Based on an internet flash cartoon, Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, a download-only game for PC and Wii, wants you to take the role of internet tough guy Strong Bad. An episodic adventure, the first piece (Homestar Ruiner) tells the story of Strong Bad’s misadventures through the land of Strongbadia, his self-appointed empire. A point-and-click adventure, the game relies on puzzles and the series’ trademark humor as a unique animated episode unfolds before you.
Never having seen the series before, I was immediately drawn in by the humor. The opening solo performance by Strong Bad had me literally laughing out loud. This guy oozes attitude and charisma, his comments kept me entertained throughout the duration of this episode. Strong Bad’s interaction with the other characters, the main dynamic with the game, is always humorous. The one-liners, insults, and awkward back-and-forth’s never stop flowing. The characters, haven been fully developed and fleshed out online, prove engaging and you get a real sense of a coherent world while you visit the different locales.
The gameplay involves moving Strong Bad through his neighborhood using the mouse and clicking on the different characters and objects you meet to open up conversations that give you hints about what you need to do in order to move the story forward. This can be awkward at times, but once you get the hang of turning corners, you manage to breeze through the environments. Very few moments actually require precise mouse control, so for the most part your focus is on solving the puzzles. I would imagine that the Wii’s pointer functionality would work very well for this type of game.
Both the video and audio in Homestar Ruiner mimic the internet series’ style. The animations are basic, but the world remains vibrant and colorful throughout. The environments, characters, and objects you interact with all look exactly like their online counterparts. The music in Homestar Ruiner is kept to the same basic 8-bit sounds as the internet episodes. Both the visuals and music will ultimately be very familiar to fans of the series and adequate for gamers new to the franchise. While nothing stands out visually or musically (aside from the opening performance), but all is maintained in a cohesive style. And for a WiiWare title, Homestar Ruiner definitely is more than adequate both visually and aurally.
In the end, Strong Bad is a fairly typical point and click adventure, with the series’ trademark humor thrown in to spice things up. The game has its frustrating points, as mentioned above, but that tends to be typical in the genre. Some of the puzzles can be very tough to figure out, either because they’re genuinely clever or because they’re unintuitive. Still, fans of the show will be thrilled to play what is essentially an interactive episode of the show. This initial episode has just enough content to keep fans busy and laughing, but non-fans may want to consider whether they are fans of point and click adventure. With future episodes soon to be released, fans of the show have plenty to look forward to, and fans of the often forgotten point and click genre will likely find plenty to like here too.
Editor’s Note: This review of the game is based off the PC download version. There is no difference in content between the two versions, only differences in control.