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SummaryA great effort in graphics and sound for its time.
The GoodThe release of this game was a big event of its time. The King's Quest series was really the flagship game series for IBM computers. At a time when the venerable Apple II & Commodore 64 and the up and coming Amiga & Atari ST were the dominate home platforms with a larger library of games. This game took full advantage of the new EGA graphics card and the new array of sound cards. Showed that the IBM could have games that looked and sounded just as good as those other systems.
The game was much larger than previous quest games. Not just in hard drive space but in the game world. There was a lot of ground to explore. And the improved graphics really added to the game play. I distinctly remember how creepy that run down house looked.
The game mixed in its regular brew of fairy tale references with its plot development. There were several mini quests that you had to solve that revolved around a certain area of the world. For example the above mentioned house had some ghosts that you had to deal with.
The BadWhile the game looked and sounded good. I felt that the way this game was planned out made for some frustrations in play.
Since the game world was large and mostly open you could wander about collecting items in your usual Sierra fashion without really advancing the story much. While this worked for me in Sierra's original Hero's Quest game, in KQ4 I found myself lost until I found some hints in a magazine to help me along. This being the days before the easy download of walkthrus on the Internet.
This ability to wander also meant that you could slip into night without being ready for it. There were certain puzzles that could only be solved at night. The real time advance of the clock was a nice touch for the game but only if you were ready for it. If you had not done the things to activate the night time quest you'd have to wait until it was nightfall again. This meant that I had to wander around the game world a lot waiting for night to come.
I also found the puzzles being a bit more obtuse that the previous games. Too often I wondered just how the heck I was ever going to use an object. But perhaps to some people they are obvious but not for me. I think that the puzzles in an adventure game while not being easy should have a logical flow to them and I did not feel this was the case here.