Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free Wii Review

May 29, 2010 by Simon Wigham  
Filed under Nintendo Wii, Reviews

Point-and-click adventures have been nearing extinction for years now, of course this is not at all helped by flagging PC game sales, of which is the format that largely hosts such adventure games. The Wii remote has the potential to offer a similar degree of precision to a mouse and the console itself also has had overwhelming success, all the required ingredients for a resurgence of an ailing but much cherished genre then. Hopefully Telltale Games five Strong Bad games will make a small contribution to this potential resurrection.

We’ve already got a review of the first game, Homestar Ruiner (Chris was rather impressed with it), Strong Badia the Free (I refuse to call it by its monstrously long full title) is the second of five episodes and very much along the same lines of its predecessor, but it’s the quality of the story and puzzles that makes or indeed breaks such a game.

Strong Badia the Free sees the dastardly but likeable Strong Bad placed under house arrest for email tax evasion. It’s all very silly, to the level that it will likely raise a smile even for those who don’t share the sense of humour of the game, simply because it’s so ridiculous. All the characters of the online flash cartoon are present which will give it a great deal of appeal to the Strong Bad devotees in particular, but just might welcome more people into the fold too, so as their interest in the game will also extend to its source material.

The puzzle aspect is largely humorous above cleverness. You never have any more than a handful of items in your inventory and they can’t be combined, so it’s usually fairly straightforward of what you should be doing, but nonetheless the results are nearly always entertaining. Making things just that little bit more complex is the fact that there are multiple areas which you can jump to from your map.

Even this does little to bar progress though, as the world in Strong Badia the Free is small, but thanks to Strong Bad’s comical comments it’s a delight to investigate. Many of the areas from Homestar Ruiner have returned (albeit with tweaks) which can occasionally make it feel overly familiar (Strong Bad even has the same comments for some objects as he did in the first episode). There’s some new areas too but most are pretty small.

Whilst it’s slightly longer than the previous instalment, Strong Badia the Free is still short on hours, though at least those hours are quality ones and for those who are really looking to get their moneys worth, Telltale Games has also had the good sense to include some optional tasks which consists of finding things and playing Math Kickers: featuring the Algebros, an amusing scrolling fighting game with a maths theme.

Strong Badia the Free has a cleverer sense of humour than it does brain teasing puzzles. So it’s not for the more cerebral of people who previously picked their brains until they had holes in them for solutions in harder adventure games. It’s nice and accessible for others though, allowing for smooth progress and little to get in the way of the next humorous line in the script. Thanks to Nintendo’s long overdue storage solution, there’s no better time to own and store all five either.

8/10

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