King's Quest - Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause Review

Yes, you'll be hearing that line quite a bit in this episode.
  • Review by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
  • Publisher: Sierra
  • Release Date: 16 December 2015
  • Time played: 2.5 hours

After thoroughly enjoying the first episode of the new King's Quest, I was keen on playing the second one. I did end up playing the original King's Quest I first, which did help explain some of the references made in this episode although I think it's by no means essential that you revisit it (and if you do, I'd recommend you try the VGA fan remake).

Chapter 2 is set shortly after the events in Chapter 1 (although it also occurs after the events in the original King's Quest I which explains how Graham became King of Daventry). This chapter tells of King Graham's first serious test as king as he tries to deal with a goblin horde that has kidnapped him and some of his people.

The second chapter isn't rated as highly as the first on Steam, only garnering a rating of "Mixed" with 67% of the 31 user reviews rating the game as positive, but is the backlash warranted or not?

(by the way, I'd recommend you read the review for the first episode prior to reading this one as it does contain many similarities!)

What I like:

Yes, there are still lots of puns...

... however there aren't as many puns or as much humour in general compared to the first episode, probably because of the (slightly) darker tone for this episode and the fact it's half as long as the first one.

Yes, there are still some in-jokes...

... but like the puns, there are less of them, probably for the same reasons. There was one reference that encouraged me to play the original King's Quest though and it revolves around an infamous riddle...


The music is still great although you have a lot more sombre pieces in this episode than the previous one.

Great voice acting

The voice acting talent is just as good as the original, but that's to be expected as there aren't any new actors I believe, just the same top notch talent from the first episode.

A shift in gameplay

While the game is still very much a PG title, this episode is a bit darker than the first one and the gameplay is slightly different too, adopting a "survival sim" approach similar to games like The Organ Trail, Gods Will be Watching and even parts of Mass Effect 2. The bulk of the episode takes place over several days as you along with some other captives, have to fight for survival. You will decide who gets medicine, who gets food and who will eventually break out of prison first to confront the Goblin King.

I actually quite like it, although I also believe this is one of the main reasons this episode didn't rate so well amongst some of its fans since it's quite a dramatic shift in terms of gameplay.

Steam achievements that you have to work for

Yep. Just like the first episode you still have Steam achievements, and you can't get 100% of achievements by just playing from start to finish – you need to explore multiple paths.

What I dislike:

Considerably shorter than the first episode

While the length of this episode is considerably shorter than the first, 2.5 hours is about how long you'd expect for an episode from a Telltale game so I'm not too fussed. However, it's quite easy for players to be spoilt by the long first episode and feel like they've been ripped off on the second.

Occasional graphical glitches

I sometimes experienced graphical glitches such as black lines running across the screen, but they were usually infrequent and tended to only occur when I was escaping to the menu screen.

Seems like a rush job

Not only is this episode shorter but a lot of other elements of the game feel rushed such as the decision to have 90% of the episode set underground meaning less beautiful vistas of Daventry or the fact that the episode ends rather suddenly with no proper epilogue indicating what happened to the Daventry of the past or present.

Score – 7/10 (Good)

The second chapter in the new King's Quest plays like a "survival simulator" where you basically have to choose who survives and who suffers; it's definitely an important lesson to learn for a newly crowned king and I actually don't mind it at all. The chapter is however half the duration of the first one and seems like a bit of a rush job so it's definitely not as good as the first chapter but I still find it entertaining nonetheless.

Is the game worth $9.99 USD?: Yes. With the current exchange rate, that's about $13 and considering you get over 2 hours of quality adventure gaming, that's pretty good value. It's even better value if you purchase the game altogether (assuming the later chapters are as good as the first) as it's $39.99 USD - meaning it's like buying four chapters and getting the fifth free.

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[ LINK: Official King's Quest Website ]