A generic RPG game with interesting battle system and unique storytelling. Are you craving for quests?
Genre: RPG, SHMUP
Developer: Matthew Bradshaw
Publisher: Matthew Bradshaw
Release date: 14 Nov, 2020
Quest? Quest! is a seemingly generic game about you, who are tasked by someone to do some quests… because you’re playing a game. I mean, that’s what you should do in RPG games, right? Taking a quest from NPCs to save the world and all just to reach the good ending. While you’ll exactly get what you want in this game, it seems that the game wants you to experience it differently. More on the review.
The detailed and cute-ish pixel arts fill the whole game. It’s not in the simple graphics, pastel colors-like cute, but it’s more because of their features – their round eyes, expressions, and the like. You’ll be presented with a lot of cute-looking enemies with backgrounds that you’ll expect from games in pixel graphics. All backgrounds, especially the rocks and trees, are given enough depth with the use of shadows. Character portraits are also having the same cute-looking style as the monsters with more emphasis on size. It’s all suitable with the lackluster adventure theme.
Despite the obvious story, the game tries to be unique with its way of storytelling. A “narrator” character, which is acting as a guide to help you know more about the game and… give you quests, is introduced to familiarize yourself with the world. The story stays true to its title, giving you quest after quest to make sure you get enough before the game ends. The writing is funny at first although the same element seems to be gone as you progress the game – the story ends up being a mediocre one while still giving you a sense of purpose. While I’m not against these kinds of stories, I still wished that the game tries to keep its jokes until the end of the game.
The game mostly requires you to explore one area after another, with a hub town and “teleporters” to speed up your travel. Most dungeons are straightforward with a lot of screen transitions although a lot of hidden areas are available throughout the game, forcing you to explore every odd corner in the game to find them. It’s fun and rewarding to find at the same time since the hidden areas tend to give you a unique weapon.
If you’re bored of the usual turn-based battle system in most RPG games, you’re in luck. The battle in Quest? Quest! feels more like a simple SHMUP instead of a turn-based system despite the initial command of “battle”, “potion”, “diplomacy”, and “run away” option at the start of the fight. Choosing “battle” will change the battle screen into SHMUP mode, allowing you to hit the enemy with your sword waves. Enemies will also have some means to attack and defend as you and your enemy attack and avoid each other’s attacks. Different enemies have different types of attacks and attack patterns, giving more uniqueness to each fight. Fortunately, the game doesn’t seem to utilize this feature very well since there are only two noteworthy boss fights in the game.
Despite the unique battle system, levels aren’t important in battle. Your stats will be affected by the sword that you use and the game doesn’t force you to level up either. You can always choose “diplomacy” or “run away” in battle, which will give you a chance to finish the fight while retaining half of the exp that you are supposed to get or escape the fight completely. You’ll still be forced to fight if you are not lucky enough, but the success chance is high enough to not overwhelm you in battles most of the time.
Length and Replayability
I finished the game in 3h for the first time. The game has 4 endings, meaning that I had to load my previous save and/or start another playthrough to get the other endings. Some endings require you to know about how the game works, which isn’t possible to do in your first playthrough unless if you know about the secret beforehand. It was satisfying to see all of the endings, including one secret ending that adds more questions than answers to the game itself. I’m not sure if the developer put it on purpose as material for the next game, but the said ending makes the game feels unfinished and leaves me to crave for more.
Despite the multiple endings, the game doesn’t seem to be friendly enough with saves. You only have one save slot, meaning that your save will be overwritten if you start a new game. There is also no “load game” option in the game and you have to restart the game manually to do it. It discourages exploration, especially if you want to try different things in the game.
The game also doesn’t seem to explain that you can use the Escape button to open the menu and change your sword. I didn’t know about this at first and it took me a while to figure out how to open the menu screen.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
The game takes me in right at the start, especially with the unique way of storytelling. However, it falls short as you progress the game, forcing you to experience the bland story until the end. Luckily, the game still tries to be unique with the introduction of its battle system – it was interesting enough to play that I forgot about the bland story completely. The game turns out to be an enjoyable one in the end, although the full price might be too expensive for a ~3h game.