King’s Quest Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause – Review
Follow Genre: episodic puzzle adventure game
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Publisher: Sierra
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

King’s Quest Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause – Review

Site Score
Good: Fantastic plot-twist ending, superb voice-acting, various ways to get to the end, very atmospheric yet light
Bad: The long puzzle before getting to the juicy bits can drag on, frame-rate drop near the end, shorter than expected
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The conclusion of King’s Quest first chapter left us craving for more. Now, after waiting nearly half a year, the second chapter – titled Rubble Without a Cause – has finally arrived. Graham’s previous encounter with the dragon paved the way to the throne of Daventry, but is this adventurer ready to carry the responsibilities of a king?

Kings Quest Chapter 2_title


Rubble Without a Cause takes players back to the early days of King Graham’s rule. The crowned adventurer, tasked with trying to make sense of his knights’ enthusiasm and keeping his people happy, is having a hard time adjusting to his new role. When the wordload being poured upon him is getting a tad too heavy, he desperately feels that he is in need of some fresh air, and decides on visiting his friends and subjects. However, visiting the town in the middle of a deluge proves even worse when nobody is answering their door. Yet nothing can prepare the drenched king for what is to come…

After being ambushed by a pack of goblins led by a silent piper, Graham and his ‘shiny new hat’ end up in a cell deep within the goblin kingdom. When he’s offered a certain amount of freedom after being forced into the job of spiderweb cleaner and rat feeder, the king soon finds his people locked up in their own tiny cells. It becomes clear that Graham will have to watch out of the lives and safety of all of his friends as he follows his wit in search for a way to confront the goblin king. Meanwhile the link between the goblins’ obsession with fairytales and the kidnapping of Daventry’s most prominent citizens starts to become painfully clear.

Kings Quest Chapter 2_3

Rubble Without a Cause clearly has the lesser story compared to A Knight to Remember. Though the intro is nice and the ending has the best plot twist the reimagined series has to date, the actual body seems to drag on for a while. Also, as the reason for the story is to teach Gwendolyn, Graham’s granddaughter, on how to handle her fear, the game does its best to convey a certain sense of dread. Combine this with a lot less puns and funny business, Rubble Without a Cause feels more like an intermediate story, created to tie the great first chapter to the highly anticipated third one.


This graphics for the second chapter stay nicely in line with that of the previous one. Again the locations are beautifully done. The view on the goblin King’s castle especially is absolutely breathtaking. However, the focus of Rubble Without a Cause is less on gawking at the various locations and more on allowing the chapter to grow within itself. This results in peculiar discoveries that might feel out of place at first, but make more and more sense the further on you go.

Another thing we definitely need to mention, is how the series again and again surprises us with the way it manages to bring across emotions through facial expressions and the way the characters hold themselves. For example, when Graham wakes up in his cell, he feels weak and scared. This translates itself in the young king dragging himself around the goblin’s territory, head down, sighing and wiping his forehead when he is allowed time to breathe. It’s things like this that help add heart to a title and makes us desperate to see even more. The only negative about this chapter, is that there seems to be a frame-rate drop during the final scenes with older Graham. The result is shaky imagery that is quite painful to watch on a large monitor.

Kings Quest rubble 5Sound

The voice acting in Rubble Without a Cause is, as expected, again of top tier quality. Josh Keaton brings a certain spark to young king Graham. It really helps you to become the character and feel the same fears and frustrations he’s facing throughout this new adventure. Zelda Williams brings an even more convincing hardened Amaya Blackstone this round, and Kari Wahlgren is an excellent new addition as the voice of Bramble Fey. However, it’s a pity that there weren’t more chances to interact with these great characters due to game mechanics.

While the previous chapter had us enamoured by its soundtrack, Rubble Without a Cause had us focus on more pressing matters than the overall accompanying background music. That doesn’t mean the various accents of sound effects weren’t a welcome deal however. As a matter of fact, the soundtrack still sets the overall mood. The same goes for sound effects. The simple ringing of church bells while characters you’ve come to love are being carried away on a stretcher might be the most morbid thing the series has managed to pull off thus far. Furthermore, music in itself can even become part of your king’s quest should you chose to take a certain route.

Kings Quest rubble 7Gameplay

A Rubble Without a Cause is the second chapter of the episodic puzzle adventure game King’s Quest. As expected, the bare gameplay is near identical to that of A Knight to Remember. The WASD-keys sallow you to move throughout the various camera-locked locations and TAB of course prompts a view into Graham’s impressive magical cape inventory. The Spacebar again allows you to interact with people and object and of course your trusty cursor is there when there are choices to be made or items to be used.

As the game starts, it first seems as if it’s back to the set formula for this chapter. You get into discussions with the royal guards, set out to town, try to interact with a door and get kidnapped. It doesn’t take long until the game actually tricks you into learning how to eat in your tiny little prison, however. As you realise eating makes you stronger and allows you to open up otherwise hidden locations, it becomes clear that hunger is the new game mechanic.

Kings Quest Rubble 6

Hunger affects every kidnapped human. Well, with the exception of the Merchant of Miracles to be precise, as his lovely Mister Fancy Cakes takes his place as a hungry chained individual. Throughout your search for a way out, you will need to wade through various in-game days by carefully choosing the moment you hop into bed. With every passing day, your subjects lose health as they starve and some are even unable to eat at all due to being poisoned. All of them, including the Merchant’s goat, count on you for food and supplies.

You, as the king, are the only one who gets handed food every morning. Though it is meant to feed a massive ratlike monster, the meat soon becomes part of a puzzle in which you have to make the hard decision of who to help first. This helps create a feeling of near constant urgency, especially when the game makes you feel guilty when you need to eat the food yourself in order to open gates to new unexplored areas. It also doesn’t help that, as mentioned above, friends you fail to rescue get carried away on the sound of church bells, feeding into the fear they might be dead or will die in the near future.

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As was the case in A Knight to Remember, Rubble Without a Cause offers three solid philosophies to help you in your quest. Following Amaya’s advice to find weapons leads to the path of strength and courage, while the potion brewing Hobblepots seek out to outsmart their captors with alchemy. Baker Fey and his wife of course prefer a more friendly approach, only deviating from their mantras when kindness in itself is being answered with rudeness. Depending on how you spend your time and resources, the player is able to either save all characters but one, sacrifice everyone in favour of confronting the goblin King by yourself, or get anything in between. In the end, as long as one of your friends is still up and about, they can help in getting your message across during the audience with the rocky monarch.

Compared to the previous chapter, the second one is extremely short. Its length is pretty much defined by the time you need to solve all the puzzles rather than juicy conversations. It seems however that this had been planned from the start, as parting words from older Graham make players question their own expectations for the game.

Kings Quest Rubble 1


Though King’s Quest’s Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause lacks the story depth of A Knight to Remember, this title brings exactly what it promises: a very good puzzle adventure with multiple possible endings. Unfortunately, because of the focus on the puzzle aspect, the chapter is a lot shorter than expected and sometimes even fails to hold the player’s attention properly. However, the ending makes up for anything Rubble Without a Cause might lack as it brings a plot twist that puts A Knight to Remember in a completely different light.

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King’s Quest Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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