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Knight's Quest IV: Here Today, Gone To Yesterday

Reviewed by  Wendy Mann


Introduction

Knight's Quest IV: Here Today, Gone to Yesterday is a very enjoyable, short (but cleverly designed) game that is downloadable FOR FREE, as are many other games, at the Adventure Games Studio Website (see link below this review).  It is an AGS game, i.e. it was written using the Adventure Game Studio development engine.

It is a point-and-click adventure game written in the style of Sierra’s famous King's Quest series.  In fact, in one scene you will see a king who looks exactly like King Graham of King's Quest 1.  You can install the game directly in Windows XP (I do not have Vista, so I could not try that out).  The controls are typical simple Sierra point-and-click controls (see Interface section below).  You do NOT use DOSBox.

The game is fairly short.  I got through it in less than 3 hours without a walkthrough (which would definitely spoil the fun), while also making notes of all conversations and information, and while also writing notes for a walkthrough for my sister!!!  But it is a very enjoyable game with an interesting storyline.  The game relies on the concept of traveling between 3 time periods, and eventually even to another world.

The big challenge that makes it so much fun is in trying to do everything without a walkthrough.  There is a great feeling of satisfaction in finding out what to do and how to do it, all the way through the game.  The puzzles are very logical, and there are hints/pointers for everything so one would normally not get stuck for too long.  The game is logically designed and nowhere did I find the clues and puzzles illogical.  As in most point-and-click games, you just find items, talk to people and perform inventory based puzzles, etc.

The quality of the game is very good for such a short game and I can happily recommend this game to any point-and-click adventure game fan, and especially to King's Quest fans.  I personally enjoyed it and will definitely play it again sometime.  The game holds your attention very well and has an interesting story.  One particular conversation is confusing, but you overcome that as you progress further in the game.  And there is no blood or violence in the game, so any youngster could happily play it.

The game has a maximum score of only 29 points, so as you can see, it is not terribly long.  But it packs a lot of fun into such a short game.  I also enjoyed its sense of humor and the quips.

Story

The King dies in front of you early in the game, and you must find out why, and must save the Kingdom (Of Course!).  You travel between 3 time periods (and eventually to another world).  The ending is a bit abrupt, but I enjoyed it despite that.  The story is in fact quite interesting, and covers several different characters who not only give you useful information to develop the story, but who also give you clues as to what to do or where to go.

DOSBox NOT needed

DOSBox is not needed for this game.  It runs automatically within the AGS engine that is included invisibly in the downloaded game.

Interface

Knight's Quest IV is a 3rd person, 2D, point-and-click adventure.  The screen is divided into a playing area with a menu bar at the top of the screen (that is only visible when you take your cursor to the top of the screen).  The view of the playing area is from the side.

All actions are controlled either by the mouse or by action icons that are click able in the menu bar.  The controls are typical Sierra point-and-click controls, so they are very simple and easy to use.  Take your mouse to the top of the screen and the menu bar appears.  It consists of action icons, inventory, options (save/load/quit/score), etc.  Use the one mouse button to click through action icons (walk, look, talk, etc) on your cursor, and when you have the required cursor icon, click the other mouse button on the required spot on the screen.

The game is fairly linear.  A new destination or section will only open up when you have triggered the relevant destination/section by finding something or talking to someone that 'logically' leads you to that destination.  But of course you can wander about and explore freely within any opened area.

The inventory holds all of the items needed, so you do not run out of space in your inventory.  And there are quite a few saved game slots.  I used 17, but it seems that one could use even more, if desired.

 

Graphics, Music, Sound Effects

The graphics are quite good and it looks a lot like an early King's Quest game.  In fact the game acknowledges that they "borrowed" some scenes from King's Quest games (on purpose, to make it look like a King's Quest type game).  The colors are nice and effective...  I loved the scene with the pink clouds!!!

The music is fairly primitive.  It occasionally changes according to the area that you are in, but it is fairly unobtrusive.  I did not notice any sound effects.  Speech is nonexistent and everything is conveyed via text boxes, which is perfectly sensible given that it is a simple AGS game.  But lack of speech does not detract from the game.

Puzzles and Gameplay

The puzzles are typical of a point-and-click adventure game.  Some of them require quite good reasoning, but if I can get through the game without a walkthrough, then so could most people.  A walkthrough is available below if you really get stuck, but it is a lot more fun to try to work everything out for yourself.

The puzzles consist mainly of:

The challenge level / difficulty ranges only from easy to medium.  There are no difficult challenges.  And you do not need keyboard gymnastics, just careful thinking and simple use of the mouse or action icons.

Longevity...  the game is relatively short.  There are quite a few enjoyable features and interesting conversations, so it keeps your attention very well.  However, you would probably only want to play it once.

Bugs / Hiccups

I found no bugs or problems.  However, on replaying the game to check my walkthrough, I did find one place where if you do things incorrectly (mixing drinks) then it seems one cannot progress further, and you have to restore your previous save and do it differently.  But considering the fact that this is a nonprofessional game, and a short one, I did not find this too frustrating.

Conclusion

I personally highly recommend this game.  It is good fun, the conversations are interesting, and the game is cleverly designed.  The puzzles and connections are very logical and it is very satisfying to play, especially when you solve a fairly tricky puzzle.  Try to play it without the walkthrough.  It is too short to take up much of your time, so it is worth attempting without a walkthrough so that you can have the great fun of solving the puzzles yourself.

Knight's Quest IV is an interesting and attention holding AGS game.

P.S.  There are no Knight's Quest 1 and 2 games, and Knight's Quest 3 was written after Knight's Quest IVKnight's Quest 3 is a much longer game, and it is also well recommended.

©  April 2008  Wendy Mann



Full View Screenshot


Developed (2005) by  Subliminal Messenger (The Frequentor).


Not Rated !


Minimum System Requirements:  Windows


Where To Download This Free Game:


Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!


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