With this episode completed Season One of Strong Bad’s Game for Attractive People comes to a close. This season has followed Strong Bad through a various series of adventures, but this episode involves Strong Bad breaking his arcade machine and unleashing every video game the series has come into contact with into his world. While this isn’t the best episode of this season it does manage to put a nice lid on the entire event.
One of the problems with this season has been that none of the episodes have managed to reference any other in almost any way; episode five makes a passing attempt to fix that. Episode five picks up at the exact place that Episode four ended, although that entire series of events is concluded rather quickly and then only brought up once more in an equally quick and forgettable way. While this is an improvement, not mentioning them at all it is still rather annoying not to bring up any of the events that have impacted the characters lives over the last several months.
Other than the glaring oversight of the previous adventures this episode does manage to fix all of the weird pacing issues that were present in the last episode, but seemingly does it with weird puzzles that all seem to be references for long time fans of the series. One such instance places Strong Bad inside of the game Peasant’s Quest and simply expects the player to remember the game from several years ago when it debuted for the cartoon series. While this does seem overly strange it is really cool for anyone who is either a giant fan of Strong Bad, or who played through the game years before.
The game does manage to save itself from being frustrating by, once again, including a very well written official walkthrough of the game. It returns this month in all of its glory, being linked simply by the splash screen that appears when the game is starting up. While this month’s episode was lighter on the more obscure and overly cartoony puzzles it still presented a load of strange, ancient, video game logic puzzles that may seem stranger to people who didn’t live through an era when 2 dimensions was still mind blowing for games.
This is also one of this episode’s strongest moments, the humor that is present. Several times there are puzzles present that seemingly ask to be solved in a classic 2D manner and Strong Bad simply ignores that for a clearer and present solution. A perfect example would be when presented by 2D scorpions walking back and forth he successfully uses his power of walking in three dimensions to walk behind them. Simple and passing moments like these are scattered throughout the game showing the understanding of the entire genre this game successfully makes a satire of.
While all of the other episodes have all stayed within the confines of Strong Bad’s world, this is the first time that one of them have ventured into the worlds of others, namely those of video games. This also makes the first time that the graphics engine almost seems like it is over powered for anything. When Strong Bad wonders around one of the 2D, pixilated worlds he looks unbelievably good, which is probably the first time that anyone has said anything resembling that about the game. While the art style has managed to grow on me over the course of the last couple of game it still has its wonky moments, but those are noticeably less since they are being compared to Atari era games.
The Strong Bad games have been coming out for some time now, all at 8.95 per episode on the computer. With the conclusion of this one episode it no longer makes any sense to attack this series from a per episode stand point when the entire series can be bought for about 35 dollars. While only a few of the episodes of this season were really stand out, namely the last two, the entire season as a whole seems to be worth more than the sum of the individuals and worth the investment.
So while Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People may have come to an end, it is still one of the more impressive point and click adventure games that came out in 2008 and firmly deserves a look. The season may not have ended up being everything that it could have been, namely lacking the ability to tie the entire series together in an overarching story, but it still managed to make a nice little niche for itself in the amazing Telltale library of episodic titles. Do yourself a favor and pick up the season and play through it at a nice leisurely pace.