Publisher: Phoenix Online Studios
Genre: Fantasy, Role Play, Adventure
The Silver Lining Episode 3 has to be my favorite so far out of the series. The action and mystery and twists are just fantastic. If anything Phoenix Online Studios does well, they know how to tell a good story through their writing. These games may not have the flashiest graphics or contain a ton of action, but they tell an enthralling tale that keeps me playing. Don’t forget to check out the review for the first and second episodes of the series!
If matters couldn’t have gotten worse, Queen Valanice has had a mental breakdown putting her in a very fragile state. What caused this to happen? What secrets to Valanice’s past has she been trying to forget? If Graham is to complete the spell and save his children, he must unravel the mystery that is his wife’s origins.
Violence/Scary Imagery: Out of all of the games so far, this one has the most violence, but even so, is pretty mild. At one point you have to battle shadowy monsters by punching, kicking, and swinging a torch at them. If you fail to defeat a monster, it can strangle you. You can also be electrocuted to death and fall off a cliff. A creature called the Morigan can change forms, and two of them may be disturbing to some viewers. Her hag form is similar to a banshee with long claws and fangs. She also turns into a giant crow with eerie glowing eyes. A teenage girl is treated very roughly as she hit and dragged by her hair by a troll-like monster.
Language/Crude Humor: None.
Sexual Content: Graham and Valanice kiss, but they’re married.
Drug/Alcohol Use: None.
Spiritual Content: There are some references to pagan religions and of course magic. Druid deities such as Mother Nature and minor nature gods and goddesses are both mentioned and shown to be real. The Arch Druid is shown silently praying to Mother Nature and astrology symbols are shown and used in a spell.
Other Negative Themes: Graham lies to trick a guard to get into a room.
Positive Content: Graham shows great fortitude and grace throughout his trials. His world is closing in around him, yet he still shows care for others and doesn’t let it darken him. He also shows great devotion and compassion to his wife. The Pawn Shop Owner speaks about how people fear what they don’t understand and that’s why people like on the Isle of the Beast are shunned. This is so true, especially nowadays when fear is rampant. This is a good metaphor for Christians. Though we need to stand firm in our morality, in many areas we shun things because we don’t understand them. This is applicable to articles that we read and the video games that we play.
The Silver Lining is a point-and-click adventure. By right-clicking, you can select whether to walk, touch, look at something, or speak indicated by feet, a hand, an eye, or a speech bubble. When you walk, you click on where you want to move and double-click to run. By touching things, you are told whether or not you can pick them up, open them up, or interact with them in anyway. By looking at things, you see what they are and often get clues and backstory about the objects and the characters. By talking you can speak to the many characters in the game. You have the option on what you can say to the characters and you have to do a lot of talking to progress in the game.
You also pick up many objects which are stored in your inventory. You can look at the objects within your inventory, use them on each other, and use them on people and objects. This is the exact way the original games were played which as a big fan I was grateful for.
In this game, there is a brief arcade sequence. Shadow beasts chase Graham on horseback and while he climbs a tower, (which is extremely epic if I do say so myself) you have to click arrows or on certain parts of the screen to make him dodge or attack these beasts to survive. During this time you have a health meter where if you are hit too many times, you die.
One of my favorite things about the Silver Lining series is getting some good backstory about the many characters players have grown to love over the eight games of the King’s Quest series. We get to know them on a deeper level, allowing room to empathize with their struggles. Their personalities are fleshed out immensely. In this episode of the game, we get to see into Valanice’s shrouded past. Beforehand, you never knew much about her besides that she was trapped in a tower because the evil sorceress Hagitha was jealous of her beauty—though as this episode reveals, it was about far more than that.
This game also shows the most romance out of the other games, but not a burning first love sort of romance, but a constant flame romance. Graham and Valanice have been married for about twenty-two years at this point. It is inspiring to see the devotion between a man and a woman this way. In King’s Quest II, you watched the two young lovers meet and marry, then as the games go, the couple have children then watch their children marry their own loves. Their relationship is clean and wasn’t spoiled by premarital sex, which is a welcome relief in today’s media. The purity and endurance of their relationship is inspiring.
Not only does Graham show patience and compassion to Valanice in her time of great need during her break down, we even see Graham fight for his wife. As he rushes up a crystal tower, he risks his life as he battles vicious shadow creatures to save her. This shows the love that a man should show for his wife. In society today, it is often perceived that the adventure ends when the loves say their I dos, but that isn’t the case. This story has a beautiful perspective on marriage; I believe Christians can glean from as we go through the journey of finding the ingredients for the spell to save Graham’s daughter and son and delving even deeper into the conspiracy of the Black Cloak Society.
The graphics are beautiful and the designs stay true to the original games. We see even more new locations like more of the Isle Hidden in the Mists and even a revamped version of Valanice’s crystal tower from King’s Quest II. The score is fitting for a fantasy game and suits tone as well. The only downside I can see for it is the occasional glitch, but there isn’t anything that would disrupt the game too much.
The Silver Lining Episode 3—My Only Love Sprung from My Only Hate is an exciting, clean game that’s loyal to the original series, very fun to play, and packed with good moral principles. I highly recommend this to any fan of the series.
The Bottom Line