Quest for Infamy is a classic point and click adventure game mixed with a modicum of standard role-playing features. The game overall can be referred to as a ‘throwback’ that styles itself to similar genre formats that spawned during the 80’s and 90’s. The game aims, by its appearance and style, to send players sailing down a river of nostalgia and back to a not-so-simple time when clicking frantically on pixels in search of items and knowing a wide array of verbs was essential to progressing through a game. The small and dedicated team of developers at Infamous Quests stated that Quest for Infamy is inspired by Sierra Entertainments 1989 adventure/RPG ‘Quest for Glory’, and other games similar to it. However, the game holds its own personality with the founder behind Infamous Quests asking players to “Imagine if Game of Thrones and The Secret of Monkey Island had a bastard child…”, the ‘bastard child’ being Quest for Infamy.
Players will take the role of William Roehm, a somewhat charming gentleman who seems to find trouble, and who is not afraid to sometimes speak his mind. After being chased out of town for being caught with the Baron’s daughter, Roehm hitchhikes his way to the pleasant little town of Volksville. This is the point at which the game begins for the player. Upon entering the town you quickly learn that an execution is about to take place which is a nice and deliberate way of allowing the player to get acquainted (or reacquainted) to a point and click adventure for a few minutes before the game progresses with the execution. The town of Volksville shows the player the extent of interaction with the world available to them. I initially found myself at the town gates with a main path laid out in front of me. In true adventure game fashion I veered off through an archway to another part of the town where I eventually stumbled across an inn.
Upon entering the inn I first began experimenting with the interaction available in the game. As with other point and click adventures, the player has interaction tools at their disposal. A walk, look, talk and interact tool are on hand and I was surprised at the level of interaction available. I used the ‘look’ tool to survey the inn and a disembodied voice told me, often in detail, the look and feel of the place, object or person I was looking at. I did, of course, look towards the innkeepers attractive daughter, the voice exclaimed that his opinions on her appearance would probably get him banned from a few forums and said no more. At its core Quest for Infamy is a comedic adventure. The writing within the game, which come out through the dialogue voice overs, aims to leave players chuckling at the bizarre world the developers have created.
Gameplay-wise though, Quest for Infamy has a mix of both point and click adventure and roleplaying elements. The player is presented with the option of choosing one of three recognizable RPG-like classes:
- Brigand – A warrior like class that focuses on brute strength.
- Rogue – A character that relies on stealth and cunning.
- Sorcerer – A spell orientated combat class.
I chose the rogue class and was tasked by a band of thieves lead by the charismatic ‘Ian’ to defeat a beast in the nearby woods and retrieve some of its blood. A brief explanation of ‘why’ was given but in true RPG fashion it didn’t matter. I set off in to the dark woods where I confronted the monster. The combat is simplistic, but again is styled to classic role play games and I felt it had to be treated in that respect, no matter how infuriating I found it. It took me a few attempts to defeat the monster as bad luck caused me to constantly miss my attacks and I was eaten by the monster “ass first” repeatedly. Eventually I defeated the beast and used my sword to chop off its head. I accidentally clicked on the corpse again after and Roehm proceeded to urinate on the beasts body with narrator explaining that I was “marking my territory”.
The central criticisms surrounding point and click adventure games now emerged in Quest for Infamy as I realised I had no item to store the beasts blood in. I searched aimlessly for a container of sorts but resorted to reading a guide to progress the game. With my first quest reaching its end I had to break back in to Volksville which involved me trying numerous times to climb the city gate. Eventually the game let me over, but without reading up on a guide I wondered if I would have ever figured it out by myself. I find myself unable to criticise these game mechanics as Quest for Infamy is trying to capture the essence of its ancestor games, which these features were an integral part of.
There was some artwork missing, among other things due to the game being incomplete, yet the artwork that is already in the game is fantastic and creates an endearing world that you can’t help but want to explore. You can see that a lot of design has gone in to producing every section of the world. The forest, for example, feels denser the further in you travel due to the artwork, and yet this feeling is achieved through a simple looking and retro art style. The soundtrack in the game seems to fit perfectly with the medieval fantasy setting and brings the world to life. I constantly felt throughout my time playing that no corners were being cut, so to speak, and the passion and dedication that the developers have that stem from their love of adventure games shines through. The indie gaming movement that has become big in recent years due to new distribution platforms, free and easy marketing avenues and the likes of Kickstarter, is bringing back so-called ‘dead genres’. Quest for Infamy is testament to all of this, and if you enjoy a good story driven adventure game, or just enjoy blood, gore, drinking mini-games, breasts or villainy then perhaps this is game you should check out.
Quest for Infamy is due for release on June 26 2014 on PC/Mac/Linux. A playable demo is also available for download at Infamous-quests.com.
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