The people of England – not to mention your husband – need your help!
The story of Robin Hood is old and familiar, but in the new hidden object/adventure game Robin's Quest: A Legend Born, it's given a bit of a twist. Robin's still fighting for the rights of the oppressed British people, but she's also trying to find a way to break her husband John out of jail.
Robin may have larger goals in mind, but that doesn't mean she's turning a blind eye to the plight of the people of Britain. Prince John and his crooked cronies have robbed the people blind, and Robin is the only person able – or willing- to get the money back where it belongs. Various villagers will ask Robin for help, but each quest basically boils down to the same goal: Find the jerk who made off with the loot and get him to hand it over. To do that, Robin will have to scour different locations for the tools she'll need to overcome obstacles like guards or blocked staircases, or solve puzzles.
The object searches are relatively brief, and almost incidental to the adventure game elements, but their lists do have an interesting mechanic. The names of the items are stacked on top of each other like cards, so you'll have to find the top one before you can tackle those underneath. The game does have the annoying habit of asking putting extra items in a scene – no, you don't want THAT flower, you want THIS one – but for the most part, the searches are quick and painless. Your jar of fireflies will help point you in the right direction should you ever get stumped – one of the most charming ways of providing hints I've ever seen - and you can catch other fireflies to replenish their number.
As resourceful as she is, Robin won't get very far without the help of her Merry Men. Friar Tuck, Little John, Allen-a-Dale and the rest all have unique skills that Robin can call upon to help her navigate sticky situations. Robin herself is a pretty fine shot with a bow and arrow, but she'll need Friar Tuck to help her talk to the clergy, for example, and Little John to shove particularly heavy things out of the way. Prince John isn't exactly a fan of Robin's pals, though, so they'll have to stay hidden until Robin can track down all of the pieces of their shredded pardons. The Merry Men's skills are only necessary in a few key situations, and it's usually pretty obvious which fellow you need to ask for aid. Ripping down her own wanted posters is a pretty good idea, too – all 62 of them.
The bits and pieces of pardons are scattered all over the countryside, but Robin's Quest wisely prevents frustrated clicking by raising an "Area Clear" sign once you've completely cleaned out a room. You may not always be able to complete a room immediately, but you'll always know when there's something else hidden there that needs your attention, even if it's just a hidden cache of gold pieces.
The puzzles of Robin's Quest are usually more goal based – bake a pie to distract the guards, find a way to waylay a cart – but there are a few classic brain teasers thrown in, too. They're not overly difficult, and tend to make sense within the context of the location, too, which is always appreciated. We've assembled a thousand jigsaws, for example, but putting together the random slats to help a villager build a wall is a bit more satisfying.
If you need a break from helping the unfortunates of Britain, you can enter one of Robin's Quest's archery competitions, which reward you for having a keen eye and a quick trigger finger. Snagging a perfect bullseye bonus is pretty easy at first, but each successive challenge gets a bit more difficult, with smaller and moving targets. The archery contests are completely optional, but nailing a perfect score is always a cause for celebration.
The one area where Robin's Quest suffers is its voice acting. Be prepared for some seriously questionable English accents and some truly dubious inflection. It's not a game killer by any means, but given the high quality of the rest of the game, the shoddy voicework is an awkward standout.
Robin's Quest: A Legend Born is a fun retelling of a familiar tale, adapting well-known characters to a new and inventive adventure. Say it with me now, everyone: For England!
- Beautiful visuals. Creative quests. Lots to do.
- Bad voice acting.