KING'S QUEST III REDUX / AGD Interactive / PC
AGD Interactive has delivered nothing but fine Sierra remakes thus far, and KQ3 Redux is another one.
What, I have to say more than that? It's free, it's good, if you like adventure games, play it. It's only like a 250 MB download and that's with full voice acting and spoken narration, that's nothing on even slow broadband anymore.
Eh, alright, if you're bored at work or something and can't play it (but CAN get away with fucking off reading game reviews), here's Moar Detail. First of all, KQ3 is my personal favorite of the series and literally the second PC game I ever played, luring me into Adventure Game Fandom. A big part of that was the unusual structure at the beginning, where you have to wait on Mananan to go away or go to sleep, and then have limited time to creep around and plot against him, but make sure to leave stuff as you found it so he doesn't bust you out. It was a bit of a double-edged sword as it created a unique tense environment not seen in other adventure games, but it could be frustrating and a little bit cheap. AGD has removed a lot of the cheaper elements. For example, the color of the timer changes to indicate how soon it will be until Mananan returns or awakens. With three minutes left it turns yellow, then in the final minute it turns red. Objects that can get you killed if he sees you with them are also marked with a glowy outline now in your inventory. And you have infiinite time to plot his downfall, whereas in the original game, after like five trips or so you would turn 18 and get roasted or something like that. IIRC. Unfortunately it does remove a bit of the tension, but it is way more welcoming to newcomers and smoother to play.
That shit annoying maze going up and down from his house is also gone, though you still have to watch not to walk off the edges of things. The only real problem I ever had with KQ3 was that besting Mananan and making all the spells in Llewdor was the bulk of the game, and after that, it was just a really short and easy little adventure. It kinda climaxed too fast IMO. AGD attemps to remedy that, in their usual style, by adding completely new areas and puzzles into the mix. There's a few new (and re-jiggered) little things in Llwedor, but also there's an entirely new island segment while en route to Daventry, and then in Daventry you must now match wits with a hungry Yeti before getting to the endgame. These new segments really amount to about six new puzzles, and the game still kinda feels short and unsatisfying after leaving Llwedor, but it's a good effort and better than nothing. Still an improvement on the whole, is what I mean to say.
Um, also ... smooth mouse interface that makes spell creation less of a headache, great background graphics consistent with Sierra's VGA hand-painted style, great original soundtrack, surprisingly good voice acting all around. See Capcom? They get this caliber of voice acting for free. Gratis. You guys have a budget. Seriously. No excuse.
* Download the game
* Gameplay Video