Hey! Welcome to Derivative Content, a series where I look at games based on things from other media. That’s right. I’m reviewing licensed games, but I’m reviewing them from the eyes of a fan but also from the perspective of someone with no connection to the source material. Up first, a game based about a guy who types with boxing gloves on.
If you haven’t heard of Homestar Runner, then you’ve probably never been on the internet. But you are on the internet now so you know it’s a popular web-cartoon by the Chapman Brothers. It’s well know for its unique style of humor and occasional once-in-five-years updates. One of the more beloved characters from the Homestarverse is the mask-wearing email-checking Strong Bad.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People stars the Strongest of Bads in his own epic episodic adventures. Epicsodic, if you will. Made by Telltale Games back when they released games on a monthly schedule and now who-the-heck-knows-when, SBCG4AP is your average point-and-click-type adventure game. You talk to people, solve puzzles, and steal everything that isn’t nailed down. If your expecting some new mechanics...um...don’t. The game is a very by-the-books adventure game. The closest thing I can compare it to is Teltale’s take on Sam & Max, but slightly more basic. Every once in a while there’s a clever puzzle, but for the most part you’ll know what you need to do without much brain work.
Mostly you’ll want to play SBCG4AP for the trademark humor and characters. Telltale really nailed the feel of the cartoon. Aside from one or two characters, everyone looks just like their Flash cartoon counterparts but now in 3-D. The writing is spot-on, short musical cues feel like the cartoon, and the environments capture the simple style of the cartoon. (Which can be good or bad considering how most Homestar Runner cartoons take place in empty rooms or bushy backgrounds. But hey, you can visit the Stick, Bub’s stand, or the Blubb-O’s drive-thru whale.)
The best thing about the five episodes of SBCG4AP is that each one covers it’s own side of the cartoons. Homestar Ruiner is the first, and easily the mos ordinary, of the episodes. Strangbadia the Free mostly revolves around the fictional factions and nations in Free Country, USA. Baddest of the Bands involves putting together and breaking up the various musical tallents in the cartoons (with special appearance by LIMOZEEN). Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective (my favorite episode) is the third entry on Strong Bad’s home-made action movies, complete with terrible acting, lazy video editing, and cheap special effects. And finally, 8-Bit Is Enough is a romp through “classic” Videlectrix games such as TROGDOR!, Peasant Quest, and Stinkoman 20X6. Each episode has unique aspects of the show woven into it, and each episode seems to get better than the last.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People is a simple point-and-click adventure game with good humor and solid understanding of the source material. It’s funny, captures the feeling of the cartoons, and manages to be entertaining across 5 episodes. If you’re not a fan the game can be fun, but people who know about Fhqwhgads or Teen Girl Squad will get more enjoyment from it. It’s definitely aimed more at the fans than a gamer with no connection to to cartoons.
Next time on Derivative Content: a game based on a superhero duck.