like Unwritten Tales 2 all at once has gotten a little daunting. I've had to dust off my old-school hardcore adventure gamer boots with both this game and its predecessor in order to make my way through these games and it is a refreshing and welcome change.


Like the first game, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 touts itself as going back to the roots of the point-and-click adventure genre, and the puzzles it throws at you feels just right for that particular goal. The game offers very few logic or mini-game style obstacles and instead leans heavily towards inventory and dialogue puzzles. While most of what Unwritten Tales 2 throws at the player is using the right object with the right piece of scenery, players will find that there are several times when the only solution is to talk to the same character several times or even look at/examine the same object over and over again. As a result, I found that there were times when I thought I had exhausted all of my options and was unable to proceed in the game, only to realize that I needed to examine something I had already looked at yet again.

While this got a little frustrating, when I remembered that this was also the case for the first game, I just made sure to investigate everything to the point of ridiculousness and it would often pay off in one form or another.

Game Mechanics:

As you would expect from a game trying to remind players what classic adventure games were like, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 follows the classic point-and-click format solidly. The game doesn't boast any quicktime-events, there are some seriously tricky puzzles in play and tons of well acted/written dialogue. These elements mixed with the amusing characters really hark back to Guybrush Threepwood's early adventures. You are often presented with a set of tasks that you must complete in order to proceed. While the tasks might sound simple, when you really delve into the resources you have at hand, you will find that you have to regularly think outside of the box in order to complete your current task list, only to be given the next set of quests to work through. While it might not fit the more refined narrative of some other, more modern-styled adventure games, it allows for a set of clear goals, which is good for a game this long that will take multiple sittings to finish.

While it isn't necessary to have beaten, or even played, The Book of Unwritten Tales in order to jump into the sequel, the first game does give you a good bit of background and an understanding of just how some of the characters would solve various problems. Story-wise however, most of what you need to know from the previous game is conveyed to the player in a way that should keep anyone from getting lost. So, while you don't need the first game to enjoy this one, I do recommend any adventure gamer picking up one or both of these titles.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8, 2.0 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM, DirectX 9c compatible graphic card with 512 MB RAM and PixelShader 3.0, DirectX Version 9.0c, 13 GB available hard drive space, DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

Test System:

Windows 8.1 64-bit, Intel i7-4770K 3.5GHz, 8 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 11

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