Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit – Review
Follow Genre: Point & click puzzle adventure
Developer: Tag of Joy
Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Mac, Linux
Tested on: PC

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit – Review

Site Score
Good: Great graphics, Amazing variety of puzzles, Interesting story and characters
Bad: Timed puzzles can be annoying, Some puzzles seem a bit far-fetched
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is a puzzle adventure game in a modern-day setting. The game takes you halfway across the world to explore a mystery originating in ancient European lore, tied in with the history of your own family and all kinds of significant historical events. Add in a sprinkle of the supernatural, and you’ve got an amazing setting for an intriguing adventure! This game is developed by Tag of Joy and is published by Thunderful Publishing.


You play as a girl named Milda, and you live in Chicago, sharing an apartment with your best friend, an artist named Dana. During the introduction of the game you can choose Milda’s occupation, and some details about her looks. After exploring the apartment for a bit, you’ll head out to meet Dana to help her with an exhibition of her art, but before you can leave you’ll receive a letter which states that your grandfather died and you’ve inherited his house… in Lithuania. Unsure about what to do, you’ll go to Dana to help her out and convince an annoying rich dude to invest in Dana’s art. Dana lends you the money to travel to Lithuania, and there your adventure begins!

First, you’ll visit the house of your grandfather, which you’ll soon discover is full of riddles. However, it seems like you’re not the only one who’s interested in the belongings of your grandfather! As you are exploring, you hear someone breaking the window of the other room, and when you investigate, you’ll discover a walkie-talkie on the floor. The man who is calling in threatens you to hand over some documents, but of course, you’ll refuse to do that and investigate on your own.

You arranged to stay with an acquaintance of yours, Joris, who happens to be an expert on languages, and who also helps to figure out a lot of the mysteries you’ll encounter. He’ll bring you into contact with others who might help you to find the artifact your grandfather was looking for, and he shows you around the city.

Your investigation brings you from Lithuania, to Belarus, to Italy, and back to Lithuania, in search of a mysterious crown that is rumored to have supernatural powers. On your way, you’ll uncover mysteries about your family, but you’ll also learn that the KGB was interested in this artifact, and that an ex-KGB agent is still desperately trying to obtain it.

The story is told by exploring, talking to other characters, and investigating objects. This way of storytelling really fits this type of game, and it fits well with the story of how Milda is basically clueless herself in the beginning. She’ll grow as a character while learning about history and her family as she goes. You’ll also get a bit more explanation about her childhood as she investigates items.


The game is really colorful and cartoonish, which fits perfectly with this type of game and the quite humoristic and adventurous vibe of the story. The environments are really beautiful, and the character designs are great! You’ll be able to dress up Milda any way you want, which is a nice touch, and it even plays a small role in one of the puzzles you need to solve.


The game is fully narrated, and the voice acting is really great. Not every scene has background music, but at some points – usually when you are busy solving puzzles – a nice non-obtrusive soundtrack plays, filling an otherwise quiet moment. The sound effects are well done, feeling natural to the type of situation and the gameplay.


Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is a point & click puzzle adventure game, and the game is a clear homage to the classics. You’ll explore, collect clues, combine findings, and solve puzzles to proceed in the story and uncover more of the mysteries.

There are many different puzzles you’ll encounter; some will be familiar to fans of the genre, but the puzzles are varied, challenging, and fit well into the story. Sometimes solutions seem to be a bit far-fetched, but it helps to explore every little thing and exhaust all conversation options to gather every possible clue and item you’ll be able to get within a scene. Some puzzles do have multiple solutions, which would be fun to play around with while replaying the game.

During conversations, you’ll have different dialogue options, which can lead you to different outcomes. The occupation you chose for Milda in the beginning of the game will also have an effect at several points in the game, where you’ll use your knowledge to solve some puzzles or gather information.

The story plays out in a modern-day setting, and of course Milda also has a mobile phone. You’ll use the phone a lot to solve puzzles; you’ll call and text people, and you’ll collect notes about the clues you’ll find. You can combine different notes about clues to create a final conclusion, which can be a location you’ll need to visit to get an item.

Most puzzles are pretty straightforward and make total sense as you have gathered the clues, but some puzzles can be a bit annoying; especially puzzles where you’ll need to act quickly to progress, or try over and over again until you get the timing right. For other puzzles, the clues were rather sparse, so you’ll fall back on trial-and-error occasionally, or make use of a guide to solve something that you’re stuck on for too long. However, these kinds of issues are not unusual at all for a game in this genre, and they’re not really a problem. All in all, you’ll notice a few difficulty spikes, but it’s nothing determined sleuths cannot overcome.


Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit is an amazing puzzle adventure game that will be loved by fans of this genre! It has everything you’d like to find in a game like this: challenging puzzles, a great adventure, funny and likable characters, and an amazing art style. If you’re a fan of point & click adventures, be sure to give this one a try.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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