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Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition - Struggling

For: iPad   Also on: Android

Do you voodoo?

Product: Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers | Developer: Phoenix Online Studios | Publisher: Pinkerton Road | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers iPad, thumbnail 1
Gabriel Knight: Sins of our Fathers feels like a famous painting redrawn in biro. The medium of delivery might be more modern, but it loses a lot in the process.

The characters now look like avatars from The Sims, the backgrounds feel barren and stale, the repetitive midi music grates when played with proper instruments, and the new voice acting… God, the voice acting.

Gabriel's Southern drawl is now even more irritating. The narrator - a hearty black voodoo shaman - overacts every line. And put upon secretary Grace now seems endeared by Knight's boorish banter, rather than disgusted.

Oh yeah, have we mentioned that hero Gabriel Knight is a total scum bag? He's a selfish, sexist pig and you'll want to punch him in the face (or tug on his ridiculous blonde mane) every time he opens his mouth.

Anyone who says a protagonist doesn't have to be likeable should be forced to play this game.

Knight after knight

IAPs explained
You can grab the game for free and play through the first day. If you like it, the other parts can be purchased for £2.29 / $2.99 and £2.99 / $3.99
Though, I'm not sure I'd wish that on anyone. Sierra point and clicks (King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry) had a reputation for being way more abrasive than competitor LucasArts (Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle) - and Gabriel Knight is no exception.

The puzzles are often obtuse and poorly signposted. And even when you've cracked the solution, actually executing it is another matter - an early puzzle involving an irritating mime had me pulling my hair out from the roots.

The new version thankfully has a journal with clues and hints. But it won't stop you from turning to a walkthrough - especially because of an aggravating system where you have to do an arbitrary series of objectives to proceed to the next day.

Dad jokes

So why is Sins of our Fathers so revered? It's down to the storyline, which is a seedy detective thriller that has mature themes and rolls along at a good pace. When you're not snagged on a dunderheaded puzzle.

Occult murders in the deep south? It was True Detective before True Detective, and had you wanting to press on like an engrossing novel. All that is present in this remake, and dolled up with fancy (though low resolution) graphic novel art.

But I'm finding it hard to think of anyone who would play far enough to experience the plot. New players will just find the puzzles inaccessible and its '90s sensibilities hard to stomach.

And while Gabriel Knight fans will appreciate the added content and all the bonus making-of features, they surely won't be so jazzed by how ugly this game can look and sound - especially when there's no way to switch to the original presentation.
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition - Struggling
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 23 July 2015
This remake will struggle to appeal to new players or nostalgics with its obtuse puzzles and budget presentation
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