King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown (SMS)

King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown Box Art

King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown

System: SMS

Release Date: July 1989

Developer: Microsmiths

Publisher: Parker Brothers

Genre: Adventure

We got two games in July 1989 for the Master System and they were both adventure games, King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown being a port of the origins of the beloved PC adventure series by Roberta Williams. You are Sir Graham of Daventry, which has fallen on hard times. Over the course of a bunch of bad decisions, King Edward lost the three treasures of Daventry, as well as his wife. Having no heir, he places the future of the kingdom in your hands. Find the unemptying chest of gold, the shield of invincibility, and the magic mirror.

Instead of a point and click affair with a text parser, the interface is that of matching verbs and nouns based on items present in a scene. If you want to complete the game without having to commit everything to memory, your first task should be to make a map of the countryside, annotating things as necessary. You’ll find Daventry is an 8×6 screen country that wraps around on itself. You’ll also learn when and where you can transition into instant death. That’s always annoying… In fact, you’ll die a lot as you explore. Whether it’s water that sweeps you away, a wicked witch that slams you in jail before murdering you, a wolf that eats you, a staircase that you can slip off of, pissed off leprechauns and more!

Along the way, you’ll find several items that you can use to solve puzzles on your quest. You’ll also be able to solve them in different ways. For instance, you can give the troll a golden walnut or bring the goat to chase him off. You can kill the giant with the magic chest or wait until he passes out. You can get there by climbing a beanstalk or ascending the mountain stairway. The dragon guarding the mirror can be murdered, or doused in water so he runs away. But at the end of the day, Sir Graham collects all three treasures and becomes king of Daventry.

Graphics: 2.5

The graphics are alright, pretty detailed, but the animations aren’t great.

Sound: 0.5

There are only a few quick tunes outside of a short rendition of Greensleeves.

Gameplay: 2.0

The game works fine with the verb-noun combinations, but there are too many insta-kills.

Difficulty: 2.5

Once you map the countryside and annotate everything, it’s just putting the dots together. Finding alternate ways to solve puzzles to earn more points is challenging.

Fun Factor: 1.5

Is it fun? Sure, but only for a short period of time.

Overall Grade: 1.8

King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown earns a C. I remember playing it on PC when I was like 7 or 8, this port is probably slightly better. If you like adventure games, it can’t hurt to try.

King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown Video Review