Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People

Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People

I played the first episode of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People near launch, and it made for a decently enjoyable few hours, so I’m not sure why I ignored the others. It may have actually been for the best, though, because after more than 12 years, revisiting these characters and locales, with their iconic voice acting, simple music, and one-of-a-kind humour, was a welcome pocket of nostalgia. As a pre-Walking Dead Telltale project, it’s largely a standard point-and-click adventure in terms of gameplay and not exactly a classic of the genre. Translating the characters into three dimensions worked remarkably well, but the environments weren’t so lucky, so navigation is regularly uncooperative. The notoriously bizarre setting of the Homestar Runner universe makes even the most mundane actions more interesting however, and the adaptation from web series to video game is frequently brilliant, as demonstrated by the email-based hint system and interactive Teen Girl Squad comics.

Whether it works as an episodic game depends on what you want from the format. If you’re expecting self-contained bites of content, you’ll be satisfied. Those hoping for some overarching narrative will be out of luck though, as there’s next to no connectivity between episodes. The first three parts use the source material’s usual formula of following scrappy weirdos around their idiosyncratic everyday lives, with greater polish offsetting the diminishing creative returns each time. The fourth throws a curveball by being an in-universe film the characters are making, and the fifth pulls out all the stops with a meta premise that allows for puzzles involving collecting video game characters as items and manipulating the world through its own UI. These two episodes could sell the entire package, but the eyebrow-raising puzzle logic that’s sprinkled throughout is especially dense in the fourth, and the fifth ends the whole endeavour on an abrupt anticlimax…after joking about a previous fake-out anticlimax.

6/10
6/10
  • Episode 1 - Homestar Ruiner - 6/10
    6/10
  • Episode 2 - Strong Badia the Free - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Episode 3 - Baddest of the Bands - 6/10
    6/10
  • Episode 4 - Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective - 7/10
    7/10
  • Episode 5 - 8-Bit is Enough - 7.5/10
    7.5/10

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