Crown and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is the first game from Lithuanian studio Tag of Joy. Already released since 2022 on our computers, this old-fashioned point-and-click has already won multiple international awards. The game is brought to our Nintendo Switch by the Swedes from Thunderful Games, who we have already seen in action with Wavetale Or Togges. The game is available on September 28, 2023 at the price of twenty euros on theeShop. A good reason to fall for it?
A very friendly point-and-click
Crown and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit makes us play Milda, an American of Lithuanian origin who learns one day that her grandfather is dead. The latter left him his house in Lithuania and we must urgently go to Europe to recover it or risk losing the property.
Poor Milda will therefore have to leave urgently for a country where she has never set foot, with all the constraints, particularly financial, that this entails. And then who knows what encounters and what incredible events she will experience?
Despite this pitch which looks like two drops of water to yet another Stardew Valley, Crown and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is pure point-and-click. The gameplay is quite simple to understand. You will solve puzzles and will have to use your environment, whether it is the objects you collect or the characters you meet, in order to advance in the story.
From the start, the game will ask you to choose your profession. Are you going to be a photographer, a computer scientist or a psychologist? This innocuous choice will allow you to inherit an object that will help you in certain puzzles.
The puzzles are rather diverse and varied and the beginning is rather pleasant. Despite the classicism of the story, we very easily allow ourselves to be taken with Milda on her initiatory journey to the other side of the Atlantic.
The gameplay leads us to vary moments of reflection and moments of story, where we will have to call for example our mother, our best friend or strangers. The first puzzles are logical and ask us, when good point-and-click, to search every corner of a setting, to examine each of the objects in order to find clues.
Getting started on the Nintendo Switch, however, is a little more complex. We have to alternate joysticks and buttons in order to mix objects or move through menus, and these manipulations, even after hours and hours of playing the game, continue to remain complicated.
With increasingly illogical challenges
If the beginning is very nice and offers us a coherent progression, Crown and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit shows the blow after a few hours of adventure. The game remains enjoyable, but the puzzles become less and less coherent. We get stuck because the solutions are illogical and don’t correspond to what the game promised us.
For example, for reasons that we won’t explain to you, we slip into the archives of Vilnius University. We want to use the 3D printer which provides us with the appropriate materials to create the copy of an object, however, no matter the combinations, it is impossible to make the requested print. You will ultimately have to use an unrelated object as material to make the copy.
Solving puzzles through absurdity wouldn’t have bothered us if the game had told us from the start that its mechanics relied on it. Changing the “rules” in the middle of the game makes progression frustrating and slows down a very pleasant pace.
A classic story that works despite its flaws
The story is far-fetched but we accept it. We are told about the KGB, the history of Lithuania, religion, architecture, and even if sometimes we have the impression of having a history lesson on this beautiful Baltic country, we follow the story with interest .
We are a little more bothered by the misogynistic characters who hang around and say lines about the character’s physique or sexual remarks out of nowhere. Above all, we felt uncomfortable with these unjustified replies which were not counterbalanced by the story.
We are also disturbed by the English translation of the game, where all the characters speak English without any accent problems, even when we arrive in a foreign country. Even if it means having to read subtitles, a little realism at this level would have made us happy.
Despite these details, Crown and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit remains a very nice game, a point-and-click for everyone and accessible even if it is difficult to handle. Lovers of this genre will find a very good game with its flaws but made with a lot of passion.
A good lifespan for only twenty euros
The game offers a very interesting lifespan for only twenty euros. Allow around ten hours to complete the adventure depending on your level and your ability to solve the puzzles.
The graphics are quite nice, with simple designs but which still manage to have a certain personality. Crown and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is colorful, with a multitude of different settings and environments to explore.
The soundtrack is pleasant but remains rather discreet. As stated above, even if there is no problem with the dubbing which is of quality, we remain a little frustrated not to see any difference between the characters of different nationalities (Belarusian, Lithuanian, American, etc.).
The port to the Nintendo Switch is quite successful, with no bugs to report. The texts are just a little small, especially in docked mode, and you have to strain your eyes before each game to read the subtitles.
- A friendly point-and-click
- A very interesting start
- Varied and diverse puzzles
- Pretty nice graphics
- A top price for what the game offers
- Very accessible
- Riddles that become less and less logical
- Ordinary sexism that occurs several times in the game
- Subtitles that are a little small for the eyes
- Characters who all speak perfect English, regardless of the country
- A little complicated handling
- Lifespan / Price