What sounds like Robert Jordan’s posthumous answer to Step Reebok, turns out to be a love letter to Roberta Williams and a Mutley-like snicker to the rest of us.
Don’t let the title fool you, there is much more to this game than inching your way up, pixel by pixel, through different flights of stairs. Least of all would be the KITT-like text parser that recognizes a bunch of neato words. It’s worth throwing a few words into the text input to see what comes out.
As the story goes, Roberta Williams woke up in a cold sweat one night and then unconsciously began writing what would likely have become King’s Quest 2. As the quill made its last stroke, her chamber began to shake. A harp dislodged from the wall, rendering Roberta unconscious. She woke to find her fallen oil lamp had set fire to the parchment and hence, her quest (she was in no danger, don’t worry). All but two words were turned to ash, quest and stair. Able to no longer recall details of her dream, only that every subsequent attempt wasn’t it, she took the eventual story in another direction. Cut to the present day where a bunch of developers, having heard of this legend, decided to act on it. And like using a food stain on someone’s cardigan as a reference to making boeuf bourguignon, No More For Today Productions have finally realized Roberta’s dream.
Calling this an adventure game without using at least seven superlatives is an injustice to the creators. If you want a very brief overview of what to expect, I recommend reading the manual first. It is a true gem, and really only touches on the grandeur and challenges awaiting. My only advice is to pay heed to the tips contained within. No-one’s going to hold your hand in Castle’s Wood (until the third act at least – and I’ve said too much already) so it pays to be scrupulous. And to save often.
There may be some that “don’t get it”. That’s fine. I don’t understand your Pokemon GO, either. But if you grew up with at least one cheeky text adventure, you’ll catch the nudges and winks. And the super frustrating crux of this game will have you longing for that childish determination you now supplement with broken keyboards.
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