Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People: Episode 101 – Homestar Ruiner

August 12, 2008

Matt and Mike Chapman’s Homestar Runner flash cartoons have always felt a little like a point-and-click adventure game. The Brothers Chaps, as they are called, leave little items and words that, when clicked, lead to comments, montages and other easter eggs. So it’s unsurprising that the first foray into commercial games would come from Telltale, the reigning kings of the adventure genre.

Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, or SBCG4AP, plays a lot like Telltale’s flagship Sam and Max series. It is a modern interpretation of the classic LucasArts formula. Players, as Strong Bad, explore areas of Free Country USA, examining places and acquiring random items that somehow can be used to complete various objectives. Episode 1, Homestar Ruiner, starts with Strong Bad sabotaging Homestar’s chances of winning a race, and takes off from there.

Everything feels just like it should. Strong Bad has his table where he writes Teen Girl Squad comics. Coach Z freestyles at random points. The Poopsmith er…does his thing. Fans of the cartoons will be happy to know that there are many references to specific emails and jokes as well. The Cheat’s rave switch is here, as is Strong Mad’s “Limozeen: But They’re In Space!” lunchbox.

Telltale nailed the visual style. The cel-shaded look makes the game feel two-dimensional without actually being 2D. The system requirements are low to work on WiiWare, so it doesn’t carry the same sort of quality look as Sam and Max, but it works.

The one drawback to the game is its length. Episode 1 comes in at just around three and a half hours, a bit shorter than the average Sam and Max episode, and the genre doesn’t tend to carry any replay value. Once a story’s over, it’s over. There were a few efforts to make the game retain some fun, such as the Snake Boxer 5 minigame and the Teen Girl Squad challenge, but a little more variety would have been nice.

All in all, Homestar Ruiner works well as a short adventure for fans of the site. It won’t win over anyone not already in the loop, but that’s expected with a subject like Homestar Runner.

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.