No Nonsense Review of Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge
Infamous Quests liked the Kinq’s Quest games and didn’t own the license. So they looked around the room at each other and said, “Let’s just make a King’s Quest game but call it Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge.” They all nodded in agreement and set out to make a nostalgic video game that older gamers would appreciate.
Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge is the first episode in a series. It follows a Bard named Finn who wants to create the ultimate adventurer ballad. He sees the opportunity to create this song by taking part in The King’s Challenge to find the missing Queen of the realm.
The dialogue in Order of the Thorne is very much in the classic style of games like King’s Quest. Everyone is polite, honorable, and happy go lucky in the way that only fantasy characters can be. Needless to say, the game takes its world very seriously during dialogue but is not without its comedy as well. It does get a bit long-winded in places but it remains nostalgic of the genre.That being said it doesn’t have a deep conversation system and most characters are fairly one dimensional. There will be a few places where you’ll just want to skip through the dialogue to get back to the adventure.
The voiceover in-game is for lack of better words is “standard” for the genre. No one particularly stands out as believable denizens of this fantasy world. It definitely gets the job done with the eclectic cast of characters. There are far too many pleasant townies, but it does help showcase the more interesting characters like Esmerelda the Spider-Lady and Skelton the Dwarf.
I make more comparisons to King’s Quest as this game immediately begins with a contest to find the King’s wife. It’s as straight-forward as it sounds and it propels the player to stumble through Crann Naoimh and get into all sorts of shenanigans. Mainly, it’s everything you’d expect from a King’s Quest title and that seems to be the point.
Your standard point and click gameplay for an adventure title. Nothing really stands out as an advancement, beyond the Simon says style guitar playing. Finn will discover a person or object that requires an item he has discovered while wandering the land. He can combine items and use them to solve problems or complete quests only to collect more items and repeat. Fortunately, this game has a clear goal when it comes to puzzles and doesn’t allow us to wander around confused about all these items in our pants.
Nothing really stands out in the music department other than the fact that it can get a bit loud despite being on the lowest setting.
I feel like I’m making a lot of mentions of King’s Quest, but that’s exactly the nostalgic look that this title is trying to hit. Sierra would be proud to see that their visual style have been properly replicated. While it’s not exactly the most detailed of titles, it does paint a unique world filled with slick character portraits, beautiful backgrounds, and old-school pixel animation..
Combining all the things I’ve played in this game, It’s very obvious that this title is targeting the earliest fans of the genre.. It really makes no advances to the adventure formula, and generally doesn’t take much from modern adventure titles. This is a great game for those people that saw the newest King’s Quest and harrumph’d at the lack of 2D pixels. Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge is definitely worth a look for adventure seekers. I’d personally catch it on sale myself, but if you’re looking for a true old-school adventure title… dive right in.