Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Impressions - Heroine's Quest


Quest for Glory fans will be familiar with this setup

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Quest for Glory series, an old Sierra point 'n' click adventure/RPG hybrid series created by Lori and Corey Cole. I've backed their Kickstarter, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, and even made a tribute video to the game which I submitted to a GOG competition:



So when I cam across the news that a developer I've never heard of before called Crystal Shard had released a game called Heroine's Quest on Steam and that it was absolutely free, I did not hesitate to download it and give it a shot.

What I like

  • For the Quest for Glory fans: This is a game by Quest for Glory fans, for Quest for Glory fans. There are just so many references to the series with respect to the gameplay, the plot and the setting. There are even several Easter Eggs related to Quest for Glory (and Sierra games in general). If you played point 'n' click adventures in the 80s and 90s, you'll love this game.
  • Expands on Quest for Glory: But wait, there's more! Not content to just make a clone of Quest for Glory, there have been some enhancements, such as the fact villagers actually go about their lives throughout the day (a bit like Skyrim). You also have two towns to explore instead of just one like you did in the original Quest for Glory. I've probably missed a few things but those are a couple of improvements.
  • Price: You can't complain about the price since it's absolutely free. The Crystal Shard also have many other free games on their website but understandably, this seems to be one of their most polished ones.

What I don't like

  • Unforgiving at times: While the game is easier and more user friendly than old Sierra point 'n' click adventures (e.g. map with objectives, even hints if you talk with townsfolk) you're still able to get stuck on occasion and there won't be any indication you're going about things the wrong way (e.g. I spent several hours trying to solve puzzle but found out after reading a walkthrough that I didn't need to solve the puzzle completely in order for it to work - it would've been handy if there was some notification after moving the tiles in place that something happened). Also you can sometimes give away crucial items and never get them back. Nothing new to Sierra fans but it's weird that on one hand the game is more forgiving yet on the other, it's as if you're playing a game from 20 years ago.
  • Poor voice acting: Some of the voice acting seems a bit off or monotone but hey that's to be expected from an indie development house I guess. A certain thief in the game however has a particularly annoying accent and I'm not sure if it was exactly intentional or not.

Verdict

Let me start by saying this game isn't for everybody. If you're not open to unforgiving retro games or low-res graphics, you're not going to like Heroine's Quest. Otherwise, I think from what I've seen so far that this is a fitting tribute to the Quest for Glory series and it's fun for exactly the same reasons.

[ LINK: Official Heroine's Quest website ]

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