Gamertell Review: Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People – Episode One: Homestar Ruiner
Price: $8.95 (PC) 1000 Wii Points (WiiWare)
System(s): *PC and Wii (as WiiWare)
Release Date: August , 11, 2008
Publisher: Telltale Games
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Crude Humor and Comic Mischief
Pros: Very Funny, has mini-games and hidden goodies
Cons: Short, moderate replay value
Overall Score: Two thumbs up, 94/100, A, **** out of 5
Many people know and love Strong Bad from the Flash cartoons found on the Homestar Runner website. Now you can be him.
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People lets you control Strong Bad as he spends his day, doing what he does best, ruining everyone else’s.
Homestar Ruiner is the first of the five-episode series where the goal is to try to ruin Homestar’s life. You also get to screw with other characters’ lives along the way.
One of the keys to having fun in an adventure game is puzzle solving. The great games offer puzzles that enhance the fun by being logical rather than frustrating or ridiculous. Homestar Ruiner did a good job of achieving this with a twist. The puzzles are very logical if you are thinking in a twisted mindset like Strong Bad’s.
The game play itself is easy. Click to move. Click on an object to pick it up or get a description. If you want to use it, select it from your inventory and click the item or character. Simple.
Another pleasing element is that when you use an item, it’s gone from your inventory unless you need to use it again. Also, everything you pick up you will eventually use. Some adventure games tend to leave things in your inventory after it’s no longer useful or that was never needed, causing you to constantly click everything in sight trying to figure out what use it might have.
There are only two mini games (three if you count practicing for the race). The first is “Snakeboxer” which is self-explanatory. You basically click a button to punch the snake until he is KOed, then you fight the next snake. The other mini game is creating a Teen Girl Squad comic, which sounds awesome but it’s not what you think. Strong Bad already created the comic and you have to add in objects that you think will make the scene funny. Eventually you have to search for the lost “story ideas” in the game so that you can make a funnier comic.
Laughter is the Best Feature
The best thing about this game is its sense of humor and filled with laugh-out-loud moments. When you click on an object, Strong Bad will utter something hilarious about it. Like clicking on Strong Sad’s dead plant in the kitchen will get you a message about how the plant, being left under Strong Sad’s care, ended up commiting suicide. Most of the puzzles have comical approaches to solving them, like completely ruining something.
Sometimes the best way to solve a puzzle is to think of the craziest thing you could do in that situation. That’s what makes the game so much fun, trying to think like Strong Bad in every situation. For instance, Strong Bad wants to get a bunch of people out of his house. The best way to do that is to have them all create a conga line, and lead it straight out the window.
All Good Things Come to a Quick End
My main complaint about this game and the only reason episode one didn’t get a perfect rating, is that it’s too short. You can beat it in about a day. This is to be expected because it’s only an episode but my problem is after you beat the episode, you’ve run out of things to do. There are mini games but they are very short and to my disappointment mostly repetitive. I was excited about Teen Girl Squad being in the game, only to find it to be a quick mini game that turns into another “find the missing pieces” element of the game. It would have been cool to play a mini game on Strong Bad’s computer, like maybe Peasant’s Quest 2.
I was hoping that once I beat the game I’d be able to go back and find all the missing items and keep playing the mini games, but you pretty much find everything during game play.
Also there is no point system in the game, which there typically is in adventure games. You do seem to level up when you do something big but I couldn’t figure out what the intervals were. It would be nice to have some type of feedback or point system so you know that you didn’t miss anything and how far you progressed in the game.
Homestar is Yay!
Aside from the short game play and disappointing mini-games, I love Homestar Ruiner. It was fun, it had a great story and it kept my sides splitting the whole time. It’s one of those games where when you are done you want to tell all your friends about it and try to repeat the jokes (even though you’ll fail miserably).
I will definitely get the other episodes when they come out. Also, after a few months, when my long-term memory fails me, I know I’ll want to play this game again.