When we last visited the Green Isles, I gave The Silver Lining: Episode 1 three stars but filled the review with caveats. The first game was very, very short and felt bland. The narrator tried too hard and the hero seemed better suited for a PTA Halloween party than out on a life-threatening quest. I gave it a decent rating because I recognized it as the predominantly pleasant first part of a promising adventure. Most of the doors in the game were locked, most of the paths were blocked, but I knew this was just the foreword.
I'm happy to report that despite a rocky first half, The Silver Lining - Episode 2: Two Households begins to deliver on the promise.
Episode 2 begins to deliver on the promise.
You can still turn off the narrator, but there's now the option to have her give more concise descriptions, so she is a bit more tolerable. (Of course, your mileage may vary, but I found her to be a little forced and too chatty.) The game is two to four times as long, and the puzzles are a lot more interesting. King Graham himself still looks and talks like a soccer dad, and my earlier criticism about this feeling like a Lifetime network adaptation of King's Quest still holds for the scenes that take place on the main island. There is a long and maudlin talk about families and other touchy-feely issues that could have possibly worked, but just doesn't. Maybe there are too many clichés in the dialogue, maybe the laid-back demeanor doesn't gel with the urgency of the situation, maybe I'm just too macho. But I would bet several gold pieces that many gamers will let out an audible groan at some point during Two Households because of its "heart."
It finally begins to feel like a King's Quest game when Graham visits the Isle of Wonders and starts solving some colorful puzzles. The other areas, with the exception of one involving mermaids, just feel like they could use a coat of polish.
It took me over four hours to get through The Silver Lining: Two Households, and I'll be honest: I'm looking forward to the next episode. The series could stand to have a little more fire, but something tells me it will deliver. Unless you're looking for high-octane thrills with your exploration, this is a free title that's definitely worth your time.