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King’s Quest - Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember

Score: 95%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Sierra
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Classic/Retro/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

The long-beloved King’s Quest series has made its way to a new generation to love and enjoy, and Chapter 1 does not disappoint. The graphical style of the game – that of a children’s epic storybook – was a bit of a surprise in some small regard, but really began to grow on me after an initial period of questioning whether that was the best choice (versus a more realistic approach). It was absolutely the correct choice, and is, without a doubt, brilliant.

You see, you can’t always judge a (story)book by its cover. Standing alone, it would probably be easy to pass up a game like King’s Quest – Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember while browsing images, if it is not typically your style of game. However, once this tale takes off with the distinct voice of Christopher Lloyd (as King Graham) and the animations and adventure begin, it is easy to quickly realize how beautiful this game really is from an audio-visual standpoint. It is literally like playing, not reading, through a children’s book.

The outstanding animations, story, voice acting, humor, environments, and NPCs really make this game a must-play for anyone, young or old, who enjoys a good adventure from time to time. As a long-time fan of the King’s Quest series, my initially turned-up nose was quickly grounded and I’m happy to publicly state that my first impression was incredibly wrong.


I have to admit, as you may have gathered from above, that my initial thoughts were less than stellar because it was too easy to look back to the glory days of the series and anticipate how a new King’s Quest game should look, feel, sound, and play. However, getting over my stubbornness didn’t actually take long at all. This game is absolutely beautifully done, and while a few of the fetch and retrieve missions sometimes were obvious and lacked character, it was still easy to get lost in the story and find a lot of enjoyment in controlling a young Prince Graham.

In the same vein that The Princess Bride has in the film world, the stories in this first episode of King’s Quest are told through the ramblings of an old man to a child. That old man just happens to be King Graham (voiced by Christopher Lloyd), whom the entire series was based upon, and that child is none other than his granddaughter, Gwendolyn. Coincidentally, a central character named Manny is voiced by none other than the great Wallace Shawn, who happened to play Vizzini in Rob Reiner’s cult classic movie. A few of Manny’s moments in KQ actually seem to be throwbacks to The Princess Bride as well, adding to the subtle (and not-so-subtle) humor within.

King’s Quest has always been an adventure series where the main premise was exploration and using acquired items to manipulate the environment or non-player characters (NPCs) in order to continue progression in the game. The series has had some ups and downs over the years, but this latest interaction was top notch… at least so far in King’s Quest – Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember. The variety of characters that the young Graham meets along his journey is great, and the flow of the game was nearly flawless, save for a bit of a lull in some of the fetch and retrieve bits. There is a heavy focus on puns in the game’s dialogue as well, and that is the running joke… but believe it or not, it never got old. The writing was (overall) quite witty and delivered with perfect voice acting. I only wish it were possible that all games had the character of King’s Quest. [See, it’s catchy!]


Once again, admittedly, there came a point where I was missing something and found myself wandering back and forth, to and fro, and here and there, just trying to figure out my next step. With the luxury of time, and likely walking away for a break, I’m sure that next move would have clicked. As it turns out, a peak at a walkthrough was in order, and it was just the boost that was needed to keep Graham on schedule with his adventures. I mention this not to say you should use this method when stuck, but instead with the intention of saying that there may be moments where the solution doesn’t immediately jump out at you. The fact is, I’d suggest avoiding walkthroughs at all costs because it is too easy to accidentally see more than you wanted, which has the potential of taking a lot of enjoyment from the experience of the game.

In all, most of the game’s puzzles where relatively straightforward, however. In fact, until I had to get a hint, there was a point where I yearned for some of the difficulty of the original games from more than 30 years ago. Replacing some of the puzzles in today’s King’s Quest were some quick-time events where button presses and/or dialogue choices were needed to progress. While this has become a standard in certain game styles lately, I was a bit surprised to find them in King’s Quest. A few of these felt forced, but overall, they were a welcome addition and added a slightly different degree of difficulty to the otherwise passive game.

Game Mechanics:

King’s Quest on the PC can naturally be played with the keyboard and mouse, but I must say it didn’t take long to bust out an Xbox One (or 360) controller in the pursuit of controlling Graham more smoothly. With the keyboard, walking around with the switching camera views often felt a bit cumbersome, whereas the game controller was generally pretty smooth (although camera switching was still a bit odd, depending on the angles). Likewise, using the game controller’s buttons felt much more natural than doing the same thing with the keyboard for any length of time. The game itself felt longer than it actually was, where I officially logged 7 hours, but suspect that it was actually more when counting my failures. There are plenty of checkpoints, however, so you shouldn’t lose that much progress at any given point anyway.

Overall, King’s Quest – Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember really was an enjoyable and entertaining introduction to a game that is heavily story-driven, and thrives on outstanding voice acting, visuals, audio, and animation. Even after I write this, it is hard to compare this version of King’s Quest with the original and its predecessors (mostly because it was so very long ago), but my nostalgia factor was pleasantly pleased with this recent addition to the series. Sierra & The Odd Gentlemen have done an outstanding job of tying things together by using an old King Graham to tell the story of his journey to the throne. I truly can’t wait to get started on Chapter 2.

-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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