Apprentice II: The Knight’s Move Review

 

Introduction. At last. Apprentice II is finally out, the second chapter of the trilogy by Herculean effort. I won’t tell a secret if I say that it is one of the very very best AGS Games ever made, only inferior to King’s Quest II VGA in my list(but I may be biased) So, what is it like? Where should I start? Maybe it’s best to start with the

Plot. Last time we saw Pib, the Apprentice, he was screwed and didn’t quite become a mighty magician. Now lord Ironcrow is gathering an army, and as strange as it might look, he wants Pib in it, as well as every man that is in the condition of holding a weapon. However, our hero is not quite content with becoming a soldier and wants to evade fighting – and the only way is to become a true magician. The story is a lot better than the one in the first game; it has a lot more charm and depth. Throughout your quest of evading the army you’ll meet lots of characters, each with his own story and personality.

Graphics and animation. Simply gorgeous. But lets start with the backgrounds. They are drawn in a style similar to Day of the Tentacle or Sam and Max; they have immense detail and life. I think that most of them are animated, so you don’t actually have the feeling that everything is stiff, a feeling you get from most amateur games. Characters are beautifully drawn, with great sense to detail; their appearance also reflects their personality, as should be in a rather light-hearted game. But what totally blew me away are the animations. Each character is actually doing something when you are not talking to him; if you just walk around the village you can sense the life the creators have put in it. Also, the animations are fluent and of very high quality so be sure to stop at every screen just to look at them.

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Music and sound. Ah, the sheer magic of an orchestral soundtrack! But lets start with the sound effects first – they accompany the animations and sound quite well; I can say that they enhance the atmosphere of the game even more. Now for the ‘real meat’. The soundtrack of the game is, to put it in one word, brilliant. Every room has background music, which makes the total time of the soundtrack quite lengthy. The tunes are really catchy, and you will often find yourself humming them along and doing nothing just to hear the background music. Not only are the compositions great, but the quality is also mind-blowing. The samples sound realistic, and at times you have the feeling that the soundtrack was actually performed. It really shows the ammount of fun the musician had while working.

Gameplay. The interface is quite simple and by all means better than the one in Apprentice I. Maybe the only glitch is that the item book shows 4 items per page, but that’s easy to pass by. The puzzles are all in all, logic and not too hard, while challenging. But more important, they are interwoven with the plot really well and don’t get in the way of the story.

Miscellaneous. The game download is quite big, 45MB. However it is worth it, although it would take ages on dial-up to download. Now the biggest glitch of the game – its bugs. I got the very first release of the game, which apparently had passed alpha stage but hadn’t passed the beta one. It had some pretty annoying bugs, like crashing and dead ends, so I had to start all over. However, in the latter releases of the game this is fixed and you are not very likely to experience such problems.

Conclusion. If “Apprentice II: Knight’s move” had been released before the FMV boom as a commercial title, it would have become a classic. Now, it’s a great freeware title that will revive the memories of classic adventures like “Day of the Tentacle” or “Sam and Max”. Splendid work, guys, and looking forward to your next release!

 

 

Apprentice II: The Knight’s Move

Creators: Herculean Effort

Download from here

AGS Ezine score:

93%

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