REVIEW: ‘Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth’ Is Excellent On The Go (Switch)

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Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth — But Why Tho

Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth was brought to life in video game form in 2017 but is only now making its way to the Nintendo Switch. Published and developed by Daedalic Entertainment, the point-and-click adventure tells Follett’s famous story in arguably the best format possible, and now players can enjoy that story on the go. Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is a story about life in 12th-century England. It takes place in the village of Kingsbridge and tells the stories of Jack the outsider, Aliena the noblewoman, and Philip the monk. Each comes from a very different background, but their stories all become intertwined over the course of the 20 years that the story takes place. The three characters are all playable and are voiced by incredibly talented voice actors in both English and German.

The main appeal of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is the storytelling, given the success of the titular novel the game is based on. I am a huge fan of the original story, so being able to re-live it on the Nintendo Switch was an absolute blast. Each interaction between characters feels incredibly lifelike and the words leap off the screen. It also feels grounded throughout, and the lives of the three main characters all feel strikingly authentic. There are nefarious plots, war, and romance all sprinkled throughout that really allow the characters and the player to develop as it all unfolds. It’s a level of storytelling quality that virtually anyone can enjoy.

The reason I say virtually everyone is because the story, as well as the gameplay, can feel quite dull at times. It is a problem that exists precisely because of how great the storytelling in that 12th-century setting is. 12th-century England was boring, it was mundane and often brutal in that mundanity. The downside of capturing that so well is that players, at times, are going to really feel that boredom. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a fault, because the issue here is caused by such wonderful world-building, but it is important to address that those turned away by slow-paced storytelling need to be prepared.

That said, the world of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is not all dull and boring. In fact, visually it is an absolute treat. Each scene is painstakingly detailed in a beautiful 2D style with over 200 unique backgrounds presented throughout. I was blown away at just how much I loved every single setting, and the detail was immaculate. The colors were incredibly vibrant and truly helped bring the story to life even more, especially on the OLED version of the Nintendo Switch. The fact that the visual quality was actually enhanced when playing on the go versus a big screen was incredibly impressive.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the outstanding orchestration from FILMharmonic Orchestra, Prague. The visual and storytelling components of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth are vital, but the score is the glue that holds this wonderful world together. I was genuinely moved by the music several times throughout my time with the story, and it only enhances the quality of the wonderful tale Follett is telling.

Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is a well-done port of an already well-loved game. Fans who have played the original version on other platforms aren’t in for a new experience, but the ability to play the game on the go is not to be underestimated. Seamless gamepad integration makes the point-and-click gameplay as smooth as possible for those who can’t, or don’t want, to get behind a computer to play. The quality of the port felt just as great as the original PC version I played back in 2017, if not better, because of the mobility.

With the caveat that the story and setting might not appeal to everyone, Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is absolutely worth checking out on the Nintendo Switch. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loved the original version and wants to replay it, or anyone who is looking for a game with a great story and beautiful settings. It may not be a perfect game, but Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is pretty damn close.

Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth for Nintendo Switch is out now.

Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10


Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is an excellent story set in 12th-century England that brings players an incredibly authentic tale full of intrigue.

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