In the annals of video game history, few series have left as indelible a mark as Sierra On-Line’s King’s Quest.
Launched in 1984, the series was the brainchild of Roberta Williams, a pioneer in the gaming industry, who sought to create a game that combined the narrative depth of a fairy tale with the interactivity of a video game. The result was King’s Quest, a groundbreaking adventure that would set the standard for the genre for years to come.
The King’s Quest series was revolutionary in many ways. It was one of the first games to feature an open world where players could explore freely, making choices that would influence the outcome of the story.
The rich graphics, which were cutting-edge for their time, brought the magical world of Daventry to life, allowing players to immerse themselves fully in the game’s narrative.
But perhaps the most significant aspect of King’s Quest was its storytelling. Each installment offered a unique, fairy-tale-inspired narrative filled with complex characters, moral dilemmas, and intricate puzzles.
The series’ blend of challenging gameplay and compelling storytelling captivated players, making it one of the best-selling and most beloved game series of its time. Its influence can be seen in countless adventure games that followed, and its legacy is still felt today, with a new generation of gamers discovering and falling in love with the world of Daventry.
Now, let’s dive into each game:
King’s Quest I: Quest for the Crown
The game that started it all. As Sir Graham, players embark on a quest to find three magical treasures and prove their worthiness to become the king of Daventry. The game introduced a vast open world, filled with various challenges and characters, setting the standard for future adventure games.
King’s Quest I Remake: Quest for the Crown
There is also a version of King’s Quest I that has been updated with better graphics and a point and click interface. I personally prefer to play this one over the original since its play style is more similar to the later King’s Quest games.
King’s Quest II: Romancing the Stones
Continuing the adventures of King Graham, this sequel sees our hero traveling to a distant land in search of his queen. With more intricate puzzles and a deeper narrative, it expanded on the foundation set by its predecessor, offering a richer gaming experience.
King’s Quest II Remake: Romancing the Stones
Just like the King’s Quest I remake, King’s Quest II also has a remake with better graphics and a point and click interface. I also prefer to play this this version over the original.
King’s Quest III: To Heir is Human
A departure from the tales of King Graham, this installment follows a young man named Gwydion as he seeks to escape the clutches of an evil wizard and discover his true heritage. The game’s time-based mechanics and compelling storyline make it a standout entry in the series.
King’s Quest III Remake: To Heir is Human
Again, like the previous 2 versions of King’s Quest, there is also a remake for for King’s Quest III that includes better graphics and a point and click interface. I also prefer to play this version over the original.
King’s Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
Introducing a female protagonist, Rosella, this game is both a rescue and a love story. With a day-to-night cycle and a more detailed world, it pushed the boundaries of what adventure games could achieve.
King’s Quest IV Remake: The Perils of Rosella
This fan-made remake retains the same graphics style but has been updated with a point-and-click interface.
King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
With a shift to point-and-click mechanics and VGA graphics, this installment sees King Graham on a quest to rescue his family from an evil wizard. Its memorable characters, like Cedric the owl, and challenging puzzles make it a fan favorite.
King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
Arguably the most beloved in the series and my personal favorite, this game follows Prince Alexander in his quest to rescue Princess Cassima. With multiple endings and a rich narrative, it offers a depth that few games of its time could match. If you’ve never played King’s Quest before and are looking for a place to start, King’s Quest VI won’t let you down.
King’s Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
King’s Quest VII represents a significant departure from previous games in the series with its vibrant, cartoon-like visuals and a dual-protagonist narrative featuring Queen Valanice and Princess Rosella. Unlike its predecessors’ singular focus, this installment weaves two intertwined tales across a chapter-based progression. Combined with context-sensitive puzzles and a fairy-tale ambiance, the game represents a departure from the traditional King’s Quest formula, offering players a different experience.
Let us know which King’s Quest game is your favorite in the comments below.