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Kings Quest III Redux - To Heir is Human

 

 

SCORE: 66

 

Kings Quest III Redux  - To Heir is Human 

 

AGD Interactive gives King’s Quest III an extreme makeover. The crew at AGD, obviously fiercely loyal fans of the series, has created a remake of the third installment of the long retired King’s Quest franchise. While there have been many attempted fan games over the years, AGD has successfully created a professional quality adventure game that gives both veteran King’s Quest players and newbies a fresh way to enjoy this mid-80’s classic.

The graphics in King’s Quest III Redux, while still very old-school, have been given quite a facelift when compared to the original Sierra versions from the early days. The environments are all beautifully drawn and have obviously been given a great amount of attention. King’s Quest III features much nature scenery which is done particularly well. As with the original, parents will want to be aware of some mildly violent imagery found within the game. The player can meet his demise in a variety of ways (most of which are not pleasant). The game does spare us from any truly gory details, but death will be an inevitable part of any player’s experience in this game. Murder by magic is one very common theme displayed in the game as well as some occult-like imagery in the form of creating and performing spells.

I was blown away by the effort and quality put into the audio in this game. The narration and dialog in the game is entirely voiced. As if that weren’t impressive enough, the acting is also top notch. I’ve paid good money for games that lacked the quality of voice acting found in King’s Quest III Redux. The music is fun and fits each moment in the game appropriately. One of my favorites is a brief rendition of YMCA. Sound effects and ambient noises are also done well and do their part to make the game world believable. Things parents and players may want to take note of include the fact that the player character, Gwydion, will recite several spells during the course of game play. There are a few other potentially offensive pieces of audio in the game such as a mildly flirtatious barmaid. All-in-all there’s not much cause for concern for players in their teens and up.

The adventure genre does not typically provide much in the way of replay value. Once completing your adventure you’ve riddled out most of the tricky puzzles thus eliminating the challenge if you choose to play through the game again. King’s Quest III Redux is not an exception to this rule, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. There are several events in the game that are randomized. For example, Manannan will order you to perform a certain chore when you begin the game. This chore however is selected at random by the game and can vary each time you play. There are other points in the game where a particular character may not be in the same place each time which adds a bit of variety as well. There are really no unlockables or extras to speak of, though the game does include a very nicely done user manual. And did I mention that this game will be absolutely free when it’s released?

The gameplay of King’s Quest III Redux holds true to the original with just the right amount of little changes to mix things up for the veterans. Objects may be in slightly different locations and certain puzzles vary slightly to keep things interesting. Pointing and clicking your way around is simple and the controls work just as you’d expect them to. As I mentioned earlier, the game features a bit of randomization here and there. While this does add some replay value, it can also be confusing to the player and sometimes downright frustrating when you’re not sure what to do next. Let’s say you know that you need to sneak past a certain character in the game. Each time you attempt to do so this character spots you and pushes you to your death. You repeatedly attempt this by reloading your game several times but always ending up with the same result. This would naturally lead you to believe that perhaps you need another item to get past this individual or perhaps complete some other task before the game will allow you to move on. This is not the case however, it is in fact the game’s little way of misdirecting you when all you really need to do is get the timing right. I’m beating around the bush a little bit here as I don’t want to spoil anything for players who’ve never played the original King’s Quest III, but the point I’m trying to make is that this adds a bit of an unfair challenge to parts of the game that may frustrate players who don’t appreciate this classic style of gaming sadism. One additional thing for parents to note is that players will be required to be deceptive in order to progress through the game.        

The family friendliness of King’s Quest III Redux – To Heir is Human is moderate. While safe for teens and adults, there are still items that will be of concern to certain players. Specifically the pervasive amount of spell casting and curses are likely to be red flags for some. An evil wizard, some mythical creatures, and a variety of messy ways to die are other minor things of note. If you’ve played the original series and are itching to relive some old times, King’s Quest III Redux is a fun way to replay a classic. Those interested can also find quality remakes of the first two King’s Quest games free for download on AGD’s website.
-Roger

 

Graphics: 67%
Sound: 71%
Replay/Extras: 67%
Gameplay: 67%
Family Friendly Factor: 60%
System: Personal Computer
Publisher: AGD Interactive
ESRB Rating: 'NR' for Not Rated 

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Roger@familyfriendlygaming.com