CROWNS & PAWNS: THE KINGDOM of DECEIT HARKS BACK to THE POINT N’ CLICK ADVENTURE’S ILLUSTRIOUS PRESENT
It’s easy to feel the affection for the classic point-n-click adventures in Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit. The boldly-colored and hand-painted art style is not the only thing that makes this game stand out. It also allows the protagonist to be thrust into a complex mystery setting. This developer is just as adept at making the adventure flow as Charles Cecil’s beloved Broken Sword series.
Developer Tag of Joy, a small Lithuanian company that respects this genre, features the art director of Broken Sword 2.5’s fan game Broken Sword 2.5 among its humble members. This is to show how passionate it is about modern gaming.
Broken Sword fans should feel at least at home with its story. Milda, a Chicago woman, receives a letter from her grandfather’s estate stating that she is now the rightful owner of the Lithuanian home. The problem is that Milda must be in Lithuania within a short time to get the letter. Milda decides it’s worth taking the risk of going overseas to sell her house.
That’s not all. Milda learns that she is the last remaining guardian of a family secret. This leads to her being involved in an adventure to find an uncrowned king. She’ll have to fight with sinister forces and puzzle her way through the truth.
Crowns and Pawns is an enjoyable game. It builds up its grandiose story slowly. It makes Milda seem like an unwitting hero in a story that opens up new narrative doors every step of the way as it travels through Europe and the past.
Although it mostly follows the point-n-click template, it still manages to add some unique ideas. Tag of Joy starts by giving you simple solutions to problems A and B. It adds more mental and physical puzzles. You will notice that the increasing complexity of the situation matches up with the difficulty of the puzzles. You can take your time and think about the solution without feeling stressed.
Does it live up to the expectations of the games it is trying to imitate? It would be hard to do that without changing the formula. This would make it less than what it wants to become. It doesn’t need to be as good as the classics. However, it is nice to have a modern point-and-click adventure that pays homage to them.
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