Being an awkward loner in high school is bad enough—being one during the apocalypse is even worse. In Explosm Entertainment’s Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse, you play as Coop “Go Away, Weirdo” McCarthy, and all you really want to do is to find a date to prom (or, at least, find someone who actually likes you). Of course, the treacherous waters of high school and the harsh, unforgiving demands of teenage life aren’t really cooperating, and to make matters worse, it actually falls to you to try and save the world when things go horribly wrong (if they weren’t terrible enough already).
Given that it’s a point-and-click adventure, the game encourages you to look at, touch, and talk to everything and everyone, which—in the dark humor of the Cyanide & Happiness universe—isn’t necessarily always a good thing. True to the franchise, the game takes full advantage of all the weirdness we all feel bad for laughing at, but since it’s never just good, clean fun, lots of stuff can also get pretty downright disturbing. Fans of C&H will definitely get a kick out of, say, an annoying teacher (who’s always out to get you, it seems) who moonlights as a BDSM pro when class isn’t in session, but not everyone is going to appreciate the blatant insensitivity to mentally challenged individuals from the prologue alone.
That said, you do have to bring your own twisted sense of humor along for the ride if you want to fully enjoy the game for what it is. The subject matter isn’t exactly meant to be taken seriously, but the gameplay certainly is.
Despite the zany humor, the game’s typical point-and-click puzzles are actually logically sound. I didn’t really feel like anything was too ridiculous, especially if you’re on the same wavelength with the game’s concept of what’s hilarious. For instance, during a scene where you need to smoke out a bunch of wasps on your roof, you’ll need to use the fireworks and matches in your backpack and “interact” with the barbecue grill under the wasp nest. That’s pretty logical.
But then again, there are also puzzles like giving a homeless man an empty pizza box he can call his home just so you can keep him from blocking your way to the entrance of a building. So there.
The main thing is that if you’re going to sit back and enjoy this game, then it’s best to leave all manner of seriousness (and common sense) at the door.
Occasionally, you do have to go through a bunch of trial-and-error when combining items and trying to interact with stuff in the background (but that’s typical of the genre, anyway). The fully-voiced dialogue is entertaining and nothing too over-the-top; plus, the vibrant art design and funky soundtrack definitely add to the fun factor of the game. The costumes you can collect to customize your appearance are a pleasant surprise too, just like the wink-wink cameos from Cyanide & Happiness fan faves like Shark Dad and Ted Bear.
Speaking of fan faves, Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse actually began as a Kickstarter project way back in 2017, so there’s this awesome section inside the school where the backers each get their own lockers assigned to them. If you open them up, you see cool paraphernalia that’s unique to that particular backer, which I thought was a really cool way to honor these early supporters of the game.
Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse is the first of a planned trilogy, and if you don’t leisurely go through the sidequests around town (why wouldn’t you?), you can easily finish the game in about four hours. The game definitely left me wanting more when the credits rolled, but even if you can’t wait for the sequels, the optional sidequests (you can check these tasks in your journal) can actually keep you occupied until the next installment of the franchise arrives. There are plenty of opportunities for replayability here, with special rewards and achievements for completionists out there.
By the way, if you ever do get stuck at any point, there’s a “Hint” button in your handy journal that gives you clever clues that are all about wordplay, so you have to put on your thinking cap for a bit to decipher these fun little mysteries.
Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse | Final Thoughts
I’m not exactly a die-hard fan of the franchise, but I do enjoy the webcomic every now and then. It’s actually a thrill to see these characters and this world come to life as an actual game, so the aesthetics alone are already a win for me. To be honest, I didn’t expect to enjoy this game as much as I did, which just goes to show that there’s still that immature little kid in me giggling at fart jokes every chance she gets.
Now, as for the story (and the pun-ny names of the characters), it might be a tad too immature for some players—and some may even be offensive—but then again, I suppose that’s Cyanide & Happiness’ main appeal. For me, I actually found that there’s heart underneath all the dark humor, as it addresses issues on bullying as well as Coop’s relationship with his grandmother. Your mileage may vary, of course—but I suppose the main thing is that if you’re going to sit back and enjoy this game, then it’s best to leave all manner of seriousness (and common sense) at the door.
TechRaptor reviewed Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse on PC with a copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on Nintendo Switch.
- Stays True To The Franchise
- Satisfying Point-And-Click Puzzles
- Fun, Vibrant Art With Nods To C&H Fan Faves
- Some Things Can Be A Bit Disturbing
- Not The Most Intellectual Game Out There