Nearly a direct homage to Fantastic Dizzy (the old side-scrolling adventure game before my time but I tried out for the sake of this review), Spud’s Quest is the old-school adventure game you’ve always wanted…again.
Taking over as the eponymous Spud, a sentient, blue…thing; he decides reluctantly one day to help out his bud Prince Charming and his parents King Arthur and Guinevere who have been turned into frogs by an evil wizard — nothing too fancy there. However ’90s graphics and storytelling aside, the game belies a technical savvy that never failed to impress me. Amazing platforming abilities makes this game a joy to traverse around, especially if you’re of an older generation.
Item fetching for quests is the standard here, with you gathering items (in your limited inventory) and delivering them to various inhabitants of the world for other items that will further you along in your adventure. The item cap is 4 but I’m told Dizzy only had 3 so it makes a world of difference. In addition to it are some clever gameplay mechanics that make platforming and adventuring even better. Spud and his constant companion Prince Charming (who is in frog form) can switch on command. So whether you need to be Spud or the higher jumping (and practically useless save puzzles) frog prince, the ability to switch back and forth will always be there. Still it’s the little details that caught my eyes such as the ability for the frog Charming to be able to use Spud as an additional platform to jump even higher or Spud’s ability to grab ledges and pull himself up. It’s stuff like this that makes me smile knowing what a detailed game Spud’s Quest is.
However, this is an adventure game which means, quests, elemental temples, mystic items, and a sense of curiosity. Like Zelda and Metroid, dungeon puzzles and backtracking make up the bulk of Spud’s Quest, and this is where people might run into some trouble.
The game isn’t difficult per se, but it’s such a loving throwback to the adventure games of yore that even the difficulty is re-created; and I mean the sort of difficulty in which lack of information or clues hinder advancement. This game can sometimes be obtuse but sometimes the solutions are so simple all it takes is a little suspense of logic. Spud’s Quest made me feel truly foolish at parts, making me realize just how easy things are these days. I never imagined areas could be bigger than they were, never imagined quest items could be what they were. But once I began recalling the sort of old-school ideas of what is and isn’t possible, it’s discovering each additional area, the solution to new puzzles, or additional dungeon that makes Spud’s Quest a true joy. None of this is difficult, but today’s gamers might have their preconceptions of how a game is supposed to advance hold them back.
In the end, Spud’s Quest is a truly joyful experience.This game has funny dialogue and pleasing gameplay, however the audience who will most appreciate it will be those who grew up with 90s adventure games.They will see beyond a doubt that Spud’s Quest equals them in terms of craft and adventure and if you’re a veteran of games, or a curious youngster wanting to see what the past holds, Spud’s Quest is a fantastically modern place to start.
[+Wonderful throwback to the old adventure games][+Music so delightful I may have gotten diabetes][+Challenging in a good way][+Surprisingly technical in areas that make platforming a further joy][+Bit me with a need to play older adventure games, beginning with early Zelda titles][-Can also become challenging in really silly ways, real quick]