Strategy Informer takes a look at the second Episode in the Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People series
About a month ago, yes I’m feeling too lazy to go look up the exact date, TellTale Games brought to us the first episode in the first season of Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People: Homestar Ruiner. Following in the tradition of TellTale’s popular Sam and Max games SBCGFAP is an episodic series of adventure games gathered into seasons which are five to six episodes long available for purchase one at a time or in a Season pack at a slight discount. Strong Badia the Free is the second episode, picking up not far from where Homestar Ruiner left off.
The story telling style from TellTale tends to connect all of the episodes together, though the first two offerings of SBCGFAP could be played out of order and you wouldn’t be lost. Truthfully you’ll be more lost if you know nothing about the Strong Bad universe as all of the people, places and most of the things come right out of the Strong Bad emails and skits seen over at the Strong Bad Website. This is both a pro and a con to the series as those who are familiar with and enjoy the Strong Bad emails will catch on to the inside jokes and the Strong Bad method of doing things (insult, set on fire, kick in pants…etc) and those who don’t like it or don’t know anything about SB will struggle. Not to say the game can’t create converts, because the humor and story is accessible enough to do that, but it’s a little rougher for the uninitiated.
Down with the Of Town!
Join Strong Badia the Cheat.
Speaking of humor this episode starts with Strong Bad coming under house arrest for not paying the King of Town’s new email tax which amused me as I’ve seen more than one paranoid rant about exactly that subject. The TellTale folks do a good job of keeping tabs on current culture and bringing in references and inside jokes. The house arrest begins a chain of events leading to a Risk style conquest of other nations across the map and back again to defeat the King Of Town and his tyrannical ways and…well…you’ll have to play the game to see the twist, but there is one reflecting an amusing view point on the responsibility and pain of command.
When it comes to the technical aspects of the game not much has changed from the first episode. The graphics are based on the animations from the Strong Bad Website and reflect a similar style though with slightly higher quality and shading. Soundwise the voice acting is very good, provided by original Strong Bad folks and the musical scores for each mini country work well. There were a few moments where the themes were overwhelming, but mostly when I spent too much time in Bleak House.
Look at the pretty glowing bottles.
Does anyone really understand Homsar?
The puzzles in this episode were fun but pretty straightforward, with fetch and return puzzles, conversation puzzles and item combination puzzles. I never got stumped for more than a few seconds, though hunting around with the metal detector for some of the clues I needed did get old. Having to search around for the exact spot something was buried at was a form of pixel hunting which I didn’t care for, even when I knew I was looking in the right place. Most of the dialogue was new, but there was also a lot of recycled material, particularly when dealing with the items in the House of Strong. I also didn’t care for the Teen Girl Squad stories, but I never really do, so I didn’t get all the points for the cards or for creating the best Teen Girl Squad comic.
STRONG BAD'S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE EPISODE 2: STRONG BADIA THE FREE VERDICT
Over all the game is worth what you pay for it. It took me about four hours to get through and could have spent a lot more time finding the last bits and pieces, flags, costumes, etc. There isn’t a lot of immediate replayability, but I’m expecting like the Sam and Max episodes that I’ll find myself pulling it out again sooner or later. Fan of Strong Bad or fan of adventure gaming, this one is worth playing. Come on and defeat the King Of Town…no email taxation without representation!
TOP GAME MOMENT
The King Of Town goes down! It only lead to more trouble, but the moment was hysterical.