I know I can be overly enthusiastic when it comes to certain games, but, if I were you, I'd really trust me. Believe me, I do know; it's me I'm talking about. Now, I don't usually write about many games, but those I do choose to spend my time with are -for the most part at least- absolutely worth it. Fantasy, indie point-and-click offerings starring girls named Raven Locks Smith who live in the city of Dull, on the other hand, are a particular favourite of mine, so please do expect me to rampantly praise any such offering. Especially considering that Raven Locks Smith is a particularly unfortunate name only a shoe industry motivational speaker would choose for his or her offspring.
Oddly, The Book of Living Magic, the latest game by Jonas and Verena Kyratzes, does indeed star a Raven Locks Smith from the city of Dull, a major urban centre in the Holy Corporate Beaurocratocracy of Yawn west of scenic Borington. Then again, it also sports an interesting menagerie of bottled gnomes, human-taming cats, demonic eyeballs, evil doctors, and, yes, depressed robots. Oh, and as you wouldn't really find such wonders in good ol' Dull, the game takes place in and around the village of Oddness Standing; a wonderful and pretty hilarious place, but also, handily, a perfect setting for a surreal fantasy point-and-click adventure.
So, yes, the game is indeed an almost traditional graphic adventure when it comes to its interface and generally easy puzzles. Very much less so should its plot, quality of writing, setting, visuals, characters and music enter the equation, for The Book of Living Magic is a truly unique -nay, magical- beast comparable only to its equally excellent predecessor: The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge. It's a piece of fine art and just like all proper art (according to "Gnomic Definitions", page 57, paragraph 57) it also is a thing of unique allure. Oh, and it's incredibly rich too as anyone willing to click on dozens of different little things will soon discover.
The beautiful hand-painted graphics by Verena Kyratzes and the joyfully eerie music by Helen Trevillion fit the world and story that Jonas has crafted brilliantly, and make this one adventure you simply have to play. Even if you don't care much for point-and-click entertainments. It wont take too long mind and I'd rather not spoil it anymore. It's better to enjoy the wonders on offer by yourself reader. Remember: you don't need no stinking guides; never did, never will.
If there is one criticism one could direct against The Book of Living Magic is its length or, to put it better, its lack thereof, though nobody really thought less of, say, The Great Gatsby due to it being a few pages short of a proper novel. It's just that I would absolutely love more of this game. Much more. Something truly epic would be really nice actually.
You can and indeed shall play The Book of Living Magic by following a certain not-so-well hidden link. It is happily free to play, kindly hosted by Jay is Games and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your browser, preferably while wearing nothing but an obscenely silly hat.
Verdict: A game I would love to have in my bookcase and hang on my wall. Also a beautiful, unique and quite excellent indie adventure game.
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