This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).
Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People was a must-buy when I saw it. I love everything from the Homestarrunner.com crew, and I was pretty stoked when a point-and-click adventure game revived the joy after the site stopped getting regular updates.
SBCG4AP is, like many Telltale games, split into 5 episodes. In this case, unlike the Tales of Monkey Island series, there is no linking story between episodes. It really does feel like each one is an episode of Strong Bad’s email. As such, I’ll discuss each episode separately.
Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner
The tutorial is really worth playing through, as it is amusing as well as informative. The beginning of this episode is a bit slow since you spend a lot of time exploring the house and clicking on everything for the snarky commentary. Once you leave, however, and get the plot moving, the pacing feels a lot better. There is a Teen Girl Squad cartoon maker that provides a very entertaining diversion, and a videogame that you can play for…something?
Alongside the main plot there are collections to complete – luckily, these are optional as I am not really interested enough in them. I ended up having to resort to a guide at one point, though, since I missed the metal detector very early on and it is essential to some puzzles. This was the only real beef I had with the game. While the metal detector itself is way cool, I didn’t like the blind hunting needed to find some of the items for a few puzzles.
All in all, a fun ride, carried solely by the IP – if you don’t like the Homestar Runner style of humour, you will find this to be a fairly bland point-and-click.
Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free
Strong Bad leads a revolution against the King of Town!
This episode is markedly different from the last one. In Strong Badia the Free, you – as Strong Bad, the ruler of Strong Badia – spend most of the game convincing other rulers to join you in deposing the King of Town. There is nice variety in the kinds of things you have to do, although again there is one puzzle that is not adequately explained, and again it involves the metal detector.
The finale consists of a strategic mini-game that I have decided was a net draw. I thought it was good that the designers tried something different, but I didn’t find it enjoyable enough to be able to say it added to the experience. I’d say it was a good length. Any longer and it would have been a chore, any earlier in the game and it would have become a hurdle that dimmed my enthusiasm.
Much more interesting than the first episode, I think. Also, naming yourself Baron von Flexmypecs is something I am totally stealing…
(Warning: nsfw – language)