King’s Quest 3 Redux: Point-and-click/switch access goes retro

I can’t really play computer games outside of interactive fiction. That’s all right, though; I’m a word person, and playing the contemporary games reminds me of playing things like Moonmist vicariously on my neighbor’s Tandy. I was also interested in King’s Quest 3 with its evil wizard and his ambitious servant Gwydion, but never got the chance to play.

Now I can. So can anyone who can use switches and/or a pointing device. This presumably  includes totally switch driven devices capable of mouse movement assignments, such as Mouse Button Box, Encore, and X Keys. I know it works with X Keys. AGD Interactive has remade Kings Quest 3: To Heir Is Human with a completely point-and-click driven interface; there’s no typing at all, except to name your saved games. You choose items or actions simply by clicking icons and objects on the screen. You can cycle through looking, walking, touching, and speaking using the scroll wheel as well as clicking. To move, simply click the spot you want to move to, and you’ll go there automatically in most cases.

IMPORTANT: You need to be able to physically click a button. Dwell clicking software won’t interact with it, at least not Point N Click or Sensory Software’s Dwell Click. NOTE: Kings Quest is also best played in its default full-screen mode. I went into the settings menu (All programs >AGD Interactive) and checked the box for running in a window instead of full-screen, thinking I could then bring up my on-screen keyboard when I had to save a game. I could, but then the window is very small and not resizable and you can’t see where you’re going or what you’re looking at. It kind of defeats the purpose. So if you have extra programmable switches, you might want to make a general text insertion macro–Game 1, Game 2, or whatever. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best thing I can think of.

So what’s the game like once you get it running? The visuals are excellent, a cross between the nostalgic pixilated characters of Sierra and contemporary graphics. It’s very lifelike, especially if you opt to use the character voices as well as the dialogue boxes. There’s the same wit as the previous version, though I don’t remember if the jokes are identical. It’s also been updated; there’s a reference to Floo Powder, for instance, and as a punishment, Manannan makes Gwydion exercise to a rendition of “YMCA”. 🙂 Also, there are certain elements that weren’t in the old version, so that you have to puzzle an extra thing or two. This is why looking up walkthroughs for the Sierra version won’t necessarily help; the Redux has its own walkthrough page.

I can’t tell you too much more; you’ll just have to play it and see for yourself. It’s wonderful for whiling away a few hours and losing track of time.

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