This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).
Argh, this has been a long time coming. I actually finished these episodes months ago, just haven’t gotten around to posting about them. I’ll just go through my impressions of each episode of Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People in turn.
Baddest of the Bands
I loved the premise of this episode, with the not-so-subtle digs at indie, folk, electronica and hip hop music, and the over-the-top treatment of 80’s rock/hair metal. The main guest characters (Limozeen) became annoying really quickly, though. I also didn’t appreciate the obtuseness of some of the puzzles mid-game. Luckily, the episode ended with an amazing finale, so I was left feeling pretty good about it.
Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective
I wanted to love this episode. I loved the idea of a Strong Bad remake of classic 70’s/80’s cop or spy movies. But I just could not get into it. It bored me too much to care about the plot, and wading through two layers of hints – one layer being the clue to the actual puzzle, the other layer being the task of deciphering the “movie script” to figure out what the real clue is talking about – was just too infuriating. So I only got about a quarter of the way through this episode before giving up.
8-Bit Is Enough
I am so glad that the series ended with this episode, because it is easily the strongest of the five. Being flung into a reality where videogames have come to life, there were plentiful gags, tropes and traditions to poke fun at. I loved the progression through various early gaming moments, and it helped that this was the only episode (I think) where you didn’t need to go searching random areas with the metal detector in order to solve the puzzles.
As an adventure game, this series is…okay. Nothing special going on, especially if you’re a veteran of the Monkey Island series, or Sam & Max, etc. That said, each episode did its job in bringing the experience of being in a Strong Bad Email to life. There was no bugginess, and I don’t think the episodes tried to do too much. There was a great variety of mechanics and mini-games/puzzles, each episode really had its own character, and – for those who care about such things – there is no problem in playing them in a different order.
Basically, the main draw of SBCG4AP is that it is a Homestar Runner game. If you love that world, those characters, that humour, then you will love this. If you come at it from a purely “I love adventure games” position, then you might still like it, but there are better games out there.