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User Rating: 5 | The Silver Lining - Episode 1: What is Decreed Must Be PC
It's a little tough to review this since it is both free and made by the fan community. It isn't fair to review this product as if it were made by Bioware with millions of dollars available. However, even if monetarily it is free, it does still require you to register, download, install, and spend some time in the product. There are a lot of other games and media one could be spending their time with, so given this product cuts into that and it cannot simply be given a free pass.

If you have no idea what King's Quest is you'd really be better off reading a wiki about it just to understand gaming history. This product is absolutely NOT for anyone that doesn't have fond memories of the Sierra classics of the 80's and early 90's. If you were a fan of the original classic series than it is worth at least watching the beginning of game cut scene. It provides wonderful nostalgia especially as you realize how much you and the characters have aged since first playing. Frankly it isn't necessary to do anything beyond that.

It's hard to get on the graphics given again this is a game made by the fans. Clearly the graphics are not close to the standards of the day, but they are quite serviceable and the developers did a good job with what they had. It is generally quite sparse and some of the textures are extremely dated, but it works fine. The characters are reasonably detailed but the animations can be extremely stiff. The King looks like a windup tin man when he walks. The soundtrack is really excellent and deserves special kudos. The voice acting is a very mixed bag with none standing out as being very good; however, the narration is so bad that it very nearly ruins the game all by itself. The narrator herself sounds like a pre-school teacher reading a children's story and the dialog she is given is beyond horrendous. It is cheesy, corny, unnecessary, verbose, and just plain painful. It is the kind of dialog you'd expect to hear when visiting "The Land of Make Believe" in Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood. You will click through it as fast as possible. The game would have been better served if they used the voice of the king or even just went with text.

Unfortunately calling this product a "game" is also being a little generous. The majority of time is spent watching in-game movies which are generally well done but of course not interactive. What little interaction there is, is incredibly basic and uninteresting. You get the typical look, walk, and interact options along with an inventory, however, there are only a few items to get and even less to use. This just isn't a game as most would define it. There have been some that say this is just an introduction and nothing more. Perhaps so, but this kind of introduction isn't a smart one. You need to show the player the kind of game you are creating and give him/her a reason to come back and download the next episode. If this is the kind of game we can expect then be prepared to simply watch a cut-scene movie. If not, it is too bad we didn't get a real look as many will undoubtedly not return for a second showing.

I applaud the team for having the dedication to try and keep this classic alive. I also appreciated the dedication to Roberta Williams. I would suggest that if the team really wants to honor the memory of this series, that they get much more serious about creating an actual game. I think that is the only way to properly pay homage.