I could have sworn the year was 2013... I mean, yes, I've mistakenly written 2012 a few times already when I've gone to write the date out, but last I checked, we were definitely in the 21st century at the very least.
So, can someone explain to me, why, when I launched the game Hero of the Kingdom, I was suddenly transported back to 1988? My only explanation is that somehow the game has opened up a portal back to my childhood, and now I'm stuck in a loophole where I am forced to play old-school games over and over again, caught in an endless supply of text based direction and blocky pixels of color plastered across the screen.
I'm so confused. Is this a nightmare? Or a dream come true?
On one hand, I remember loving those games filled with line after line of text-based gaming. If you are old enough to remember the movie Big, you'll probably fondly recall the scene where the main character was playing the wizard game. "You are standing in the cavern of an evil wizard. All around you are the carcasses of slain ice dwarves.... what do you want to do? Melt Wizard... what do you want to melt him with?"
And while that epic game was fictional, there were plenty of games that fit that description that made my childhood an exciting place to be. These games were storybooks come to life, where I could choose my own adventure and be the master of my own destiny.
So when I launched Hero of the Kingdom, and I got over the shock of seeing my childhood staring me straight in the face, this game fondly pulled on my heart strings, and I began to warm to it immediately... until I noticed the copious amounts of horrific grammatical and spelling errors that littered almost every sentence.
"He went a small back room and suddenly he stood in from of me with the healing potion." Really??
Now, I'm not a grammar snob. I know that I make mistakes too, and I've become much more forgiving in my old age. But, I spent a good many years as a professional proofreader and editor as well as a writer, and there are just some things that are simply inexcusable.
Case in point: a game that relies solely on the text to propel the story forward. There's no stunning graphics or amazing voice acting here to soften the blow of wrong word use or missing punctuation. This game's main focus is the story... the copy... the text... whatever you want to call it... wouldn't you think that would then warrant hiring a good proofreader to go through it with a fine-toothed comb?
Hell, even a mediocre proofreader would have caught the mistake here. "Last week storm"? Really?
I could spend this entire article ranting and raving about the mistakes that I encountered during gameplay. It was riddled with mistake after stupid mistake and frankly was just too much for me to handle. And even when technically, there wasn't an error, the sentences were so awkward and poorly written, it just hurt my brain to even continue reading. Seriously... I thought I was going to combust I was so angry.
But... I know that not everyone will put as much emphasis on grammar or spelling, so I mustered every ounce of willpower I possess and continued playing.
"...but the old woman insisted on taking my deserved reward." (Taking?? So she took your reward instead of giving it to you?)
OK moving on... from a unique standpoint, you have to give the developers credit for creating something so completely different from the standard point-and-click adventures we're all used to. Its old-school charm was refreshing, and once you began to get into the story, the gameplay moved at a fast pace. (As long as you didn't stop to scream in agony at the errors... sorry... I promise... I'm done.)
"This is too much dangerous for me." (This one almost made me throw the computer out the window.)
The added component of searching for tiny little objects in the scenes was interesting, even if they made my eyes ache as I pressed my face up to the screen looking for eggs the size of a pinhead. Of course, it took me about 30 minutes into the game to realize that I could click on those things even if it didn't have a yellow mark over it.
The graphics aren't great. Don't expect Hero of the Kingdom to hold a candle to any of the hidden object games you've played lately. It's just not that kind of game. It's not going to win awards for best artwork.
Same with the music and the sounds. You're not going to hear any tension-building crescendos or eerie chilling sounds in this one. It's all cheesy farm sounds and adventure midi tracks that you fondly remember from the old games we used to play and matter only because they awaken feelings of sweet nostalgia.
I have to admit, if Hero of the Kingdom wasn't plagued with an inexcusable amount of errors, the fond trip it took me down memory lane alone would have made it a 5-star game for me.
"This is the scarf from my bellowed girl!" (Excuse me? Your bellowed girl? WTF does that mean?? Is she really loud?)
Alas, it was not meant to be for me. Hero of the Kingdom just left me with a feeling of intense outrage that such a great concept was destroyed by the lack of care given to its main lifeline... the content.
However, if you can overlook such an oversight and you were born before 1980, than by all means, jump into this old-school adventure story with open arms.