Firstly, an admission. As I first played this game at about 13/14 years old it is difficult to view this game with anything other than early/mid 90’s specs on! However, I have just replayed this game on my Android phone, thanks to the good folks at Scummvm, so will try and give it some balance.
KQ6, for me, is the game where Sierra finally got everything together and made a really complete classic of a game.
Looking at it now it does, at first, seem a bit childish with the nursery rhyme references and the black and white distinction between good and evil. However, a closer look reveals a good deal of depth to the game. Take the manual for instance.
This is one of the first Sierra games which Jane Jensen really assisted with and the attention to detail and depth of the world which she became famous for, amongst other things, with the Gabriel Knight games is evident here from the manual. I don’t think I have ever seen another manual which I have enjoyed reading as much.
Copy protection, the Starforce of its day(!), was all the rage and the infamous cliffs of logic puzzle in this game is not solvable without the manual (at least in theory). However, gone is the “what is the x letter of the y word on page z” type of system and instead we can read and enjoy a well written and informative manual to decipher the clues to the cliffs of logic.
Anyway, onto the game itself.
Although the story is a continuation of the series, you do not need to have played any of the other games to be able to appreciate the story without feeling that you are missing out on a lot of backstory. I remember being absolutely blown away by the graphics of the intro at the time, although it looks pretty poor now by today’s standards.
The different islands are interesting and varied, each one having its own character and style, from the wacky Isle of Wonder to the classical mythology of the Isle of the Sacred Mountain.
The characters are well voiced although not particularly deep and filled out, however considering the style of the game this is not really so important. The puzzles are a mixture of easy and harder and the game does a really good job of opening up the game world bit by bit so it does not get boring.
Graphics are great, soundtrack is good (although “girl in the tower” isn’t for everyone!) and the story itself, if you’re into that style, is a good and well written one.
The bad? Well death is common (although I personally do not mind this as long as I remember to save regularly) but there are no shortage of “walking dead” situations which force you to re-load an earlier save if you didn’t pick up something earlier etc. which can be very annoying and is a long way from where the genre is today. This can get in the way of the story which is a shame.
Also, the “high fantasy” type story line will not interest everyone. If you need a gritty realistic storyline then this will not be for you.
Overall though, what this game does well is nearly everything and unless death in a game or the possibility of having to backtrack is an absolute no-no for you then you need to play this game!
Time Played: Over 20 hours