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The Book of Unwritten Tales (pc game)
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Standard edition $ 19.95

Comedy gold

This is the first in a pair of intriguing point-and-click adventures that channel the spirit of Monkey Island, Discworld and Fate of Atlantis. It's definitely one which doesn't take itself too seriously so if you enjoyed Sam & Max's shenanigans, then this will be right up your alley. The story tells how a war has been raging for an eternity between the Shadow Army and the Alliance of Free Races, but when a goblin archaeologist discovers an ancient artifact that could change things, an epic adventure begins. What follows is a quest which pokes fun at everything from Lord of the Rings to Indiana Jones and which finds players exploring a series of fantasy environments as they attempt to save the land from certain doom. Gameplay follows the genre formula of inventory-based and dialogue-driven puzzles, with plenty of witty references to pop culture icons to spot along the way, while there are also riddles and the ability to switch between the four heroes under your control. This really is quite an unexpected treat. It gets off to a great start with a lovely art style that mixes elements of the familiar and the new to create something entirely distinctive of its own and which packs a lot of personality. The environments and characters are gorgeous and simply a joy to explore, and which are backed up by some great sound design. The story too is delightful, with clever, witty dialogue and memorable characters, and it's also great fun spotting all the in-jokes. Even if you're not a fan of the genre, this is well worth checking out.

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