Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)
Title: The Order of the Thorne - The King's Challenge
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Release Date: 26 Jan, 2016
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The Order of the Thorne - King's Challenge! This game is one that I've seen in recent years that has tried to stay true to the old classic Lucasart and Sierra games of the day. This is a good and a bad thing. I found the game to be pleasantly enjoyable in many reguards as I took a walk down memory lane and thought about some of the old games that I had played. The dilemma comes with the reasoning that since the game came out in 2016 it should look and feel much better than the classics as these games did not have the technology to produce the graphics we have today. So while I liked the game generally, here are some pros and cons of the game. Pros: The art of many of the backgrounds is good and the art for the portraits are amazing. The music is easily enjoyed. Finn is a great main character. There are some great easter eggs that pay tribute to the classics. I don't even think I caught them all. Cons: Game is a little short (3ish hours) and the storyline seems underdeveloped, since this is only the first what seems to be quite a few games (Intros are never that good, as the world and characters have to be setup). The animations (not the art) seem lacking and the scale sometimes felt off. Some examples being a boat that does not rotate to dock, but instead rows past the dock and diagonally back to it (if you can picture that) or the size of buildings next to Finn. I also didn't feel like a few characters did not line up with the fantasy world. These were the raptors and sloths. I understand that a game like KQ6 or KQ7 had a ton of weird characters, but the way the island/land seemed to seperate them allowed the game to feel more believable. This seemed more like a bunch of random characters. For me, this game may not be able to compete with Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's revenge (MY all time favorite point and click). But I still think the game is a good one and do recommend the game for anyone with a liking to point and click adventures, especially if you really enjoyed the old school games back in the day and all its pixel glory. I look forward to future games and understand that what they have been able to accomplish from where they have been is quite miraculous. P.S. The game runs at 320 x 200 and can scale up, but if you have a computer like mine you will be left with some black borders around the edge, which I don't mind but some people do.. It was a very nice experience. Playing beautiful songs as a bard was the best thing for me in this game. Landscapes are really pretty and dialogues are well written.. In almost every way that matters, this game is a thoroughly charming, and extremely well executed point and click adventure game that could easily play ball with the old school Sierra/Lucas Arts franchises. The art is clearly inspired by the era, and is masterfully done. My limited review here wouldn't do it justice, but it really was very well done. The play style functions intuitively for the novice and will be very familiar to fans of the genre. (Save save save!). The story was fun. It was certainly characteristic of the genre, perhaps even a little canned, but I truly didn't mind. I would have preferred it it to be a bit longer though. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it is clear that the design team thoroughly tested the game, which I found to be completely free of any bug that would crash the game. The team took the testing a step further and made sure that there were no logical dead-ends either. I'm sure there's an official name for it, but basically where you advance to a point in the plot without obtaining something, and then can't proceed without reverting back to an earlier save/start. (KQ5 and the cat chasing the mouse still makes me grind my teeth.) I am thrilled that the point-and-click adventure game market seems to be picking back up after what seems like an eternity. I really thought I'd seen the last of this sort of game until just a few years ago. If you're a fan, there's a whole community of sites out there devoted to this type of game. Just like any other genre it is not without its fluff or repetition. This game isn't fluff, and I enjoyed it beginning to end. If you're a fan of the genre you will like this game.. The graphics and gameplay remind me of King's Quest V, while the lute makes me nostalgic toward Loom. Order of the Thorne has intuitive puzzles and storyline, however it is fairly short in duration, at least it seemed that way to me. Then again, maybe I just wanted more! I definitely enjoyed my romp through this homage to 90's adventure gaming.. Great little adventure game that reminds me of the old glory days of Sierra adventure games.. A huge dissapointment from the company that brought us Quest for Infamy. I'm not sure how the quality of absolutely every aspect of this game managed to drop from QfI like a lead balloon. Tragic.. As the king of the elves calls for his annual challenge, you are on your way to participate in the competition which this year requires you to find the queen, hidden somewhere in the kingdom of the elves. Equipped with nothing more than his lute, Finn the Bard gets ready for a very enjoyable adventure that entertained me more than many of the modern Telltale, Daedalic, etc. games. 'The Order of the Thorne - The King's Challenge' is an old style point and click adventure that reminds a lot of 'Kings Quest' and the old 'LucasArts' games. Its short, lovely, funny and heart warming. Take a break from the AAA scene and relax for a couple of hours with caring elves, treacherous pixies, introvert fisherman, nasty gnomes, helpful turtles, beautiful ladies and a spider woman with the most sexiest voice ever (please tell me one more time I may not pass.) Pros: - good music - good puzzles - you can't die - great humour - great narrator - very good voice acting - visit a graveyard with tombstones for each developer - most sexy voice of a spider lady in a PC game ever - easy achievements Neutral: - pixel graphics (I won't put them on the cons list because they are still beautiful) - some might say the game is too short. I think it's OK. It took me six hours to finish the game. But I took my time and enjoyed playing it slowly.. A good (if short) introduction to the world and I look forward to the sequel! The writing was great and had some unexpectedness despite the fairy tale theme and characters who were all memorable despite the limited screen time. The best part was the beautiful art work on par with the comparable Kings Quest VGAs There are a lot of exposition dumps, they are warrented for world/story building, espeicially for the initial game of a series, but are long and repetative compared to the rest of the conversation flow in the game and become a little daunting to get through. It's magnified when you feel how much time they take out of such a short game. The premise, characters, and story are still really intruiging and left on a great cliffhanger. I especially like Finn, the main character. While being nostalgic and not new thematically, it was actually refreshing and really fun with it's own agency apart from other fantasy point and click adventure games.
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