Once upon a time we got a review copy of Farnham Fables - Episode 1: The King's Medicine which was specifically handed out with the intention of getting one of the people who love bad video games to pick it up. Since my review of that game, there has always been a running gag among the site's staff of writers threatening to buy me the second episode to review. It's always been that: empty threats made by people not willing to put their money where their mouth is.
At least until today.
I now have a copy of Farnham Fables - Episode 2: Just Another Sunday, I am going to review it, and I have every intention of doing so as professionally as I can manage. First things first: Just Another Sunday has absolutely nothing to do with The King's Medicine, so if for whatever reason you want to jump in at episode two, then knock yourself out. In this episode, you follow a family of lizard people who consists of a grandfather and his three grandchildren. Apparently, their parents went off to live in the city and they all chose to stay behind at their grandfather's farm. Since, I mean, why not let a 9-year-old make their own decision. After getting home from church, one of the cows escape and the family has to get the cow back, find their missing kid, and fix the fence so more cows don't escape.
To my understanding, the city/town/country/kingdom (it's never made clear) of Farnham is supposed to be this perfect idealistic place, and it is in a way. It's just that, thanks to this, there's no real conflict in Just Another Sunday. You have to find a missing cow and a missing kid, but neither of them are in any danger. There's nothing to get me to care about anything going on, other than the perverse need to play the scenarios out and see how bad it could continue to get. It gets bad, by the way. Real bad.
I'm nearly positive I am now on some FBI list after playing this game. Some of the scenes in it are just weird. Pick up nails or screws, and the game constantly devolves to sex jokes. I'm never really sure what age group Farnham Fables is aiming for: similar to the first episode there's strangely simple writing and morals shoved in your face like it's supposed to be a kid's show. Then you get obvious sex jokes. They're not the kind meant in a "wink wink, nudge nudge" sense to go for a parent and be missed by a child, rather extremely obvious in your face stuff like "don't nail Wendy!" and "No one is allowed to screw Wendy's brother!" Worse, though, comes in the strange relationships the lizard family seems to have with each other. By strange I mean you can have the 13-year-old lizard girl strip her 9-year-old sister naked, tie her to the couch, and spank her. The episode ends with the two lizard girls putting on "sexy swimwear" and swimming in a watering hole while their brother sits on the beach and watches them splash fight. The whole thing has this weird tone, one that honestly made me want to set it down and put in a request to Valve to get the game taken off of Steam.
At this point, I try to turn to the gameplay to banish these scenes from my thoughts, but really there's not much to say. Much like the first episode, you have characters and partake in simplistic point and click adventure stuff. You can always talk to, look at, pick up, and give items to people and environments, with each character also having one unique action. None of the unique actions actually matter at any point, since they're all useless outside of flavor text. Your goal is basically to find the lost cow, the missing kid, and your brother's tools so he can fix the gate. Almost all of this can be done with little interaction. In total, I can only think of about five items I needed to actually pick up, and only one of those had any use outside of just giving it to someone else to advance the game.
Just Another Sunday isn't much of a looker either. The pixel art is passable at best, though there's no motion in any of the scenes. Any scene that seemed to require motion (or just too much of anything on-screen at once) cuts to black and chooses to describe the scene to you with text instead. While I was playing, I described the soundtrack to a friend as sounding like "a fat man with a tuba rolling down a hallway", and I stand by that statement. It's a weird thing that cuts in and out at random, not really seeming to have much to do with the rest of the game.
I still have no clue what has happened to make Farnham Fables - Episode 2: Just Another Sunday a reality. I'm also still kind of dumbfounded that I played through another episode. It's a weird rabbit hole and I feel myself slowly losing touch with reality as I go deeper. Hopefully one day this will serve as a warning to others. Please don't do this to yourselves. It's not worth it.
Farnham Fables - Episode 2: Just Another Sunday was reviewed on PC via Steam using a copy purchased for the reviewer by another writer on the site. HR is currently dealing with them.
Farnham Fables' second episode has boring gameplay and a story that lacks anything related to an interesting conflict. It also has a strange soundtrack that cuts in and out to make random noises. Above all else, it has scenes that made me feel so uncomfortable that I genuinely believe it's time we have a chat with God about starting over as a species. We clearly don't deserve our sentience.
- It Runs
- Dull Narrative
- Terrible Soundtrack
- Boring Gameplay
- Tonal Inconsistency
- Genuinely Uncomfortable Scenes