Book Quest (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

You are in a medieval fantasy world and one night a red ninja steals your family’s magic book.  The ghost of your grandfather requests that you get it back, as it holds mysterious powers.  So you take up a sword and go on a quest to get the book back in this 2-D, 16-bit retro styled top down adventure.  It’s available on all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

You just play as an ordinary guy as you walk around locations like villages and forests.  You can swing your sword and roll out of the way.  You’ll battle enemies, gather clues and do fetch quests for townsfolks to get better items, and collect berries to quickly restore your health.  Luckily there is text in the top corner of the screen telling you what to do next, which is nice.  But a map would’ve been helpful, too.  Your health does restore over time, kind of like an old Ys game.

I don’t really want to compare this game to a Zelda title because it’s just not near as good.  Gameplay is slow and dull, and using the menu to select items is clunky.  Worst of all, you don’t get a window of invincibility when you get hit, so enemies can corner you and drain your energy in a matter of seconds.  Bosses especially like to use this tactic, so I lost interest in this one pretty quickly.

Kid Factor:

Book Quest is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence. Enemies just disappear in a puff of smoke when defeated, and you just make a grunting sound when hit.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find this one too difficult.

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