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About the Story
The Book of Living Magic is an adventure game set in the Lands of Dream. It is the story of a girl with the terrible name of Raven Locks Smith, who travels to the faraway Mountains of Oddness to find the mysterious Book of Living Magic.
Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
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Number of Reviews: 2
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The Book of Living Magic is a short and easy graphical point-and-click adventure game with a zany fantasy setting, aimed at a younger audience. It's chief draw is the wealth of examinable discrete scenery objects, rewarding exploration. The over-arching plot is sweet, if a tad ham-fisted at times. The conversation system could do with being more organic: typically, you can talk about most things before knowing why they're relevant. The tone of the piece wavers around the zany/sentimental border, with slight nods to the macabre (especially with the cat). I don't regret playing it.
A brief, whimsical joy -- especially ideal as a 'gateway game' for getting younger children into interactive fiction. Mr. & Ms. Kyratzes (his writing, her illustrations) capture the playful, timeless sense of being a mundane-kid-in-fantasy-land, without ever talking down to the player/reader.
Admittedly, the point-and-click interface has its shortcomings -- for example, conversation topics give away crucial plot points, before they've been introduced organically. But i'm honestly willing to overlook such (potentially fundamental) design flaws, because it's outweighed by the detail-rich wonder of discovering the world-at-large. Even more impressive, most of the puzzles can be reasoned out quite sensibly, in spite of the patently surreal setting.
Needless to say, if you're fond of the narrative tradition that includes the Oz series, Labyrinth, and a sizable chunk of Neil Gaiman's work, then you probably ought to give The Book of Living Magic a solid playthrough.
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