intraspace: the review lounge

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Tale of Two Kingdoms

A Tale of Two Kingdoms is a point and click adventure game for PC computers. At one stage adventure games were one of the most popular genres for PC gaming however as computers got more wide spread the market for adventure games decreased and software companies began producing games aimed at a more mainstream market. After being snubbed by commercial companies many adventure game fans have started up their own projects either remaking old games with enhanced graphics or as in the case of Crystal Shards (the makers of ATOTK) releasing their own original adventure games. While most fan team start with great intentions and ambition they never end up completing their projects as it takes literally thousands of hours of work to make an adventure game. That is why it is so nice to see a project that has been followed through to completion.

I downloaded ATOTK (for free!) on Sunday night and was instantly impressed at the level of detail put into the game. It is amazing that people would put so much effort into making something simply for the enjoyment of others and for no monetary gain.

Graphics 7.5/10
The Graphics in ATOTK are fantastic! So much detail has been put into the background art and it is quite amazing how many extra animations they added into the project. They have settled for the classic adventure graphic style, which is VGA and is a retro 1995 feel to the graphics. While they may not be cutting edge technology they are still very easy on the eye and a great example of VGA background and sprites

Story 7/10
All adventure games need a solid story and ATOTK does not disappoint. The game is set in a fantasy land called Theylinn and you play the part of a mercenary solider who has come from another land to help save the kingdom from a goblin invasion. However things don't turn out quite as intended as the king is murdered and you are framed for the murder. One thing that makes many adventure games unplayable for Christians is occultic references and participation in dark magic. While ATOTK does have some magic it is played out like a fairytale and is far more tame then something like Lord of the Rings. So unlike many games that I either pass over or begin to play and then have to stop due to questionable material it was great to find a game that I was able to play and enjoy.

Gameplay 6.5/10
ATOTK has the classic adventure interface and it seems to work very well. The only negatives is that it opened up too much of the game at once rather then revealing piece by piece as the story progressed. It also had far to much dialogue, it can be frustrating for a player to read through so many different replies to questions. On the positive side it has several side quests and also some alternate endings which do add value to the production

Overall 7/10
Overall ATOTK is a good quality adventure game. It is amazing to find a full game that is completely free and so should be downloaded by anyone with an interest in storybased gaming.

Anyone who is interested in the project should check out

And for all those who didn't know I was a computer nerd .... now you do!!!

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