A Tale of The Book Of Unwritten Tales

By Richard Cobbett on July 20th, 2011 at 11:30 am.

More slob than Smaug, this dragon...

Much like The Neverending Story, I suspect The Book of Unwritten Tales of at least playing a little fast and loose with the truth. I’ve seen its main menu. It’s a book. That book quite clearly contains writing. In the words of wise Lord British, “Busted, you scoundrel bastard!”

But I digress. The Book of Unwritten Tales is a German adventure that I could have sworn was released in English back in 2009, although it turns out that this was merely a cunning ruse. The title was in English, yes, but the game only came in Foreign. Judging from the scores, it seems to have gone down pretty well for everything from production values to humour, although I’ve played enough German adventures to be a more than a little wary of that particular claim. Looking at you, Jack Keane. Looking at you, with goring hate in my eyes.

The plot focuses on an archeologist called Mortimer McGuffin… hmmm… discovering the location of a powerful artefact, and three wacky heroes setting out to retrieve it and defeat an evil Army of Shadows. Looking around, I see very pretty graphics, lots of parodies, and a mysterious absence of Lani Minella on the IMDB cast list. Isn’t she in all these things, by law?

Here’s a quick trailer that says… very little, except how long this game’s English language release has been delayed. I shall say no more. Though I shall cough meaningfully.

In all seriousness, this one does look promising. It’s certainly a looker, and if the translation job is up to scratch, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be a funny riff on the genre. It’s due out in the ever mysterious “Fall”, unless you speak German, in which case you can grab it right now.

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35 Comments »

  1. Tretiak says:

    WotLK intro was great. Watching it again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCr7y4SLhck

    • Gonefornow says:

      And here I thought this was something original.
      This is what I get when I don’t watch every single CGI trailer a major publisher spouts out.

    • RianXD says:

      I think the fact they copied it for comedic purposes was funny.

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      @Gonefornow: I think the trailer is just one of “lots of parodies” as mentioned in the article. Hence the anti-climactic fluffy thing.

    • Khemm says:

      For me, WoW never happened – or at least it isn’t canon. Warcraft story ended with The Frozen Throne, so I want proper Warcraft 4 picking up the story where TFT left off.

    • Johnsen1972 says:

      It’s an AWESOME game!

  2. lithander says:

    Some voice samples to help judge the quality of humor/localization: http://bout.kingart-games.com/media_voice.html

    • Pemptus says:

      Not too bad actually. I thought all German to English translations have to be terrible as a rule.

  3. Xan says:

    Did they just rip off WoW Wrath of the Lich King opening cinematic in order to parody it?

    • mejoff says:

      No, they just parodied it. If they emulated it in all seriousness and tried to claim it was original, then they would have ripped it off.

  4. bleeters says:

    I hope they armed their legal team! Ho boy.

    • mejoff says:

      Parody is fair use.

    • bleeters says:

      Because Activision always temper their legal blades with this sort of thing.

    • mejoff says:

      It’d take some fairly Apple level lawyering to claim that this was not a legit parody.

  5. D3xter says:

    Unexpectedly… it’s not that good xD Played it in German a while ago and while I didn’t throw it into a corner in full out rage it was merely “meh”.

  6. Kraky says:

    pretty and witty and… grey?

  7. Melmoth says:

    I played the first one and there’s just nothing remarkable to it. You can see what the devs tried to do, but it’s just lame. Even worse: you can clearly see why it fails. Bad line delivery and such, just like a bad movie parody.

    • Acorino says:

      Well, I don’t know if it works all that well as a parody, since I haven’t experienced much of what it parodies (only saw the last LotR movie, never played Wow,…). But I think the great thing about it is that it outgrows parody and becomes its own, even if it’s never very original. But the story itself can stand for itself, independent from what it parodies. Actually, the longer the game goes on, the less it’s a parody.

    • Zeewolf says:

      I love adventure games. I love that the German market for adventure games keeps the genre alive. But German-made adventure games? Well. There are some that are tolerable. Even kind of decent if you ignore the poor translation (why are they always poorly translated?). But most of them are just massive disappointments.

      Strategy games & businnes sims however… they really, really know how to make those. WHY ARE YOU NOT MAKING A NEW BATTLE ISLE GAME, GERMANY?!?

  8. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    That dragon reminds me of the one from Legend of Kyrandia 1.

  9. Felixader says:

    Hm looks rather … avera…. OMG a RED HAIRED ELF!

  10. captnknot says:

    played a bit with this one in order to learn german a while ago. Game was pretty lame, but i learned some great words like: Zwergbier (dwarfbeer) awesome stuff.

  11. d3vilsadvocate says:

    Played this in German a good while back and it’s one of my favorite adventure games. Definitely recommend it to anyone. It’s about time they translated this into English.

    It never ceases to amaze me how of a hard time these adventure games seem to have when it comes to translating and properly shipping these games worldwide. Such a shame.

  12. fallingmagpie says:

    Maybe the book is just a list of titles of all the tales that haven’t been written yet. Didn’t consider that, did you snarkypants?

  13. lhzr says:

    >>Looking at you, Jack Keane. Looking at you, with goring hate in my eyes.

    JK might have been better if they woudln’t have tried to make it funny. bad comedy can ruin anything. i’m still a bit confused as to why i’ve played almost all of it, especially after trying, and thoroughly disliking, the previous series from those dudes, ankh.

  14. Acorino says:

    Book of Unwritten Tales is certainly one of the better adventure games around.
    Sure, its gameplay tends to be a bit shallow. I solved some puzzles merely by accident, so simplified is the interface. And the humour, well, it makes you smile, it’s amusing, but also rather forgettable I fear.
    I loved it anyway. It may not reinvent the genre or push it in new directions, but it’s old-school at its best. At least it understands what made the old titles so great, contrary to Jack Keane.
    The characters are charming, the world lively, it’s just plain fun.

    I have high hopes for the prequel Die Vieh Chroniken.

  15. Acorino says:

    My comments are marked as spam! :(
    Screw the spam filter….

  16. Premium User Badge

    Mitthrawn says:

    “This is the worst case of false advertising since my lawsuit against the Neverending Story.”

    Oh Lionel Hutz, how we miss you.

  17. Wulf says:

    Someone walking past a dragon without trying to stab it. Has to be an adventure game, yep.

    Okay, colour me interested, this looks entertaining. Though in that screenshot there’s something very wrong with the proportions of that person’s arms. No sarcasm here, I can’t put my finger on it, but they just look a bit off to me.

  18. moondog548 says:

    Yay adventure games!

    That’s all I got.

  19. Khemm says:

    Words cannot describe how stupidly excited I am about this game finally being released in English.
    I’m wondering how many RPS visitors played an adventure game in the last few years. Probably not many, which is a shame.

  20. Johnsen1972 says:

    I just finished a complete game walkthrough! Check it out! ;o)
    It’s an AWESOME game!