King’s Quest Chapter 4: Snow Place Like Home Review For PS4

Posted October 4, 2016 by Josh Brant in Video Games

Developer: The Odd Gentlemen

Publisher: Sierra Games

Release Date: September 27, 2016

Platforms: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows PC

The reboot of the King’s Quest series has, for the most part, been a solid return for a popular franchise. The previous three episodes have combined an entertaining story, top-notch voice acting, and innovative and interesting puzzle solving for an enjoyable episodic adventure. The latest episode in The Odd Gentlemen’s King’s Quest series sees King Graham’s tale takes another dark turn, covering his infant son’s kidnapping and the strain which comes when they are reunited nearly two decades later. It’s interesting material to cover, but the tedious and uninspired block puzzles are an anchor which drag the rest of the game down.

For King And Country

It’s important to contextualize the past few episodes, as they are the most Telltale yet, in the way they are very linear and mostly built around dialogue. While the first two actually felt like sprawling adventures, Snow Place Like Home is a puzzle-centric affair, like one giant challenge room set to the tune of an emotional journey. In this way, a lot of people will be disappointed by the shift, but for some, it’s a welcome one.

From a story perspective, Snow Place Like Home is a great addition to the series. It’s a much darker episode than anything we’ve seen before; it starts out with a kidnapped child for crying out loud. While the game isn’t without humor, the entire tone is subdued. It’s a pretty substantial change of pace, but it’s one the game handles well. The darker tone is mirrored in the parallel story of elderly King Graham telling stories to his grandchildren. This part of the tale heats up and, at this point, may be the better of the two stories.

Unfortunately, the bulk of episode 4’s puzzles are tedious exercises in block pushing which feel as though they were included to pad out the experience. These puzzles have a narrative conceit: A sphinx has captured and divided the royal family, and they have to solve her challenges to reunite. However, far too few of these puzzles rely on wit; most have you walk on a line, pushing blocks or moving obstacles out-of-the-way. It is easy to get bored, and the characters and their interactions seemed as though their energy was sapped as well.

All For One

The big theme in Snow Place Like Home is “working together,” and the way The Odd Gentlemen incorporated each NPC is a feat. Although you’re going to be doing most of the legwork yourself across the roughly three-hour lasting time, each family member showcases a special skill or trait, and several quests involve guiding them to victory. It’s fun, especially if you play alongside someone else helping you out. Graham has progressed in his mature joking status which is just as endearing as when he was a young buck, and he gets to spout off one of the best Trophy meta references ever seen.

There are a couple of solid additions to the voice cast this time around. Lorraine Toussaint is a name you may not know but a voice you will likely recognize, as she has appeared in almost every television show you’ve ever seen at one point or another. She joins the episode as the Sphinx who leads you through the labyrinth. The music is not necessarily remarkable, but it does not get nearly as repetitive as other parts of the game, which was welcome.

It doesn’t elicit the same kind of hype as a Telltale game, especially when it comes to Batman, but if you enjoy the story of King’s Quest then you will love Snow Place Like Home. If, however, you prefer traditional adventure game puzzles, you won’t find those here. Overall, King’s Quest: Snow Place Like Home might be influenced too greatly by modern titles which are essentially interactive novels, but its compelling enough that you will want to see this through to the end.

About the Author

Josh Brant

I love God, my family, friends, sports, and the greatest hobby of all: video games! You can reach me on twitter @minusthebrant.