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King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (Windows 3.x)

88
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
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Written by  :  jTrippy (63)
Written on  :  Dec 20, 2007
Platform  :  Windows 3.x
Rating  :  4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars4.17 Stars

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Summary

Classic adventure with a pretty facelift

The Good

King's Quest 6 plays as a classic fairy tale might. The plot is unusually complex and rich for the series, thanks to contributions by Gabriel Knight writer/designer Jane Jensen, who's design methods complemented Roberta Williams' perfectly in this installment.

The plot itself has been done before, even in the series (Prince Alexander sets out to rescue his love after seeing her trapped in a tower through an enchanted mirror), but the flair and atmosphere with which the game executed is phenomenal. Charmingly quirky at times and dark and mysterious at others, the game provides brain-teasing puzzles set against a vibrant environment that ranges in influence from Arabian Knights to Alice in Wonderland.

Beauty and the Beast's Robbie Benson does a solid job as the protagonist, and its ironically funny to hear him interact with the game's own equivalent of Beast. This was also the first entry in the series to offer multiple solutions to solve the game, one of which permitted you to skip a good 1/3rd of the game (this component was half-heartedly featured in the series' next installment as well).

The Windows version features newly-detailed character portraits that are a nice, if unnecessary, addition.

The Bad

Despite the multiple paths, the game's replayability factor is somewhat limited. Some of the puzzles are unnecessarily frustrating (this is during a time when Sierra cruelly worked anti-piracy techniques into the game's structure, frustrating those who owned legitimate copies), requiring you to save often and reattempt all-too-often. It's also very easy to miss something or make a mistake that will have fantastically bad and unforeseen consequences for the future. One such puzzle involves descending to the underworld to save the love interest's parents, only to discover that if when you get back, you forgot to pick up water from the River Styx, you are stuck without recourse and must load from a previous save. There are several instances like this where even people who have played the game multiple times before (myself included) can easily get stuck.

The Bottom Line

If you're an adventure gamer, you've already played this, and I don't have to say anything. If you're just getting into the series or the genre, this is an essential. A true classic.