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on 27 September 2015
The Critter Chronicles is a prequel to The Book Of Unwritten Tales. The series is a traditional point-and-click game, set in a fantasy world with a lot of humour thrown in.

The original game told the tale of an archaeologist gremlin named MacGuffin who discovers a book which gives the location of an artefact that can put an end to the war. He gives Ivo the elf and Wilbur the gnome separate tasks to visit the arch-mage. After they cross paths, they hire the services of mercenary Nate and his pal Critter to aid them on their adventure. In this prequel, the backstory of Nate and Critter is fleshed out. Personally, I found Wilbur and Ivo much more likeable characters so it seemed a weird decision to choose the two weakest characters for a separate game.

At the start of the game, Nate is pursued by the Orc bounty hunter Ma'Zaz. After crash-landing on the Northlands, he meets the Critter race who wish to retrieve their stolen artefact from Munkus, the evil mage. Nate agrees to help, since he needs the Critter's mechanical expertise to fix his air-ship. The character 'Critter' is deemed a bit of an outcast by the leader, and so he teams up with Nate in hope to prove himself to the clan.

Critter is a strange-looking character. He cannot speak English, and so communicates in gibberish and arm gestures. Part of the feedback in a point-and-click game is the description of the items to aid the player in the puzzles. You don't get that with Critter, but instead get humour which quickly wears thin. Critter was funny for the short time you played with him in the original game, but spending more time playing with him is an unwelcome decision.

The game can be enjoyed by new players since there is only a few returning characters and few references to the first game.

The voice acting is very good, so it's always a pleasure to listen to the dialog, but you can skip it by clicking if you wish. Early on, there's little nods to Star Wars since Nate is a Han Solo-like character. The game never takes itself too seriously, so expect lots of pop-culture references.

The game-play is the tried and tested formula of picking up objects then either: using them, combining them, or giving them to someone in order to make progress. Clicking on objects in a scene gives you a description of them. The icon changes to a pick-up icon if you can place it in your inventory, (sometimes) becomes disabled if it is not required any more, or stays active if it is needed in a puzzle. Pressing Space bar highlights all the items of interest rather than 'pixel hunting'. Placing your mouse at the bottom of the screen pops open your inventory. You can right-click for a description of them, or left click to select them.

One of the great things about the original game was that the puzzles were always logical. It seems this game was designed by different people, because now it's a complete u-turn. The puzzles are always illogical, so the majority of the game you are just mindlessly using your objects and hoping you can make progress. There's also a larger focus on combining objects, so expect to click around in your inventory in hope that you create a useful object.

There's also many instances where you are required to repeatedly click on the same object in order to progress. There's nothing that indicates you have to do this, but you end up finding yourself doing this out of frustration since there seems nothing else to do.

There's only a few areas across the course of the game, so expect a lot of backtracking. The illogical puzzles increase the amount of backtracking you do as you are wandering around aimlessly, which then inflates the game's length. When you think about it, it feels more like DLC than a stand-alone game.

After the great The Book of Unwritten Tales, I was really looking forward to playing The Critter Chronicles. However, the things that the original game did right have been replaced with things that make a bad adventure game. The choice of characters is poor, the puzzles are illogical, and it feels short and repetitive compared to the original game.
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on 11 November 2013
The Book of Unwritten Tales is one of my favourite games so I was eagerly anticipating playing this. A little bit of a disappointment mainly because it is so short. The first game is very long and involved many different scenes but this one just doesn't live up to expectations. What there is of it is very good, funny, good looking and a nice mix of puzzles. Critter gets a bit irritating as he only speaks rubbish but that didn't affect the game. A very good point and click adventure, but just as you're getting into it the realisation dawns that it is about to end. I have the feeling that a lot of games are getting shorter lately - or perhaps I'm getting too good?
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on 3 May 2013
A great adventure game with twists and many parts to make you giggle! It was a battle between my husband and I to see who could finish first and the we were wished we hadn't completed it as we missed the fun! Well worth buying!
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on 14 March 2013
Yet another brilliant game from Nordic Tales. This game has the lot; great storyline, superb artwork, brilliant voice acting, witty dialogue and ingenious puzzles. A fantastic buy!
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on 29 June 2013
I really enjoyed playing this and it took quite a time too so worth the money.

Carries on from original Book of Unwritten Tales using the bounty hunter as its lead.
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on 13 June 2013
Brilliant sequel to the first Game, Book of Unwritten Tales.
Some New Characters, Some Old.
An Excellent follow up.... Now where's the 3rd...
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on 19 July 2013
Great game waiting for next one? Such fun and the characters are wonderful. I really enjoyed playing this game. Is there another in this vein?
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on 1 August 2013
If older gamers remember "the bards tale" (PC dvd) game from a few years back then this is written in a similar vein with groan out loud puns, puzzles are fairly straightforward but with a lot of toing and froing to get the pieces, having said that I still found the game very enjoyable and am looking forward to playing the follow-up fairly soon.
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on 21 April 2014
Nate reminds me of Guybrush in Monkey Island and Rincewind in Discworld. At first I thought it would be disappointing at the end but hey! it is not.
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on 14 February 2014
The best introduction to Nordic culture I've seen. If you live on the ice DON'T GO CRAZY or you're dead.
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