StrongBad’s Cool Game for Attractive People


The “Homestar Runner” website has become something of an internet phenomenon. With one of the highest levels of traffic for any cartoon-based website around, and a stonking amount of merchandise, it seems that people can’t seem to get enough of Homestar Runner, his friends, and their crazy antics. Strongbad, the meticulously witty luchador and arguably the most popular character on the site, not only has his own email cartoon (now way over 200 cartoons available!) and spin off series, “Teen Girl Squad”, but he now gets his own point-and-click computer game as well.

sbcg4ap101_strongbadia

In another episodic downloadable extravaganza by Telltale games, “Strongbad’s Cool Game for Attractive People” perfectly captures the off-the-wall humour and all out zaniness of Strongbad and the whole Homestar Runner (HSR) gang, whilst also being an entertaining and comprehensive adventure as well. Behold as we delve deep into the “Bowels of Trogdor…”

Strongbad can be moved in all directions by pointing where you want him to go, and pressing the Wiimote’s A button. Whilst he can move in all directions in gloriously cartoon 3D, your viewpoint is generally from the side of the environment you are viewing. For example, walking around Strongbad’s house, you have a sort of “dolls house” view, where you can see into each room from an outside perspective, but still move Strongbad in three dimensions.

sbcg4ap103_limozeen

The game replicates the style of the cartoons flawlessly. Every character looks exactly like their 2-D online counterpart, and all colours are beautifully basic and flat, just like it should be. Leave the game in a static position and you wouldn’t know that you weren’t watching the cartoon. Having the characters in 3D works very well too, no one is out of proportion and nothing looks “wrong” in spite of having an extra dimension added. Animations and environments are also as smooth as a baby’s backside. No graphical pop-up or anything. Kudos to Telltale for getting the image spot-on.

As far as point and click adventures go, this really doesn’t do anything new. Each episode finds Strongbad in all new awkward situation that is, more often than not, his own foolish fault, and it is up to him to get everything back to normal. You can walk around the different areas of “Free Country USA”, interacting with characters and picking up collectables.  Talking to the right people and presenting the right items at the right place will further the story, but only of course, if you’re doing the right thing. If you’re not then Strongbad will be very quick to tell you.

Talk to a character here and pick up an item there, then take said item to the previous character and you’ll get an idea of the gameplay on offer here. It’s by no means bad, it’s just not new. Some of the solutions to puzzles are a little odd, I found myself momentarily stumped on the odd occasion, but a little trial and error finds you the right thing to do, which is usually something utterly bonkers (see: filling a swimming pool with Jello mix). But isn’t that part of the charm?

sbcg4ap105_trogdorstrongbadia

The reason Strongbad and the whole HSR universe is so popular is because of how wonderfully funny it is. From the brutal attacks on spelling errors and all things typographical to wonderfully detailed descriptions of otherwise uninteresting items, Strongbad leaves no stone unturned and almost nothing is sacred. The real gems come out when our plucky red hero’s imagination gets the better of him, and brilliantly enough, these are in plentiful supply. You can spend a good five minutes with the game and it is guaranteed to make you laugh. I can honestly say that, despite the “done-to-death” gameplay, I never found myself bored due to the sheer hilarity of the dialogue. All voices are provided by the makers of the HSR cartoons, and they clearly had a hell of a time writing it.

One of my favourite elements of the game is that there is actual replay value! Yes, as well as exploring the Strongbad universe and furthering the story, there are also a wealth of collectables and a few minigames to keep the gameplay varied. Bored of the main story? Have a go on “Snake Boxer 5” – the Fifth best Snake Punching game ever! Or why not create your own “Teen Girls Squad” cartoon and murder a few tweenagers? (Correct spelling – I assure you). The minigames and collectibles change from episode to episode so it doesn’t ever get stale.

The game comes in episodic fashion, with each “episode” providing a whole new story, but based around the same areas and characters. The format of the game never changes, but each episode brings a wealth of new jokes and minigames.

scbg4ap104_carphone

Whilst it would be easy to say “if you’ve played one, you’ve played them all”, this really isn’t the case with the episodes found without the “season”. Although the format of the game never changes, the jokes and the different things that are available to do keep each episode fresh and are well worth the asking price. 1000 points might seem like a lot for each episode, considering that they can each be completed in only a few hours, but there is no other Wiiware title that’ll have you in juice-out-of-the-nostrils laughter for that level of time either.

If you’re not a HSR fan, or you don’t really “get” the humour, then there’s not a lot on offer here for you. Fans of the point-and-click genre aren’t going to find anything to write home about, but if, like me, you are a fan of the series and love a good giggle, then you may well have struck videogame gold.

Hi-Score – Presented exactly like the cartoons, delightfully funny, lots of extras to keep things interesting.

Lo-Score – Does nothing new for the genre, each episode is quite short.

Final Score – 8 out of 10

Advertisements
  1. July 7th, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: