King's Quest: Chapter 3 - Once Upon a Climb (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 05.05.2016

Review for King

The third chapter in Sierra's new King's Quest title follows directly from the previous chapter. Chapter 2 received a mixed reception for its limited environment, as pretty as it was, and the darker tone that it took after a relatively light-hearted first chapter. The Odd Gentlemen team is putting a lot of time and effort in, but can this third entry up the stakes?

The writing in Chapter 3 is by far the best in the series. It has character, drama, humour, and a shedload of feeling. This chapter is captivating, and heavily involves players in the story. King Graham is feeling lonely; looking after the kingdom is taking its toll. When the magic mirror shows him a tower and tells him he can find his true love up there, he shoots off without any planning for his adventure. A montage of scenes follows Graham to the tower, and the game is breathtakingly beautiful this time around!

The animations are fantastic, with none of the usual stiltedness seen in many chapter-based, arty games. Every character is designed to perfectly reflect their personality; for example King Graham is meant to be more mature than before, so he is now "buff" and has the beginnings of a beard, yet he still looks fairly young to accentuate his inexperience in life. Not only are the designs great, but this time the interactions are more satisfying as Graham attempts to woo. There is an archery competition, music-playing, tidying up, travelling by magic, and a plethora of beautiful heart-warming scenes full of exciting elements, and the biggest sense of scale seen in this reboot so far.

Screenshot for King's Quest: Chapter 3 - Once Upon a Climb on PC

This time, the puzzles are better designed to have multiple outcomes. In one scene Graham is dancing, and it's just a case of following the instructions, however, dependant on answers to other questions and other actions, the scene will end a different way. It's all very natural, freeform choice-making. It's not often a game has a choice system that equates to more than A or B. The subtleness of Chapter 3's choices is one of its strongest traits. Some moments are so spectacular that it is actually punching above Telltale's The Walking Dead in terms of emotional involvement, although rather than darkness, it's because there is no option but to root for Graham's success.

The gameplay remains largely the same as Chapter 2, but the level design is more varied, and the puzzles are actual puzzles instead of glorified fetch quests. The variety on offer here means that Chapter 3, without a doubt, is the most fun to play. There aren't any bad points that stand out, the pacing has definitely improved since the first chapter, and the tone is better after Chapter 2. The music is also probably the best so far; it builds up the action scenes and contains many subtle nuances. This chapter also sees a renewed focus on the overarching story which will feed into Chapters 4 and 5. It has past and present events, but seems to hint at an ending that would be somewhat disappointing. It does look like Graham will have one last adventure in this series, though, which is a nice sentiment.

Screenshot for King's Quest: Chapter 3 - Once Upon a Climb on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Absolutely fantastic! King's Quest Chapter 3 truly capitalises on its world and characters, with a fun and exciting script and the spectacle that was sorely lacking from Chapter 2. The world is vibrant, the characters are ludicrous, and the ending is heart-warming no matter which choices were made. Most of all, the overarching plot is starting to form, building intrigue for Chapters 4 and 5. Bring them on!


The Odd Gentlemen







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

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   


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