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King's Quest 4 - The Perils of Rosella


Lorenzo has written 23 additional reviews

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Written by Lorenzo

August 26, 2001



You push the grey button and suddenly you hear a familiar sound, the whirring noise of the fan. A few seconds and the OS is loaded...


You see nothing special. As usual, Cameron Diaz smiles at you from your wallpaper.


You click twice on the Wordpad icon, and after a second the program is loaded.


In 1980 an american woman, Roberta Williams, together with her husband Ken, released a game for the Apple II called, quite simply, "Adventure", written and programmed, as she says, in the family kitchen. It was a text adventure with graphics, like many others, but for the first time graphics were not just standing still on the background, they were truly a significant part of the gameplay. Shortly after, the couple released te first chapter of the King's Quest saga, a game that was going to leave a heavy mark on gaming history, the first great graphic adventure...

... In KQ1 the main character, Sir Graham, had to show worthy in front of the old king of Daventry in order to inherit the throne after his majesty' s death; in KQ2 our hero, now King Graham, has to find a wife and you can bet he won' t just take the first b*tch passing by; In KQ3 our hero is Gwydon, a poor guy that takes care of an evil wizard' s house, and the whole story is somehow connected with Graham and his family; and now, in KQ4, King Graham has grown quite old, and is struck by a terrible curse; only a fairy in a distant land knows how to save him, and so his daughter, Rosella, travels to the land of Tamir on a quest to save her dad...


Quite good, with big, colourful backgrounds. Too bad the whole thing shows little attention to detail, but stil, this is a 1988 game, and the graphics are much better than the standard of that period. The only real drawback is that a few important objects can be really difficult to spot.


A few (awful) little YM tunes and fx.


This game is the end of an era. It was the last important graphic adventure to use text - based commands before Zak Mc Craken, Lucasfilm games and the IMUSE point & click controls. And the text interface is really well developed; it has answers for a lot of words and phrases, and you' ll hardly see the old damn "sorry, I don' t understand" message.

This is a difficult game, definitely NOT for the unexperienced adventure gamer. Many items are hard to find, and many puzzles are very hard to solve. Oh, and by the way, Rosella has a wicked tendency to die very often. For example, when she falls down a 2 metres high slope she' ll almost certainly crash down as if she dived from a skyscraper. Well, I know, she' s a princess, a fragile and sweet little girl, not the Lara Croft type...

KQ4 is filled with fairy tale stereotypes. Unicorns, fauns, the seven dwarfs, "Pinocchio"' s whale, ogres, evil witches - they' re all here. I used to like this game very much ten years ago, but now, after seeing "Shrek" on the big screen, I think it lacks irony; there aren' t funny jokes or sketches as in the "Monkey Island" saga, for example, and the fairytale quotations, honestly, are a messy potpourri of stereotypes with little or no humour.


Anyway, if you' ve never played a text - based adventure, you should at least give it a try. This is still a good game, despite what I' ve just said. And it' s one of the deepest, most challenging graphic adventures of its time.

  • Graphics: 7
  • Sound: 4
  • Gameplay: 7
  • Overall: 6

Review Comments

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Zone Warrior

February 12, 2023 by AtariCrypt

Once again, pesky aliens are giving us Earthlings lots of grief. We previously fought them off but they managed to pinch a time machine so are using that to alter history and wreak havoc by taking crucial hostages from each period in an attempt to halt their influence. From the invention of the wheel in prehistoric times to England's King Arthur uniting Britain! And where would any of us be today without Japan and its technical wizardry? Yep, we cannot allow this - the fight is on!

Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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