Quest For Infamy is one of those games that has absolutely no place in the modern gaming market, yet thanks to the likes of Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing methods, people can once again experience a game that a AAA publisher wouldn’t even dare go near. Developed by Infamous Quests, Quest For Infamy will take players on a journey of laughter, wonder, discovery, and nostalgia that will have them desperately rubbing random objects with each other in an attempt to advance the story. Yes, the game is literally an exact replica of an adventure game from the late 80’s and early 90’s, with all the drawbacks and outdated features that were included within them. And so I have the difficult task of rating a game that is, for all intents and purposes, an imitation of a game from a bygone era. With all that said, Quest For Infamy is still a very good and enjoyable game.
The game is set in a strange, medieval, fantasy world, and follows the story of a shady individual called Mister Roehm. From the prologue, it’s shown that Roehm is a troublesome fellow, although throughout the adventuring you may start to wonder if trouble follows him. Ultimately, the game takes the traditional idea of the ‘hero’, who is usually the main character, and makes him villainous instead. Despite this, I still found Roehm to be a surprisingly likable character, his witty remarks and blasé attitude can be seen as charming. Stealing absolutely everything that isn’t nailed down, and urinating on random objects isn’t so charming though.
After a short leisurely explore of Volksville – the first town you will encounter – players have the opportunity to select one of three classes: Rogue, Brigand and Sorcerer. The classes are not typical to your standard RPG, and aren’t designed to primarily shape your combat experience, the classes instead act as a different ‘path’ for Roehm to follow. The class system therefore creates 3 different playthoughs of the game, which obviously adds replay value and longevity to the game.
Interaction with the world is half the fun in Quest For Infamy. Using the inspect tool to click on random objects will lead to a disembodied voice commenting on the world around you. This ‘narrator’ is separate to Roehm, and voices humorous references and helpful observations to the games environment. This inspect feature is an incredibly detailed feature within the game, with a staggering amount of narrator dialogue available for even the most uninteresting objects within the world.
Humor is the biggest aspect of Quest For Infamy that drove me further in to the game, talking to new characters and listening to their often hilarious dialogue made exploration and learning about the game world very enjoyable. Quest For Infamy is absolutely packed with dirty jokes and adult humor that will have you chuckling to yourself, and in my opinion is the central draw to the game: adult humor for adults who want to enjoy a game from their younger years. The downside to the dialogue is inconsistent quality of it. I didn’t expect crystal clear voice acting from an array of prestigious movie actors, but some of the dialogue was really lacking in audio quality. The actual writing of the dialogue, however, is brilliant. Comedy is a very hard genre to pull off, yet I’m confident the developers will make the vast majority of folks that play Quest For Infamy laugh out loud at least once.
The less said about Quest For Infamy‘s gameplay, the better. It’s bad, it’s bad to the point where you may give up with the game entirely over it. Combat is simple and frustrating, with battles won and lost depending on whether or not Roehm decides to hit the enemy, or miss every attack. The point and click adventure aspects are just straight-up infuriating, with arbitrary adventure game logic in overdrive mode. You will scramble around areas, desperately looking for objects that may help you with your current task, while having no clear indication of what you’re actually after. Quest For Infamy has kept all the horrible gameplay aspects from old Sierra adventure games, and is able to naughtily deflect criticism due to the fact that this is exactly what the developers intended.
Visually the game is very impressive. You have to look past the low-resolution visuals and understand that the art style present in Quest For Infamy is trying to imitate games over two decades old. A lot of detail and design has evidently gone into making the game, with character portraits and the entire game environment beautifully hand drawn. The soundtrack also fits the game well, and it really helps bring the game world alive. The fantasy world in Quest For Infamy does feel inviting and alive, and as stated before, makes exploring and discovering new areas a very fun activity. I know for a fact that the developers have put a lot of heart and soul in to this game, and their love of creating a classic adventure game has really shone through in the art, sound and writing of the game.
And so we come back to the predicament mentioned at the start of this review: rating Quest For Infamy. On one hand, the game is an absolute pain in terms of gameplay, with archaic features that make me wonder if the game is actually enjoyable, or if it sells purely on nostalgia. The humor present in the dialogue and the level of detail and dedication from the combined efforts of the writers, artists, and musicians, does on the other hand show that Quest For Infamy deserves merit and praise. Therefore, I think it’s more important with Quest For Infamy to say whether or not it achieves its personal goal of being a ‘blast from the past’, and to that I say yes, it definitely achieves its goal, and if you enjoy games like it, then it’s definitely worth your time.
Quest For Infamy is available now for PC.
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