Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner Wii Review
I only learned recently, but before becoming a game Strong Bad was an internet phenomenon and still is to this very day. The luchador mask-wearing character quickly became one of the most popular characters of the Homestar Runner universe, a well followed series of internet flash cartoons.
Homestar Ruiner is the first title in a series of five point-and-click-adventure games available to download on WiiWare, and makes sensible use of the pointer of the Wii remote. The basic story of this first episode sees you as Strong Bad attempting to make Homestar’s life a living misery, something which fans are just going to know is going to cause them plenty of laughs. For non-fans, Homestar Ruiner isn’t placed completely out of bounds and its silly humour and characters either will or won’t appeal to you.
Point-and-click-adventures and the Wii go together like perfect romantic partners, Strong Bad is no exception. Pointing in different directions and holding the A button down will make Strong Bad move in that direction, double pressing will send him into a run, whilst pointing at areas or objects of interest will normally result in a humorous comment. Obviously, being a point-and-click-adventure, it’s about interacting with the world around you: exploring, using objects and solving puzzles.
Largely, given a little thought, these puzzles aren’t going to scramble the brain cells, particularly for the seasoned puzzle solver. If you find an object, sometime down the line it’s likely that you are going to use it, although there’s no combining of said objects or anything like that, so rarely does the brain need to be put through a mammoth workout to come up with the solution, but then again, at times there may be a little experimentation and luck involved. There is an in-game hint system (the frequency that hints appear can be tweaked to your liking) included, so if you’re struggling and just wandering around aimlessly, a hint may give you the right idea as to what to do next.
There’s a story (a silly and funny one it is too) to follow, although there’s some side tasks provided for when you’re not in any great rush to push on ahead, which you shouldn’t be as Homestar Ruiner isn’t a very long game (two to three hours). There’s missing pages from Strong Bad’s Snake Boxer 5 (an included, fictional and very primitive game) manual to seek out, Teen Girl Squad cards to find and more.
With its colourful graphics, the game certainly captures the look of the flash cartoon it‘s based on. The voice acting on the other hand is primarily done by Matt Chapman (one of the co-creators of Homestar Runner) and he does a brilliant job with making each character unique.
Being the short game that it is, Asking 1000 Wii Points (around £7) for Homestar Ruiner may be asking a little too much. An argument could be made that when you buy all five episodes together it’s only around £35, making it good value for money in the long run. Whatever your own judgement may be, despite being unfamiliar with Homestar Runner myself, I really enjoyed episode 1 for its humour and the silly situations that Strong Bad finds himself in, and I’m now looking most forward to playing the other four episodes.