Lace Mamba Global has swiftly developed a reputation as a leading force in adventure videogame publishing in Europe, known for bringing many previously unavailable titles to UK gamers with an English language localisation. The latest addition to their range, The Book of Unwritten Tales, is another German developed title that has been called for by adventure game fans in English speaking countries, and of course Lace Mamba Global is only too happy to step up to the plate and deliver.
Set for release later this week, the UK retail package of The Book of Unwritten Tales includes a soundtrack CD, double sided poster and a unique concept art book. It’s a pleasingly robust package – especially when considering its standard price-tag – but this will mean little to gamers if The Book of Unwritten Tales isn’t an enjoyable experience. Thankfully, it fits the bill perfectly, bringing a number of original ideas to the genre.
The plotline of The Book of Unwritten Tales takes place in an unashamedly Tolkien influenced world, in which the player begins as an immortal female elf known as Ivo. Throughout their quest the player will take control of a number of other characters, using their special abilities to solve different puzzles, but Ivo typically leads the story for much of the videogame.
The videogame takes place as a 3D point-n’-click adventure. As would be expected, the puzzle basis of The Book of Unwritten Tales is invested in traditional point-n’-click set-ups, with the player given an environment and a puzzle to solve, object to move or item to find. Instructions or clues can be given by other characters or even the environment itself, and players who are well versed in the typical conventions of the genre will find themselves right at home. What does differ from the norm however is the spatial awareness: being a 3D environment, players can move between foreground and background in search of solutions, adding depth by perception that many 2D titles do without.
The visual quality of The Book of Unwritten Tales is lacking when compared to modern hits, but when compared specifically to the leading titles in it’s genre it’s clear that King Art Games has crafted a very well designed world. The character models may be no better than that which could have been achieved on the PlayStation 2 and many of the textures may appear bland and lifeless, but on the whole the world has been crafted elegantly as any adventure videogame from recent years.
The localisation of The Book of Unwritten Tales isn’t perfect, though is rarely obtrusive. Similar videogames have been encumbered by the directness of their translation, using terms for objects and puzzles that might be entirely accurate in their original language, but in English are called something entirely different. Thankfully, there are not too many occurrences of this in The Book of Unwritten Tales, meaning that for the most part players will have an enjoyable challenge, rather than a frustrating one.
The demand to have The Book of Unwritten Tales brought to English speaking countries has been met, and now given the opportunity to experience the videogame firsthand it’s obvious as to why such a request existed. The Book of Unwritten Tales may not be the most elegant videogame coming to market this autumn, but it is certainly one of the most well paced point-n’-click adventure titles to hit the UK this year.