King's Quest Review In Progress: 'Rubble Without A Cause' Impressions

The kingdom of Daventry has a new king, but will King Graham buckle under the pressure of ruling over an entire kingdom? Our review.


The first episode of King’s Quest left on quite the cliffhanger and after nearly five months of waiting, the second episode, titled “Rubble Without a Cause”, is now available. The new episode tells a story of King Graham who is now the ruler of Daventry, although he learns shortly after becoming king there’s truth to the old proverb “heavy is the head that wears the crown” as he’s completely swimming in his kingly duties. Graham decides to go for a walk to clear his head from all of his work, when he’s suddenly kidnapped by a group of Goblins who have their own ulterior motives for taking him away from his throne.

The Goblins live underneath the kingdom of Daventry, so the entire episode is told from beneath ground. While the art wasn’t as awe inspiring as it was in the premiere episode, there were moments when a number of colorful fungi could be spotted within the cave’s overly-dreary interiors. I came across a room that was filled with a mix of fungi and flowers that I couldn’t help but take in for a few moments prior to continuing my quest, and the art was still done in a picturesque style that I really enjoy.

The early portion of the episode has King Graham using some strategy to keep others who have been kidnapped healthy enough to escape. Just like in the first episode, Graham’s decisions help shape the story in one of three pre-determined routes: the use of strength, the use of kindness, and the use of wits. If Graham isn’t able to keep the prisoners healthy, their health will drop and they can be escorted away from their cell if it drops low enough, thus making them unavailable. This required way more planning on my part, and even though I wasn’t able to save everyone, I was happy with the outcome of my decisions as well as this new mechanic which helped keep things feeling fresh.

Considering how smooth of an experience the premiere episode offered, I was surprised to be met with some camera-related glitches during my playthrough. These issues didn’t impede my ability to complete the chapter, but they did make things feel awkward. For example: sometimes the camera wouldn’t zoom in during dialog or when picking up an item, enemies wouldn’t follow their designated route based on the camera angle, and the screen would flicker when scrolling. I’m sure these are things that can be rectified with a future patch, but to have them pop up after waiting several months for a new episode is a bit disheartening.

After completing the episode, I felt it was a bit on the short side compared to the first episode. Many of the puzzles are based on classic fairy tales, which make them easy to complete as long as you’re familiar with tales like Cinderella, the Princess and the Frog, and others. Once Graham escapes, there’s a short mini game that has him directing a prisoner across a bottomless pit, and then the final showdown has him telling an interactive story to the King of the Goblins. Fortunately, there’s a bit of replayability here if you weren’t able to rescue all of the prisoners from their cells, but not much else outside of that.

King’s Quest - Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause offers some unique gameplay mechanics that help keep this adventure feeling fresh, although its length left much to be desired as I spent around five hours with the premiere episode. The second chapter only offered around 2 to 3 hours of content, which would have been acceptable if there wasn't such a long delay for it to be released. Hopefully the third episode will be released sooner, but if not, I at least hope to play for somewhere around five hours again in future episodes.

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