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Kingdom of Klein, The - Review

Review by Canalboy


Last edited:

Holy Mother of Mary this game is tedious. You may have thought watching gravy congeal was tedious but that would be a positive adrenalin rush compared to this voyage through endless terse descriptions of cliff steps and open plains. If Stock, Aitken and Waterman had produced text adventures in the eighties, they would have made them like Epic Software.

The cynic in me feels that they inserted the same endless descriptions so that they could proudly proclaim "A game with 230 locations!" The number of locations was, of course, a big selling point back in the days of Band Aid and Wham; I myself am a big fan of old style IF on an enormous scale when it is done in an interesting and necessary way, but when it is done like this it merely magnifies the sterility of the game. Over two thirds of the locations are along the lines of "You are on an endless plain" or "You are on some cliff steps." This may be a realistic depiction of a mundane world but I don't play IF for that reason and I suspect that nobody else does neither; it is meant to be a medium of entertainment and this isn't even a very small of entertainment.

Kingdom Of Klein has a very limited two word parser, like all Epic's other releases and also lacks the EXAMINE verb, so for any puzzles that there are you just end up WAVING, THROWING or READING every item in your inventory at every locked door or magic pool until you find the correct (and often illogical) solution and then move on the next interminable sequence of flat plain or beach.

If you want to try a sizeable old style puzzle fest that is worthy of your precious time, try Warp, Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina, Curses!, Mirror Of Khoronz etc. but avoid Epic software games.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 3/10)

Poor parser which only understands the first two letters of any verb and a spartan vocabulary.

Atmosphere (Rating: 3/10)

Again very poor. The game is littered with long chains of grey featureless locations presumably to bump up the number of rooms which was of course a big selling point back in the day. No EXAMINE command which wasn't restrictive in the hands of the Phoenix crowd but is here.

Cruelty (Rating: Nasty)

Easy to make unwinnable through no fault of your own.

Puzzles (Rating: 4/10)

Unoriginal puzzles for the most part. There are also not many of them given the size of the game.

Overall (Rating: 3/10)

There are much better games of a similar age than this. Try anything from the Phoenix Stable, Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls or games by Jim MacBrayne etc.