By – Jarrett Riddle

The Quest PC Review He

Perhaps you think that part of the title was left off accidentally for this review. “The Quest?” You may be wondering to yourself, “The Quest for what? Glory? Camelot? The holy grail?” But I assure you, The Quest is indeed the full name given to this game by the Hungarian two-man development team of Redshift. Originally made for mobile devices in 2006, The Quest aims to replicate those warm, fuzzy feelings felt by nostalgic gamers playing first person dungeon crawlers of olde. It may seem weird to you that a game of this nature was originally developed for the Pocket PC. Here’s another surprise: it’s fantastic.

The main storyline is nothing dazzling or completely original, but like the wide variety of side quests and optional events, is written in a wonderfully unique style. What do I mean by this? Well, your main objective is to find clues about the disappearance of a mayor and look into the validity of an ancient prophecy. This may not sound like epic storytelling material, but the nutty characters and dialogues you’ll come across along the way really keep you going.

Most of us are familiar with general medieval fare seen in millions of games, books, and movies, so The Quest giving off a similar vibe may induce yawns for some. Don’t be fooled, though; the setting may remind you of a King Arthur tale, but this world has many more streetwalkers, conniving yet helpful wizards, and oddball humor than Camelot. For example, a horoscope teller in Vastares gives you rather, shall we say, sexual predictions according to the birth sign you suggest. Right down the path from there in the very same town is a full-fledged brothel, complete with multiple side quests.

The Quest PC Review Sum

That’s right, the game allows you to work on the side of the aforementioned streetwalkers, “lady callers”, and other shady characters. These dealings come at a cost, however, as your fame bar can actually decrease, causing your character to turn evil. This can influence dialogues with various people and even your ending. Other actions that can alter your fame in a negative fashion are burglarizing homes at night and pickpocketing others from behind.

When you’re not getting up to mischief, however, a vast, open world is waiting to be explored. On your quest, you’ll be making your way through bandit-filled forests, trudging around in toxic swamps, and delving into undead-infested caves. Before you begin, you must first create your adventurer. You can start with different attributes, skill proficiencies, and appearance according to your selections in the character creation menu. If magic is your thing, there’s plenty of spells and wands at your perusal. Got an axe to grind? Many types of melee weapons can be found or purchased in towns. If you want to take out your target from a distance, however, bows and throwing weapons are also available. My character was decently proficient in each type of attack, but master of none. No matter what class you usually like to play as in role playing games, you should be able to create them.

Movement is tile-based, meaning you move one square at a time across the landscape. This may sound slow and clunky for a modern game, but holding a movement key down will allow you to travel at plenty of speed. That is, until combat is initiated; if an enemy gets close enough to you, the game enters a turn-based mode where moving a square or performing an action will then allow the enemy to take a turn. Foes don’t seem to scale to your level in The Quest, so it is very possible to wander into an area where you’re slaughtered quickly. A surprising amount of tactics can come into play when facing multiple enemies, like tricking some of the group to stay behind a tree or obstacle while you face their friend by himself.

The Quest PC Review Sum

But are there other things to do besides slogging around, hitting skeletons with an axe? You bet there is! Between missions or exploration trips, feel free to stop by a number of services available in towns. You can purchase or sell potions, alchemy ingredients, weapons, armor, and even readable books. A superb addition to the usual trading shops is a mage who can enchant your wands and clothing with any spell that you know for a fee. Another nifty feature is a a simple, self-contained card game you can play with the barkeeper at any tavern. Here you can choose from a handful of decks, place a wager, and try your luck. There’s attack, defense, and heal cards that you can play, with some being hold cards that have a beneficial effect with each passing turn as long as you keep them. There’s not a whole lot to the card minigame, but it’s a very welcome distraction and admirable effort for something you wouldn’t normally expect to find in a game like this.

The art style is strange. And when I say that, I of course mean strangely wonderful! An almost surreal mix of what appears to be rotoscoped people and hand-drawn environments may seem like a bad art design choice to start with. It doesn’t take long to get used to them and truly appreciate the effort that went into making them, though. The Quest has full day and night cycles, with townsfolk disappearing into their homes in the late hours, which is a nice touch.

Characters and objects are large and detailed, though most townsfolk and streetwalkers look identical other than palette. The user interface, while perhaps not the most beautiful design, is clear and easy to see. Navigation is a cinch with both an on-screen minimap and an overhead variation that you can click around on to see where locations are. You can also make notes on the map to remind yourself about special locations or people.

The Quest PC Review Sum

Overall, the graphics are awesome in a rarely seen way, harkening back to the days of Might & Magic, but with its own unique appeal. No resolution selection is available, though there is fullscreen and windowed modes. When playing in a window, you can resize the screen to be however big you want, and there’s also an exclusive option that keeps the game window in front.

The Quest has several ambient music tracks that play as you venture forth into the wilderness. The composition does its job, but isn’t too remarkable. Sound effects are the same way, with weapons swishing and lightning spells crackling, but again nothing stands out. I actually had an issue where sometimes the game wouldn’t play any sounds or music upon booting up. In fact, this happened to me the very first time I played the game, causing me to think it had no sound. I was surprised when, upon booting up again, music came out of my speakers. Since then, it’s been silent more than not, but can be fixed by exiting and restarting.

Navigation and shortcut keys can easily be rebinded from their defaults. If you’re not the keyboard player type, the mouse can be used for everything, including movement by clicking on arrow icons. In combat, a cool, optional feature is the ability to queue attacks by attacking or moving more than once on your turn. The first action is performed, then the enemy goes, and your second action takes place. Unless you’re predisposed to hating tile-based movement, you should have no problems getting around.

The Quest PC Review Sum

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

Not all games have to revolutionize the industry. The Quest knows exactly what it is, and excels at everything it tries to do. This tiny development team have obviously done their homework, researching what has worked in notable RPGs and seamlessly blending them together. All of these unified mechanics and features mixed with witty, believable writing and fun side quests make for a fantastic experience that every RPG veteran should enjoy today.

The Quest Technical Summary:

The Quest PC Review Sum

  • Time Played – 13 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – None
  • DRM – Steam
  • System Specs – 3.7 GHz AMD A10-6700, 768MB Radeon  8670D, 8GB RAM
  • Control Scheme – M/KB
  • Saved Game Location – C:\Users\(User)\Saved Games\The Quest
  • Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No

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