Let's start this review with some background information. For those unfortunate souls living under a rock for the past few years, The Crystal Key II is the sequel to The Adventure Company's best-selling game of the same name. The first game has sold in excess of 500,000 copies in North America alone, so no doubt, there was a need for a sequel. However, as we all know, sequels are a mixed bag. The vast majority are pale replicas of the original, usually missing the spark that made the first game a success. Financially, sequels make sense; there is already a built-in audience, a developed story line that can be finessed for more mileage (or in some cases blatantly regurgitated), and you already have a recognizable brand. Add to that solid sales for the original and you have what appears to be a no-brainer in the win-win department. There are even some spectacular cases, like Riven, where the sequel is superior to the original.