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New 'King's Quest' chapter doesn't measure up

Jan 12, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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King's Quest: Rubble Without a CauseUnexpected surprises can be good. Unexpected surprises can go horribly wrong too. In Chapter Two of the reinvigorated, reimagined King's Quest, Rubble Without a Cause, there is a shift in tone that is very hard to ignore.

The launch chapter, A Knight to Remember, was a return to the gut-splitting, Monty Pythonesque satire that was such a cornerstone of the original series. Although there were tense, serious situations to work through, the atmosphere was quirky and light-hearted. In Rubble, the consequences of your actions are unexpectedly quite dire and dreadful, not something you would expect from King's Quest.

King's Quest: Rubble Without a CauseSince A Knight to Remember, Graham has become king and is finding that the crown and the power that comes with it is not all that it is cracked up to be. Kidnapped by mischievous goblins, Graham is imprisoned and forced to be their slave, cleaning their lair, etc. However, Graham is not alone. Some familiar characters from Chapter One have also found themselves imprisoned in the dark, underground realm of the goblins. In order to free his loyal subjects and himself, Graham must solve a series of interconnected puzzles over the three levels of the dungeon.

The monkey wrench in what seems to be a straightforward playthrough is that character's lives are actually on the line. As each day passes, the captives are starving. You need to feed them as their jailors are just letting them rot. Although you are given meat on a daily basis and there are some items to buy in a store located in the dungeon, you cannot provide for everyone, every day. Some tough choices have to be made which can lead to the deaths of the captives. Better invest in some Kleenex, folks.

King's Quest: Rubble Without a CauseThis life or death scenario is a bit jarring since the series has such a generally cheerful feel to it. The idea that your actions, decisions can and do result in the demise of others who are relying on you to survive is quite unnerving. Also confounding things is unlike 'A Knight to Remember', where you travel around a forest, a cave, various locations, in Rubble you are stuck in the same cave for the entire adventure. The puzzles themselves can be time-consuming although retracing your steps through the same familiar locations gets really dull, a word I thought I would never associate with the King's Quest series.

'Knight' was such a complete and complex adventure on its own for a first chapter in the episodic series, it makes 'Rubble' look quite watered down in comparison. 'Rubble' is a gratifying distraction, we just hope Chapter Three puts the adventure back into this adventure game.

King's Quest: Rubble Without a Cause
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Distributor: Activision
ESRB Rating: E10+

Official Site:

Rating: 7 / 10

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