King’s Quest V by Roberta Williams and Sierra Online
King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder is a game remembered either fondly or hatefully. At release, it was the first Sierra adventure game to leave behind the old typing interface in favor of a mouse driven one. This changed adventure games forever. Those who preferred playing without the mouse were out of luck, and it has been a sore spot for many old-school Sierra Online game players.
The game was released in 16 color ega, as well as 256 color vga, and there are two styles of box. There is the more common blue-sparkle box, which is featured in the video above. There is also a purple Disney style box which seems to be less common. The game was popular enough to warrant a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) release as well.
The game is notoriously hard; it’s especially hard if it was played at release, since there was no internet for solutions referencing. Random and mundane things in the game world could kill Graham, cause the player to have to reload and save often. There was a hint guide available, but even it was cryptic. It required a red lens to read passages that were garbled in red graphics.
There was a CD version released later which had full speech. Many of the voices were performed by Sierra Online employees, and Graham was voiced by Josh Mandell, who was gracious enough to join us for one of our Sunday Google Hangouts.
King’s Quest V was an amazing graphical achievement at the time. Frankly, it’a a beautiful game which still holds up today. This game is definitely a recommended pick-up. The game is available for modern systems on Steam, as well as DRM free on GoG.com.