Strongbad Flash game better than Strongbad console game

I just started and finished the Dangeresque Strongbad game on the Homestar Runner site and it is a pretty cool little game. I’d go as far as to say I preferred it to my play through of the first episode of the WiiWare Strongbad game, Homestar Ruiner.

The downloadable title has a ton of voice acting, pretty graphics, a handful of locations and is playable from my couch. The Flash game has only a voice acted intro, 2d sprite graphics, a single room to explore and requires me to be in a handstand to play (my computer is in a very inconvenient location).

Yet it is the intimacy of the Flash game that makes it so enjoyable. It’s only a few minutes long but the whole time you’ll be solving small little riddles. Sure they are mostly pretty easy and clicking on everything with everything else would allow you to clear the game with enough time to catch tonight’s episode of Groomer Has It, but the confined play space eliminates large spans of dead time.

I spent far too much of my playtime in Homestar Ruiner simply wandering around trying to figure out what to do next. Some people would call this time “playing the game” but listening to the same canned lines 500 times wears thin, even if the lines are delivered hilariously by Strongbad. Maybe the later episodes improve the set designs, but the first entry of the series has large swaths of entirely useless areas.

The downloadable titles should mimic the Flash game but add length and content. The detective office of Dangeresque could easily be the intro section of a larger adventure game that keeps each collection of puzzles relatively self contained. Constantly solving little puzzles is much more gratifying than solving a large puzzle every 15 minutes after 14 minutes of confusion. But maybe I just suck at adventure games.

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15 years ago

“nobody do anything…dangeresque”

jay and i were playing this at the same time last night and it is a great way to kill 20 minutes.

i agree that the limited scope makes the game more intimate and is a natural way to make it progress smoothly and satisfyingly. one of (many, many) things grim fandango does well is give the game a broad scope (long time frame, several locations) while keeping individual areas contained. the areas are somewhat larger than the one in strongbad, but they help retain the smooth progress and avoid frustrating spans of nothing happening.

tangent: sam and max (im playing season 1 now on wii) manages to keep areas contained enough that i can usually figure out what i have to do. however, everything seems to take a very long time (load times, walking around, dialogue to say you didnt accomplish anything) to do. this slowness exacerbates the frustration of not making progress. i am partially to blame (and not only for not being smart enough to figure out the puzzles) because i should be able to sit back and enjoy the jokes, but sometimes those fall flat as well. this strongbad flash and the original monkey island (and the original sam and max if i remember correctly) are funnier, although some of the jokes/commentary can be entertaining.

15 years ago

I was going to say – you may not like sam and max then, as the Strong Bad wii games are a carbon copy for the most part, save for location and joke differences.