For me, there’s nothing quite like a good adventure game. Better yet, a funny one. Harking back to the glory days of Lucasarts every now and then gives me great joy, and it’s completely necessary, in a time when adventure games (beyond remasters and Double Fine) have become pretty warped ideas of what they once were. Playing a recent Telltale game feels rather rigid and gives me none of the joy I received when I first booted up Sam & Max: Save The World.
Which leads me on to Her Majesty’s Spiffing, easily the biggest surprise of Gamescom for me, and a game that has cemented itself at the top of my wishlist. To give you a bit of background, this game is all but unofficially about Brexit. Frustrated by global isolation in 2016, her majesty the Queen dissolves parliament, establishes absolute rule, and creates S.P.I.F.F.I.N.G (Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies)
This is basically a space outfit looking to reinvent the British empire beyond the atmosphere. Already, the premise should get you chuckling, but if not, the absurd puzzles, the sharp wit, and the hilarious characters will grab you and invite you in to this imagined future. It stinks of British humor in the best way, with a twinge of sarcasm and notes of Earl Grey.
Led through the game by Writer/Animator Will Barr, I instantly noticed how bloody charming the art style is, and playing it, the animations felt fluid. It was a joy to control Frank Lee English, as I was tasked with making a cup of tea for myself and my co-pilot. It sounds simple, but I must have laughed about five times before I even got to the kitchen. The puzzle also had multiple conclusions, with different endings depending on your actions. You could choose to snub your Welsh co-pilot with an English mug or no tea at all …
There were tons of interactive objects all with reactive voice-acted dialogue, and the sets I encountered were consistently intriguing. The game is also flush with references to Sci-Fi and has a very refreshing self-aware tone that plays with the notion of adventure games themselves. It’s right in the sweet spot. Of course, we had a three-headed monkey joke, but only after meeting two French astronauts vying for space on an uncharted planet (one of them was based on Napoleon).
If you’re looking for an unconventional twist on the Adventure game genre, with just the right amount of nostalgia, this is the game for you. Check it out over at their website and get ready for its 2016 release on all PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.