A review by someone unfamiliar with the source material...
I recently decided to give this game a try after hearing (at least mostly) good things via internet reviews and such. Before playing this game I had no idea there was a web comic about Strong Bad and his zany crew of misfits. Honestly the first time I saw this game on the Wii shop Channel, I said “Well that looks stupid”. But after giving it a chance, even as someone who has never seen the source material, I really enjoyed this game. It is basically an adventure/puzzle game that can be really funny and really clever at times. So I wanted to write this review to give an opinion on my current situation in having never seen the series that I imagine is fairly ubiquitous.
Having no expectations going into this game I was pleasantly surprised by the humor. It’s the kind of humor that is completely random and the creators of the game were really smart with it. Rarely did I think that they were trying too hard to get a cheap laugh. Of course my lack of familiarity with the comic probably resulted in a lot of inside jokes going over my head. But even knowing that that’s probably the case, I still found this game genuinely funny in a lot of instances. This was very important to the games success to me as there is a story, but really you keep playing to uncover the next funny and unexpected moment.
StoryThe very basic story revolves around Strong Bad. I would describe him as a shorter mask-wearing version of the guy from the infamous “my new haircut” YouTube video. If you watch this video and then play the game I think you will see what I mean. Anyways Strong Bad has a goal to beat the tar out of the long-legged, speech-slurring, character named Homestar. Not to ruin anything, I’ll just say Strong Bad’s plans are delayed and the adventure begins. There are plenty of things to do in the world including (but not limited to) insulting, metal detecting, picture taking (see picture), digging, trimming hedges, stealing, collecting, etc. Basically, assuming you don’t look up locations of items on the internet, it could take around 8-10 (maybe more) hours to complete. There are plenty of extras to take part in. And there are trophies to collect for certain tasks. My favorite alternate task has to be the creation of Strong Bad’s comic strip. I won’t say any more to spoil it but it was a great idea to include something like that and it’s just one example of an instance I was pleasantly surprised by this game. The puzzles Strong Bad needs to solve in order to advance the story were pretty in-depth and require a lot of good observation to solve. I enjoyed the puzzles though as for the most part they were smart and once you figure them out its satisfying. However if you are just rushing through the story and not taking time to check out the extras, then just based on the story alone the game seems a bit short for the money spent on it. So I recommend checking out all you can around Strong Bad’s world.
After finishing this game to 100% completion, I came away feeling good about the series. However I have to admit that aside from wondering around insulting anyone you can find, there’s not a whole lot to do once you finish the game. Good thing there is new episodes every week right? Well even though I did enjoy this game I don’t feel the need to spend more money on new episodes. I kind of feel like I’m done with the series after this short stint. So to anyone who isn’t familiar with the original material like I was, all I can say is you will probably have a good time with this game if random humor and puzzles float your boat. But unless you have been following the series over the net for a while, I don’t think this game will make a dedicated fan out of many people. But I highly recommend trying this series because, hey, you never know. I hear (from utterly reliable sources) that episode 4 is the best episode so far. If you want to try this series, I would definitely recommend getting one of the episodes and in turn, getting a taste of Strong Bad’s killer style!