Monday, August 18, 2008

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner

For Wii and PC
Released in August 2008 by Telltale Games and Videlelectrix.

Do you happen to remember the point-and-click style of adventure game with a comedy theme? You know, like Space Quest? No?

Well, okay, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People is like one of those games you don't remember. This is Episode 1 of 5, and this game is $10, so in the end you will be paying something like $50 for a complete game. Thus it is in this age of buying games in pieces.

It helps if you happen to like Homestar Runner cartoons in order to like this game. You know, Homestar Runner, the cartoon that was wildly popular five years ago, now is merely just popular? Well, if the clean, pop-culture referencin' humor of the cartoons doesn't entertain you, then you will probably get no enjoyment out of this game.

This is an adventure game in which you play Strong Bad, with the objective of trying to ruin Homestar Runner's life as the title of this episode suggests. To do this you wander around the locales present in the Homestar Runner cartoon - Strong Bad's House, Bub's Concession Stand, Strongbadia, and so on, pointing and clicking your way through puzzles and through random non-puzzle related stuff, which almost always comes with some sort of joke to it.

Like, clicking on the Cheat gets you to say "Hey, look over there!" Then, of course, when the Cheat turns to look, you throw him in the dryer.

There are also little side-games to play too, like one can turn on the Atari-like console, and play "Snake Boxer" where you control an 8-bit boxer trying to fight snakes with his fists in a ring. There's also the ability to make your own "Teen Girl Squad" cartoons, which has the premise of you trying to make a cartoon in which all the Teens get horribly killed before the cartoon is over. You can also, at any time, take a screenshot using an interface that looks like you are using an early-model digital camera, then use Strong Bad's computer to e-mail the screenshot to your Wii friends.

As far as the concept of the game, it's nothing groundbreaking. However, the writing, done by the Brothers Chaps, who write the Homestar Runner Cartoons, makes this game entertaining. You go through the tutorial and you are treated to Strong Bad explaining how to use the simple controls for talking, using inventory, etc, except everyone in the tutorial is aware it is a tutorial. Like Strong Sad says "I told you that I didn't want to be in your tutorial, Strong Bad!" Then is forced to reading his "lines" for the tutorial, which he does in a very unenthusiastic way.

This Episode isn't that long, taking you about seven hours to complete if you just play through and don't click on random stuff or play any side games. Again, if you like the Homestar Runner cartoons, then you will probably want to play this game. Keep in mind that like most comedy related adventure games, there's not much replay value the second time through as you have heard all the jokes. It's up to you if you want to spend $10 on it now, or wait a few months to get all the episodes together for $50 as they will inevitably come together in one standard release.

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