King's Quest Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember Review

Screenshot from King's Quest Chapter 1

Some unusual feeling is caused by sudden changes in the trends of adventure games. It seemed like just recently the traditional point-n-click was the latest trend in the genre, and no one really cared that this trend was at least twenty years old – everything fit perfectly into the old traditions of Sierra and LucasArts. And then suddenly comrades from Telltale Games come along with their episodic philosophy, and the demand for single-player movie-like games suddenly surpasses the need for methodical puzzle-solving. Moreover, it surpasses it to such an extent that not only indie kids, but also well-established series like King’s Quest are happy to follow the innovations.

To appreciate the irony, one must remember that the “royal” quest series owes a whole bunch of familiar distinctive features to today’s standards, including the graphical and sound design as such. Now, however, the legislator becomes an imitator – and that is why it is best not to slide into conservative grumbling and to perceive the new game independently of its previous merits. Especially since the modern audience, who doesn’t blush at the mention of Larry Laffer’s name and is not familiar with Roberta Williams’ contributions, will not have any problems with that anyway.


The newcomers will be quickly disoriented by the introductory segment, from which it is impossible to understand anything decisively. Without any preamble, even without a short video introducing the matter, everything simply begins. If you have ever accidentally loaded someone else’s save instead of starting a new game, you should have a rough idea of the absurdity of the situation. Here’s a guy, here he goes down the well, crawling through caves, trying not to wake up the dragon – no hello, no goodbye. The fact that this is the future king Graham going after the magic mirror is known about forty minutes later – particularly clever fans might understand it earlier, but for some reason, they make the rest feel unnecessary for an unacceptably long time.

On the other hand, the gameplay in this interval is too friendly. It can be assumed that mouse control has been abolished in favor of WASD and a single action key, however, automatic jumps over chasms and advanced puzzles using the only item at the only active point barely maintain interest in the process. It is assumed that the player is familiarizing themselves with the intricacies of the mechanics in this way, but no justification is found for the prolonged tutorial.

This time we will not be allowed into the castle, but they will give us a stroke

This time we won’t be allowed into the castle, but they will let us have a look.

Fortunately for everyone, after the prologue, King’s Quest starts leaning more towards early “telltales”. The adventures of youth, which the old Graham tells his granddaughter about, are a mix between a classic quest and recent adventure games on the Steam list. The focus is still on conversational and inventory tasks scattered throughout the extensive area, but their solution is occasionally interspersed with arcade mini-games. Virtual shooting range, boss fights in the form of extreme jumps, dances, tabletop battles, and even acrobatic inserts – the authors make every effort to diversify the interactivity, thanks to which you approach the usual “fetch-bring” tasks with the same enthusiasm each time. It can be challenging at times, but it’s almost always fun.

King’s Quest is inherently full of entertainment. Humor compensates for any misstep, from the low level of difficulty to the abundance of QTEs. Every situation is a potential reason for a joke of the most unexpected kind, and this arsenal is truly inexhaustible. A separate line in the game is friendly mockery of colleagues in the genre: as soon as you treat squirrels rudely, they will definitely “REMEMBER IT”; unnecessary non-linearity is added to dialogues out of nowhere; monotonous walks through locations are interrupted by the impatient granddaughter’s exclamations – and so on. And in general, when you enter a world where the Troll Bridge Guild has gone on strike, knights secretly dream of knitting socks, and the main hero easily fits a tabletop under his cloak, you understand that deep down, this is still an old-school quest.

Character Gwendolyn
Encounter with a troll

However, inner beauty is perfectly correlated with the execution of the project. Unfortunately, the screenshots do not capture the charm, as the true essence of King’s Quest is revealed only in motion. The superb animation, which Telltale still lacks, combined with the titanic work on the musical and sound accompaniment, breathes life into the not-so-high-tech and slightly flawed picture. The characters move smoothly and make caricatured grimaces, roll down hills in a funny manner to amusing tunes, and release witty comments with funny voices. It’s almost like Disney, honestly. If only the fabrics didn’t pass through objects.

In reality, a game of this quality from The Odd Gentlemen is an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. For a studio that has been known for years as “the ones who made Winterbottom,” they handle the weight of responsibility that comes with the thirty-year history of King’s Quest extremely well. One can only hope that things will continue to go uphill for both the studio and the series.


The first episode made it clear that King’s Quest is not striving for a revolution in the genre, but clearly intends to take its place among the best, and so far there is no reason to doubt the success of the idea. Funny, interesting, captivating, diverse – a great setup for the upcoming season.

King’s Quest
PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Adventure, Quest
Sierra Entertainment
The Odd Gentlemen
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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