Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit Review – Classic Adventure

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit Review – Classic Adventure
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Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

Game Name: Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit

Publisher: Thunderful Publishing

Developer: Tag of Joy

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: June 5th, 2022

Crowns and Pawns by Tag of Joy

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is a point-and-click adventure in the style of classics like Monkey Island and Broken Sword. In fact, the development of Crowns and Pawns is led by the art director of Broken Sword 2.5, so there is plenty of reason for fans of the genre to be excited. Featuring varied settings, a mystery going back hundreds of years, and a fully voiced cast of characters, Crowns and Pawns is the full point-and-click package.

Euro-Tripping

Crowns and Pawns follows the story of Milda Kovas, a young woman living in Chicago who receives a letter informing her that her grandfather has passed away and that she is the inheritor of his home in Lithuania. After helping her friend secure an art deal, Milda begins a journey that leads to adventures across Lithuania, Belarus, Italy, and more as she uncovers ancient secrets and nefarious KGB projects.

The story soon develops into a classic nation-hopping adventure that blurs the lines between history and myth in the time-honored tradition of a Dan Brown novel. Early on I found that the writing and voice acting are two of this game’s greatest strengths; snappy dialogue delivered playfully by the protagonist and her allies gives the narrative an upbeat tone throughout. Humor is seeded throughout the game, and Milda’s regular updates with her friend Dana make for fun little overviews of the plot as it develops. Side characters are often a giggle, too: I particularly enjoyed a dour bus driver prone to slipping into grim ruminations on society’s flaws.

Broken Sword Bona Fides

The puzzles of Crowns and Pawns are largely logical, with a few tricky hurdles here and there that could stump players for a little while. Most puzzles are the standard point-and-click challenge of figuring out which items to apply to which problems. There are also a lot of puzzles that involve remembering key information from texts – this is definitely a game that demands your full attention.

I was also pleased to find a reference to the infamous Broken Sword goat puzzle tucked away later in the game. Some mini-puzzles, like a sliding tile game and a fusebox logic test, are also dotted through the adventure.

A Pleasant Kingdom (Deceit Aside>

The presentation of Crowns and Pawns is superb throughout; relaxed music bumbles along in the background of most scenes (it can get a little repetitive in some cases, but this is a minor quibble), and the vibrant locations are beautifully realized.

The diversity of settings is wonderful; from universities to churches to downtown Chicago, all are a treat for the eyes. Milda’s wardrobe and hair can also be customized to a limited extent, providing some room for creativity.

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is a well-crafted point-and-click adventure that should provide a few hours of puzzle-solving fun for fans of the genre and newcomers alike. Its globe-spanning adventure makes for a fun variety of locations, while its characters are both memorable and likable. Anyone looking for a charming and relaxing adventure with a healthy dose of peril will find something to love in Crowns and Pawns.

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is available via Steam.

Watch the trailer for Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit below:

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