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Adventure Gamers Reader reviews, read what other adventure gamers think of King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!.

Average Reader Rating for King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!

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Stars - 25

Rating by Vegetable Party posted on Jan 28, 2021 | edit | delete

average score, but a well-cautioned recommendation

King’s Quest V, you crazy so-and-so.

If you’ve never played “King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!”, there’s a chance you are new to the genre. In that case: this is kind of like the Sierra Necronomicon. It will have a lasting impact on you, namely insanity. Perhaps you’ll put it down before the damage is done. I did not, this is my tale.

King Graham is a man with a knack for adventure. He’s not the type to let governing or parenting get in the way of a good quest. Sometimes he’s driven by ambition, or the suggestions of a talking mirror, but in this case, adventure just falls into his lap.

King’s Quest V has a strong beginning. From the moment the opening credits roll, you get the Sierra guarantee of excellence in entertainment. Does it last? Well, it remains cinematic. It has a lot of problems, though.

The first issue is a character named Cedric. People hate this little dude, for a number of reasons. Some argue that his entire presence is a blight. I have no problems with this particular owl, though I won’t argue against his critics. Because they are correct. I would say, in Cedric’s defense, that he is not a dissonant, but rather a part of the weird tapestry that is KQ5.

The second issue is the presence of death screens and dead ends. They’re not just present, they hide behind obscure puzzle sequences and wanton timed events. You will have no idea what hit you. Whether by quick poison or delayed effect; you get stuck, or Graham gets killed.

The third is more or less a King’s Quest staple. Like Cedric, it’s just part of the experience to me. But it’s worth mentioning: this game is somewhat tonally confused. We get a narrator, speaking for Graham, telling us of his emotional struggle with the whole situation, but our good King himself seems barely fazed and rather into this new pursuit.

The whole ordeal leads to an ending that (inadvertently) drives home this point, with one of the most deranged zingers I’ve ever come across in an adventure game.

Here is a question you should ask yourself before playing this game. Do I want to have fun? Do I want to visit a piece of adventure game history? Or do I want the King’s Quest V experience?

If you’ve checked box one/two, use a walkthrough. Maybe click through every scene with Cedric. If you go for option three, you have been warned. Suddenly, you may find yourself going off on a tangent about “moon logic” for no apparent reason at all. Chances are you’ll fall into a cycle, subjecting yourself to punishing puzzles, insisting this is some kind of fun diversion for you. You might end up writing reviews like this one.

Is it worth it?

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Time Played: Over 20 hours
Difficulty: Hard

Stars - 25

Rating by Unsung posted on Sep 14, 2018 | edit | delete

Stars - 25

Rating by Pegbiter posted on Mar 27, 2016 | edit | delete

Stars - 40

Rating by wiadp1 posted on Mar 25, 2014 | edit | delete

Stars - 45

Rating by Dominus posted on Feb 12, 2014 | edit | delete

Stars - 40

Rating by fauryn posted on Oct 20, 2013 | edit | delete

Stars - 30

Rating by TimovieMan posted on Oct 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Typical early Sierra brutality

This was typical early Sierra brutality. Hundreds of deaths and dead ends had me restoring previous saves more often than in all the games I’ve played these last 5 years combined. And I was using a walkthrough to avoid the dead ends!

The story is decent, graphics were actually quite good (especially given its time period) and the voice-over (with Josh Mandel as the lead) was pretty good. Cedric the Owl was slightly annoying after a while (but not as bad as most people claim), and I didn’t like the fact that it was either voice-over or text, not both at the same time. Fortunately pronounciation and sound quality was good enough for everything to be clear.

It’s really not a bad game, but I’ve never liked the abundance of deaths and dead ends in Sierra’s games. It’s just too unforgiving…

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Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Very Hard

Stars - 30

Rating by troninho posted on Sep 7, 2013 | edit | delete

Stars - 35

Rating by emric posted on Jun 1, 2012 | edit | delete

Stars - 25

Rating by zane posted on May 20, 2012 | edit | delete

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