By Jenni . August 11, 2008 . 7:10am
Once you start Strong Bad Episode 1 – Homestar Ruiner, aka Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, you are given an option to "Learn to become cool and attractive" with a tutorial, since not everyone is instantly born as attractive and intelligent as Strong Bad. The brief tutorial introduces players to basic aspects of the Strong Bad point and click adventure, as well as some choice dialogue.
The tutorial begins with Strong Bad walking into his room and dramatically realizing that his Lappy is missing! He then steps out of character for a moment, introducing himself to the players and stating Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has to include an in-game tutorial because there's a videogame law mandating it.
He then proceeds to talk down a bit to the audience, stating the obvious that his laptop is gone and players have to help him find it. At this point, players can explore the computer room. Pointing and clicking on empty space will make Strong Bad go there, and clicking objects will illicit responses from him. (Even though you really only need to click the laptop space and the magnifying glass, I recommend clicking any item you can just to hear Strong Bad's opinions and descriptions.)
After finding a fingerprint, and using a magnifying glass Strong Bad stole from his little brother Strong Sad to examine it, Strong Bad states that Strong Sad stole the Lappy! You then go across the hall to Strong Sad's, where you learn how to talk to other people.
When talking to someone about themselves, Strong Bad will usually have two dialogue options with them. He can be nice (indicated by an angelic Strong Bad image) or he can be himself (indicated by a devilish Strong Bad image). After talking to Strong Sad about himself, you then can ask about the laptop. Strong Sad steps out of character for a moment to complain about the script, then reluctantly tells what he did with Lappy.
Strong Sad reveals that it is at Bub's Convenience Stand, so players learn how to add locations to Strong Bad's map and then visit a different location. Once there, Bub also deviates from the script initially, but then follows Strong Bad's orders. If you use the knowledge you've gained from the tutorial so far, you'll be able to get the Lappy back and become an Attractive Person capable of playing Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive people.
The first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Homestar Ruiner is truly a game for the fans, and an entertaining point-and-click for everyone else. Its the kind of game where you have to pay attention when the characters are talking, not because you may miss something (though that could happen as well), but because you'll miss more of the snarky humor Matt and Mike Chapman's series is known for.
The game begins with Strong Bad singing a peppy little jingle about his style, a song so goofy you can't help but smile. He heads to his laptop Lappy to check email, and comes across a letter from a fan asking why he's never beat up Homestar. After firing a snappy retort back at the author, a man from Frenchtown, CA that he refers to as Frenchy, he decides to act on the impulse.
So Strong Bad heads down to the track where Homestar is, and discovers Homestar is training to participate in the Free County USA Triannual Race to the End of the Race. Strong Bad decides that beating Homestar in the race would be even better than beating him up. Players then spend the rest of the episode getting into the race,
rigging winning said race to beat Homestar and getting a party out of the deal.
Controls are incredibly simple for the PC version, and I'd imagine the Wiiware version as well. You simply click on items to make Strong Bad interact with them. Clicking on open space makes him visit there, clicking on characters makes him talk to them, clicking map destinations send you there and I think you get the idea.
In a way, the control scheme makes you feel as though you are actively participating in a Strong Bad episode or the Strong Bad world. This, along with the well-written script and entertaining situation make the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People a great way to spend your afternoons.
Plus fans will be pleased, because nearly all characters make an appearance in the game. Homestar, Marzipan, The Cheat, Strong Sad, Pom Pom and others all are either major characters or make cameo appearances in the title.
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People is one of life's little pleasures. Sometimes the jokes will leave you laughing, and maybe occasionally you'll just roll your eyes, but you'll be enjoying the game the whole time. I'd say fans of Homestar Runner will likely get the most enjoyment from this PC and Wiiware game, but adventure story fans and people with a sense of humor will likely enjoy the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People as well.
Images courtesy of Telltale Games.