An Elf, a Gnome and a Human walk into a bar… The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a quirky point and click adventure that follows a band of unlikely heroes – Ivo, Wilbur, Nate and of course ‘Critter’- on yet another escapade filled with puzzles and a rather intriguing ‘curse’ to unravel. Originally made for PC, it has since been ported onto various consoles – Xbox One, PS4, PS3, 360 and even the WiiU- and 4 years after its initial run, is finally coming to the Nintendo Switch.
From the get-go, the humour in The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is unrelenting and the references to other games, movies and TV shows come in thick and fast. After only the first 30 minutes I’d come across items from World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Minecraft and a whole lot more than I won’t bore you with a long list of. This is only the tip of the iceberg, the game relies very heavily on its humour and from time to time it can feel a little bit forced, occasionally missing its mark and falling flat on its face; there were times though that I genuinely found myself chucking along with some of the one-liners.
Point and click games tend to lend themselves to the PC format and some of this is lost on the switch port; the controls can at times feel cumbersome and awkward. Trying to combine two items together, or getting quickly from one room to the next both proved a little frustrating at times. It’s a shame that the Nintendo Switch’s touchpad wasn’t utilised at all throughout the game as this may have bridged the gap in controls from PC to console. I also found occasionally I would select an option, and the character would unceremoniously slide across the floor to stand in front of the objective rather than walk, and even though this could be amusing, it was just as equally jarring.
The various different areas you explore all have the same colourful charm to them brought to life with beautiful backdrops and atmospheric lighting, and the characters you interact with are for the most part interesting caricatures of different stereotypes. While the amount of dialogue and conversation options can sometimes be a little much, the voice acting is done well and makes you eager to listen to all of the available options just because you want to unearth more of the story.
A point and click game would be nothing without its puzzles, and in this respect The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 does not disappoint, there’s hours and hours of content – even more if you’re anything like me and it takes you a little too long to pick up on the glaringly obvious answer- and the frequent change in narrative keeps the story fresh and interesting. Newcomers to the series will have little trouble piecing together the story and won’t miss out from not playing the first game, although this is always advisable.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 doesn’t take itself too seriously, in fact, it doesn’t seem to take anything seriously at all, and it’s absolutely wonderful for it. Sometimes the puzzles can seem a little convoluted and the humour a little too much, but all of that is forgiven when you finally crack the problem you’ve been stuck on and head off on your next adventure.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*