Superb, atmospheric music
Must download BOTH episodes
Link to forum thread - http://www.reloaded.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=11209
Carrying on from where Episode 1 left off, King Graham continues in his quest to search for a cure to free his children (Alexander and Rosella) from an evil curse that has left them comatose. Graham had been told by the Arch Druid that the only way to free his children from the curse, is to enter their dreams by means of a spell. He had been given a magical scroll which will guide him to finding the ingredients needed for the spell.
Now, after surviving an unnatural storm, Graham begins searching The Green Isles for the ingredients he needs. The magical scroll guides him as he desperately searches for a magical bag, an animated vessel, and a lethal liquid. His journey takes him through the Isle of the Crown, Isle of the Sacred Mountain, and Isle of Wonder, where he meets a multitude of wondrous characters that both help and hinder him. So will he finds the ingredients he needs for the spell? Not without your help!
The Silver Lining Episode 2: Two Households is the second episode in a 5-part series, and it continues the story from where Episode 1 left off. Episode 1 is also summarised at the beginning of Episode 2, to refresh your memory. As before, a taskbar at top of the screen (move your mouse up there) allows you to interact with the game world, using icons for Walk, Look, Take, or Talk. If you find walking too slow, simply double-click to make Graham run. You also have access to your inventory though this taskbar (make sure you look at everything you are carrying in your inventory - you never know what clues will be revealed). You can also Save, Load, or Quit the game at any time via the taskbar. Game options are very customizable, allowing you to play full screen or windowed mode, subtitles on or off, etc. Even the narrator can be turned on or off.
The same high standard of graphics we saw in the previous episode of The Silver Lining are continued here. So much attention-to-detail can be seen everywhere you look. Characters themselves move realistically, and show a variety of facial expressions. For example, their eyes blink, and look around, like you would expect any real person to. And their mouths move as they talk. All the characters (and there are many of them) casts wonderful shadows that move when they move. Some of my favourite characters include the Arch Druid (with his magnificent head dress), Jollo (the loveable clown with a wicked sense of humour), Hole In The Wall (who couldn't love him?), Mag-Gnat (he is beautifully animated), and the Sea-Nymphs (their wings are so beautiful).
Other effects definitely don't disappoint either. For example, I love the way the tree branches (when talking to Arch Druid) move around in the breeze. The magical scroll is very effective, and the ingredients are scored off as you find them. Hassan's boat bobs up and down in the water realistically. Stalls in the market are interesting, and very detailed. The magic carpet stall was my favourite - I hope we'll see more of that in future episodes. Shamir's (the genie) beard definitely deserves a special mention - I love that beard! When talking to people, conversations choices are shows as topics at bottom of the screen. Simply click on a topic to discuss that subject.
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS
The sound track is available to download from here - http://www.postudios.com/blog/?page_id=4&category=6 .
Music and sound effects are also very impressive. The background music is wonderfully rich, and accompanies the game throughout, without distracting you from the game itself. The sound of the fountain in Market Square is lovely, and it makes me want to jump right in to the water. I also love the sound as the Sea Nymphs are swimming around in the sea.
Voice acting is just right, with each character sounding just as I would expect them too. The narrator is one of my favourites, and she has some hilarious lines. Jollo the clown is kinda goofy-sounding, which matches his character perfectly. The painful 'OOoooooooooooooooooooohhhhhh' from the vines in Isle of Wonders is so effective!
The Silver Lining Episode 2 is just as impressive as Episode 1, if not more so! The game itself is much longer, and has more puzzles. The wide array of characters are fascinating (especially Hole In The Wall), and stalls in Market Square are incredibly detailed, making me want to look round the place. The story & dialogue is top-notch, and the rich graphics are stunning. Music is beautiful, and a pleasure to listen to. Voice-casting is also very impressive, with each character sounding just right! Jollo definitely has to be my favourite. He just sounds so... goofy!
One drawback is that you have to download Episodes 1 & 2 at the same time, making it a large download. And you must register at the Silver Lining site before being able to download it. A bit strange, but at least it's free to register. But those are only minor points. I highly recommend this game. Any adventure fan will love The Silver Lining, but King's Quest fans will especially appreciate revisiting familiar lands and characters.
Review by: Frodo
Safe for all ages
Windows XP, Vista, 7
512 MB Ram
(1GB for Vista & 7)