Kingdom O’ Magic (PC) Review

By Athanasios 30.06.2021 6

Review for Kingdom O’ Magic on PC

Most of the games that can be considered as 'cult,' were probably developed in that period of time in the '90s, where CDs slowly - and awkwardly - started to become the dominant form of storage in the medium… and you can't get more cult than the 1996 point-and-click comedy adventure, Kingdom O' Magic. Developed by the British blokes of SCi, and with the script and general concept behind it being the brainchild of Fergus McNeill (who satirised medieval/high fantasy fiction with Bored of the Rings, and The Boggit), this was a surreal series of quests that followed a Scottish lizard, and a busty barbarian witch (don't ask), as they tried to save the land, gain some coin, and, more importantly, make you laugh. Key phrase: 'They tried.

An old lady sits on her rocking chair, while a bodybuilder is taking a leak. A busty girl, as well as a fire golem walks past them, while a bipedal lizard in '70s disco pants is approaching. Over there, a monster punches a weird creature, and two dwarfs do some arm wrestling next to a golden statue of The King. The title falls on them: Kingdom O' Magic!!! What?! You don't get it? It's supposed to be funny mate! Now it's time to pick the protagonist. Whether one chooses Thidney the Lizard Bloke, or Shah-Ron the Girlie, the quest begins with a toilet seat entering a faster-than-light, hyper-space mode, and flying towards the stars. What?! Why are you scratching your heads? You should be laughing people!!! Sadly, while this is full of jokes, they are rarely that funny or well delivered.

Screenshot for Kingdom O’ Magic on PC

Yeah, this Dadaistic intro, like the rest of the experience, tries to be very Python-esque. The problem is simply the fact that it tries way too hard to do so, yet mostly fails. Luckily, there aren't many moments of genuine cringe here, but you won't exactly laugh that much either. For starters, this is probably a bit too random at times, and mostly for the sake of being so. For instance, a tavern owner has a hand protruding from his head. Funny? No, and when the protagonists comment on it, the resulting dialogue is forgettable. That wackiness will occasionally produce a smile or two, of course. This critic chuckled when the buxom Shah-Ron, rather than climbing the ladder of a treehouse, went up by a backflip acrobatic move, Bionic Woman sound effect and all, the chuckle being a product of how unexpected this moment was.

Of course, humour is completely subjective. What one didn't like might be comedy goldmine for others. Maybe the issue here isn't so much that Kingdom O' Magic isn't funny, but how most jokes are a bit too "haha, look how funny we are!" if that makes any sense. It's not a bad ride a whole, just know that it's very, for a lack of better term, "British," and in a way that even many lovers of British humour lovers, like yours truly, will have trouble enjoying. If anything, the game at least knows what it wants to be, and is filled to the brink with funny stuff, with even the freaking manual being more concerned with delivering jokes than being helpful. As a whole, this is at its best when its humour is simply unapologetically silly, and at its worse when its comedy is of the "nudge-nudge" *wink-wink* variety.

Screenshot for Kingdom O’ Magic on PC

An extremely stereotypical gay hairdresser that screams like a little girl when excited turns out to be bizarrely more hilarious than "parodies" of Tolkien's lore with names like Minar Tragedy, Rivendull, or Queen Galadrag of De-Lorean, and a funky Afro-American king is better than copying The Godfather's popular assassination scene for the millionth time. There are moments where the satirical aspect of it all is a bit better, like when engaging in dialogue with any of the wandering Ringwraiths, which desperately search (and sniff) for magic rings in a realm that has none, but no one, absolutely no one has ever laughed from coming across a ninja bakery by the name of 'House of the Rising Bun' - not when sober at least. Useful tip: play this slightly intoxicated.

Screenshot for Kingdom O’ Magic on PC

Funny stuff put aside, Kingdom O' Magic is sadly a bad, bad, BAD, point-and-click adventure; an array of never-ending fetch quests, which usually have no rhyme or reason. So, the Elvis golem doesn't talk? Hmm, maybe it needs a microphone. Where can you get one? Probably from the Gandalf parody that aimlessly walks around. Why? Who the heck knows?! Why do you need a microphone again? So the Elvis can talk, you say? Ok, cool. Why exactly do you need to speak with an Elvis golem in the first place, though?!? Oh, yeah, that's right, so that he can give you a plunger(?!?!?!) for some reason, something that's not even hinted in the game. Top stuff. Even worse? This is one of those adventures where it is insanely hard to understand what needs to be done next.

This kingdom is impressively large, with more than 50 screens to - almost - freely explore. Unfortunately, the lack of barriers isn't really a good thing. Expect lots of aimless walks, trying to figure out what needs to be done, as well as lots of deaths, which can happen very often, usually by choosing the wrong dialogue option. You have a walkthrough on your hands? The day/night cycle, combined with the fact that NPCs walk around the place still manage to turn this odyssey into a pretty aggravating one. Speaking of protagonists, the game plays the same no matter who you choose, so it's all a matter of who looks/sounds funnier to you. The general consensus amongst fans seems to be: Thidney's Scottish voice-acting > Shar-Ron's comically large breasts. Heretics…

Image for


As for the actual goal here, KoM is divided between three separate quests. Whether one chooses to "rescue the dragon, steal the princess and kill the treasure," recruit seven to eleven characters in the 'The Magnificent 7-11 Quest,' or find the Lost Lava Lamp of the Ancients, it all boils down to speaking all over the place to gather key items, and then using those in the right place to move the "story" forward, with NPCs, and most of their dialogue, being recycled from quest to quest, and with the only difference being their overall difficulty. In the end, playing this with the purpose of going anywhere isn't really a good idea. Kingdom O' Magic is about roaming the landscape, talking to the many different characters (or the narrator), and just enjoying the jokes.

As a final note, this is a super-old, low-budget title, and it shows. Apart from how friggin' hard it is to run it on a modern system (or find a copy of it, to be honest), it's probably safe to say that it is downright ugly, with the extremely low resolution turning NPCs into ugly bundles of pixels when they walk a few meters away, which is something that happens… ALL THE TIME! Strangely enough, the low-quality, and unintentionally creepy, pre-rendered 3D character models is actually part of Kingdom O' Magic's charm. There's no point being dishonest, however. Unless nostalgic for it, or a so-bad-it-is-good aficionado (like the one writing this piece), stay away. Do watch a complete, online play-through of it, though. It will be worth the pills you'll have to take later.

Screenshot for Kingdom O’ Magic on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

It's hard to hate Kingdom O' Magic. For all its flaws as a video game, as well as a series of lukewarm jokes, this has that weird, '90s charm that's hard to describe… or be appreciated by just anyone. Kingdom O' Magic is a piece of cult point-and-click history, so final scores and the like don't mean jack. This is all about soaking into the surreal humour at hand, rather than trying to use your head to reach a certain goal. Long story short, a bad, bad game that's best forgotten, but a unique experience that's unforgettable.

Developer

Sales Curve Interactive

Publisher

Sales Curve Interactive

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm definitely intrigued by this now... Time to go hunting for it. My sense of humour is 'odd' at times, so it might appeal Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

It's a unique specimen for sure.

Good luck enduring its terrible gameplay, though
...or managing to find it
...and run it

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

This is from the first page of the manual...made me chuckle:

First published in 1876 under the title "101 Fun Things to do with Trolls", this edition is specially calibrated for short people with red hair. Printed on recycled Windows 95 registration cards by The Press of the Elven King, 57 Woodland Walk, De-Lorean, KOM 90210: "Inexpensive business stationary a specialty! Call 1-800-SMUDGE and ask for Steve."

Not for resale in countries that begin with the letter "R".

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, telepathy, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publishers, in triplicate, signed in goat's blood, and quoting the special secret password which this week is 'nostril'. By reading this, you are deemed to understand, and agree to abide by, the terms of international copyright law. Failure to comply with these terms is punishable by death.

Publisher's note: the movie rights to this fine product are still available, Mr Spielberg!

Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Ofisil said:
It's a unique specimen for sure.

Good luck enduring its terrible gameplay, though
...or managing to find it
...and run it


DOS-BOX did the trick. Works perfectly fine, even on Windows 10. Seems okay so far, but I'm only about 10 minutes into it.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

jesusraz said:

DOS-BOX did the trick. Works perfectly fine, even on Windows 10. Seems okay so far, but I'm only about 10 minutes into it.

Yeah, DOS-BOX is the only way for me, although my last attempt (for this review) was a little harder than usual.

Hope u are enjoying the ride!

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

It has its moments! The script just about keeps it alive.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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