Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People
Episodes 5: 8-Bit is Enough
Platforms: PC, Wii
(Note: This review is of the PC version only.)
Developer: Telltale Games
Cost: $34.95 or 1000 Wii Points
Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, or SBCG4AP for short, is a point-and-click adventure game whose episodes have been distributed every month since August of 2008. All of the episodes were made available over WiiWare (or, for the PC version, at the website of its developer, http://telltalegames.com).
Each episode in the series stars Strong Bad, the constantly cynical, boxing glove-donning villain of the cult classic Homestar Runner website. In this installment, the pressure of an angry mob forces Strong Bad to accidentally crash into his Trogdor arcade cabinet. The accident releases the game’s titular dragon (or maybe, a dragon-man) into his world to burninate the countryside and pummel innocent people with his single beefy arm. Oh, and a universal rift was also made, allowing several elements of the video game world to seep over into Strong Bad’s reality, forcing him to literally jump into the video game world to set things straight.
If you’ve played any of the Sam and Max games made by the same developer, Telltale Games, then you should know what to expect here in terms of setup. You navigate Strong Bad by pointing and clicking and handle items in a similar manner, by using a rather simple interface with inventory, map, and menu buttons. In fact, this layout makes the gameplay a bit too simplistic, since impatient players can just keep reusing items on everything in the environment until a solution is found. Overall, it’s a tad disappointing and discourages any prolonged thought process.
Just like everything on the Homestar Runner website, however, the area where this game truly shines through is the writing, due to all the sweet send-ups of all things video game. From licensed shovel ware to pointless quests, and Wolfenstein 3D to Mega Man, this game is brimming with meta-references of the entire industry, particularly from the 8-bit era. The game even features a character that embodies almost every Japanese anime cliché in the book.
On one last note, it’s highly recommended that you immerse yourself in the irreverent humor of the Homestar Runner website first to understand most of what’s going on when playing SBCG4AP. You’ll be very glad that you did. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it is my intention to sit down and play video games for several hours.
For Homestar Runner immersion, go to http://homestarrunner.com.