PlayStation 4
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Game Info:

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Developed by: King Art
Published by: Nordic GamesRelease Date: September 18, 2015
Available on: PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Adventure
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Teen for fantasy violence, language, mild sexual themes, use of alcohol and tobacco
Price: $19.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Nordic Games for sending us this game to review!

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 was successfully Kickstarted in March of 2014, nearly tripling its initial goal amount.  The first Book of Unwritten Tales was released in North America in 2011 and was followed up by a stand-alone prequel called The Critter Chronicles.  Both of those games received praise as they raised the bar for point and click adventure games.

Since the PS4 is lacking a mouse, the twin joysticks are used to move the character (left joystick) and around the room (right joystick).  The X button is for using an item while the O button simply examines it.  The inventory is accessed by pressing the triangle button.   Once the inventory is opened up, the X button can use items within it.  The square button will display all of the interact-able items on the screen.  After reading this paragraph, you can successfully skip the tutorial in the game should you decide to buy the PS4 version of it!

Despite the simplicity of the controls, it didn’t take me very long to realize the problem with them.  When the elven princess Ivo is being watched like a hawk by her pet bird, Cheep-cheep, I had to find a way to distract him for a while.  In Ivo’s room is a music box (which is shaped like a sphere) that opens up to play music and closes up afterward.  Even after placing Cheep-cheep’s mirror next to the music box, I struggled with activating it.  That indeed was the solution, but it was troublesome to execute it properly.  Issues like this make me wonder how much easier the PC version is to play.

 

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Highlights:

Strong Points: Beautiful graphics; silly humor; likable characters
Weak Points: The interface can use some tweaking as it is hard to perform certain actions that should be simple to do
Moral Warnings: Fantasy violence and magic use; the magic school has pentagrams proximately displayed; sexual dialogue; tobacco and alcohol use; language, references to zombies and multiple gods

Fortunately, the characters and the silly humor make the controls worth putting up with.  Other characters carried over from the previous games include the cocky adventurer Nate, his alien pet named Critter, and Wilbur the gnome who is captivated by magic, but has yet to master it.  If you have not played the original games, you’ll be missing out on much of their background and previous adventures together.  It’s seldom a good idea to start a series from its sequel and The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is no exception.  

Throughout the five chapters and twenty to thirty hours of gameplay, the characters will have their own dilemmas that will have to be addresses before the story unites them.  The game begins with Nate falling from the sky and needing rescuing while Ivo finds herself in quite a predicament that is bound to upset her mother if she finds out.  Wilbur on the other hand is being bullied by his own students at the wizard academy as they realize that they know more about magic than their teacher.  As Adventasia is in peril yet again, they’re reunited for another epic journey as they save their world and their archmage who is in danger.

 

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 67%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 7/10
Occult/Supernatural - 5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

Like its predecessors, the humor is quite silly and pokes fun at many popular video games and movies.  I liked how the Elven library had a companion cube and a monster that looked like Sully from Monsters Inc on display.  The graphics are quite stunning, especially in the beautiful Elven kingdom.  

The background music and voice acting is well done and gives the characters a lot of personality.  Despite the subtitles showing the word “arse” it often sounded like *ss instead.  The word d*mn is used as well.  Then there’s the whole awkward sex dialogue which I don’t want to give too much away as it will spoil the story.  While were talking about sex, some of the females can use more clothing.  Other issues worth noting include zombies, false gods and pentagrams prominently displayed at the wizard school.   

If the moral issues in the previous installments didn’t bother you, then you’ll probably be fine with the sequel.  The ESRB’s teen rating is well deserved and should probably not be played around kids unless you want to provide an opportunity for a birds and the bees talk.  If you haven’t played the original two games, you may want to play those to get the full backstory of the characters before they embark on this adventure together.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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