Adventure games are my life. I grew up with them and I still can’t get enough of new titles as they come out. Of course, back in 2012 I came across a number of great crowdfunded campaigns in this genre, including a Quest for Glory inspired title that had you play as a sort of reluctant anti-hero in Quest for Infamy. I barely knew of Infamous Quests and their previous works before the Kickstarter but after trying my hand at their previous free remakes in King’s Quest III and Space Quest 2 I couldn’t toss my money at them quickly enough.
Enter 2015 and they returned to Kickstarter with another campaign, this time for two new games (three with stretch goals). They’ve just launched the first title, Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge and while not quite as epic in scope as their last outing it’s still very much worth picking up and playing. All you need to know is that you play as a Bard named Finn and that’s he’s on a quest, and that this is a tale set in the fairy realm. Beyond that you can see for yourself the colorful characters and situations he runs into.
Before I go further, I want to point out that over the years I’ve gotten to know Steven Alexander and pretty much everyone at Infamous Quests pretty well and they’re always willing to listen and talk to their fans, going so far as to take any feedback to heart and improve upon each game that they release. And this one is no different. So far they’ve delivered on the promise of a fun retro style adventure game set in a beautiful pixelated world with well crafted puzzles and an engaging storyline. While still a bit on the short side, especially for those used to playing games of this type, The King’s Challenge is a polished game and perfectly sets the stage for the next installment.
I was lucky enough to be one of the testers towards the end of the development for Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge and even at that stage the game was already looking very good. Minus some spelling and grammatical errors I only came across one game breaking bug near the end and Steven was quick to patch in the fixes, leaving us with a great game that we can play today. It’s not a perfect adventure game, but it’s close enough that any fan of the genre should pick it up. Plus, the music “mini game” required to get past some puzzles is one rarely used outside of classics like Loom and works well with the bard character.
My favorite part of Order of the Thorne: The King’s Challenge would have to be in the back story Steven wrote up for the Order itself. It read like a combination of Arthurian legend (which he admitted to me was the main inspiration), the Knights Templar, and the fantasy staple Paladins. All three of which I’ve been personally obsessed with for years. I look forward to seeing where they take the Order and its followers in the next installment, Fortress of Fire, but first we’ll be treated next to the Quest for Infamy prequel Roehm to Ruin. Both are games that I can’t wait to get my hands on.