STORY / GAMEPLAY
King Graham wanders along, picking some flowers in the forest. But suddenly realizes that his castle was...missing! At this time he meets an owl who explains how an evil wizard has destroyed the castle, and so sprinkles King Graham with fairy dust., allowing him to fly to the land of Serenia, in order to defeat the evil wizard.
The entire game is played via a cursor and few pop-up icons system. Movement is simply a matter of pointing to a position on-screen, and the hero will work his own way around the scenery (much like Monkey Island).
The game is actually small. This is obviously partly down to the use of detailed hand-painted graphics in every location. There are plenty of locations to visit, and the graphics are well drawn. But after a while you really do start to lose interest. This isn't helped by the stupid plot (princes, damsels and distress), which may not sound like much of a bad thing, but when compared to the freshness and interest of the Indiana Jones adventure series, does tend to make things drag a bit. In general, gameplay is still of the classic fetch quest and inventory collection/combination variety King's Quest is known for. But it's more the tedious (and seemingly endless) amount of things you have to do to accomplish a task! Some puzzles are easy, some are more difficult, solving some of them depends on your ability to observe things.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
King Quest V was the first game from Sierra introducing full 256 colors VGA graphics, with hand painted backgrounds, and also the first one with icon based controls instead of the text parser. Graphics detail is gorgeous, with ambient animations, such as running water, gratuitous passersby in the town, smoke coming out of chimneys etc. Characters are nicely animated, and the action is pretty fast. The sound is adequate though, and although it supports Soundblaster sound hardware, the music playing in certain scenes could have been better composed. On the other hand, the PC version was the first Sierra game to be released in CD-ROM, with full voiceover which was pretty impressive for a game back in 1992.