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Beast Quest

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 3 - 2018

Based on the best selling book series.

 
Besides having the name of a stage magician, Adam Blade is the author behind the hugely popular Beast Quest series of high fantasy novels for the younger reader. If you don’t have young kids around you, then you may not have heard of Beast Quest, I certainly hadn’t. However, I put in the research and discovered that the Beast Quest series, which totals 18 books, is a big deal. I also discovered that the books are aimed at the six to eight year old market, which I must admit surprised me. I don’t know that my reading level, or attention span for that matter, would have been able to cope with these books at eight years old. But still, it’s a best selling series and the world has moved on from Ladybird.

 
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But this isn’t a review of the book series, but rather of the new Beast Quest videogame from Maximum Games, which is available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Following the story from the first books, I would imagine that the target audience for this game are the fans of the books, which I would have assumed meant six to eight years olds. Beast Quest has a rating of seven years old and above, which is in line with the books and gives a very clear suggestion of who the game is for. So, with that, let me summon my inner seven year old and play some Beast Quest.

 
In the high fantasy land of Avantia, Beast Quest is a relatively linear action adventure game in which the player takes on the role of a young lad called Tom. Tom dreams of being a sword-wielding hero, much like his father who left young Tom with family years earlier, never to return. It seems as though Tom may get the chance, as four legendary beasts that protect the land have started acting up. The evil wizard Malvel is behind this, but as is often the case, a prophecy suggest a hero will save the day, and the good wizard Aduro seems to think this hero is Tom. So, it all comes down to Tom to tame the beasts and save the land. No pressure.

 
There are four different beasts for Tom to deal with, and so four different areas of the world. It is already mentioned that the game is quite linear, with the player easily moving from one objective to the next. Players are able to pick up side quests along the way from the various people they meet, which may take them slightly off the beaten path, but for the most part it is just a straight line from start to finish. Camp sites found along the way provide handy save points and fast travel locations, should a side quest require some backtracking.

 
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The main interaction in the game is the combat. Occasionally the player will be able to avoid an encounter, but for the most part fighting off monsters is unavoidable due to the games linear nature. The combat is understandably easy to get to grips with, with a light attack, heavy attack and block at the simple press of a button. There is also the ability to dodge by watching the direction of the adversaries attack, and some magical abilities that become available as the player progresses. Finally, the player can unlock the ability to fill a summon gauge and then unleash an ally onto the enemy for even more power.

 
At this point, my inner seven year old is marveling at the world and characters from the books being brought to life. I can imagine it to be quite exhilarating. However, I just can’t stop my grown up self from wanting to chirp up and point out the myriad problems in Beast Quest.

 
The first impression is not a good one. The visuals can be generously classed as last gen. While I am sure that most seven year olds couldn’t care less about the quality of the visuals, they would be able to compare with other modern games and see the difference. The environments are dull and empty, while the characters that fill the world are all pretty uninteresting. The monsters fare a little better, mostly looking quite cool. I think the game tried to inject some humour at one point, but the fact that I am not sure does suggest it was not very successful. Tom’s ability to jump is questionable and can often lead to unfair failure.

 
The other big problem is that the game is really easy. I get it, the game is aimed at as young as seven years olds. The thing is, kids are pretty capable nowadays. I have seen a seven year old owning in Fortnite Battle Royale (which is not something I approve of due to the games’ 12+ rating) so I really do think that Beast Quest’s level of difficulty underestimates the abilities of the kids that the game is aimed at. Perhaps for youngsters that are new to gaming, this could be a good introduction, especially if they are already fans of the books. But for any experienced youth, there will be very little by way of challenge.

 
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Beast Quest is a difficult game to recommend for most gamers. The visuals are lacklustre, and the gameplay offers very little challenge. However, for a child under the age of ten that happens to be a fan of the books, Beast Quest could give life to the world of Avantia. Anyone else though, look elsewhere.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 



 

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