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Meet Strong Bad. He’s cooler than you, is way awesome, gets all the hot babes, and really hates Homestar Runner. If that makes about as much sense to you as an episode of Hannah Montana, then steer your browser to Homestarrunner.com and catch up on the hip, animated world of this web phenomenon. Once indoctrinated, you may just be studly enough to buy Homestar Ruiner, the first in a five-episode arc of adventures starring the series’ baddest Mexican wrestler mask–wearing dude, Strong Bad.
Developer Telltale has built a sterling reputation on making smart, creative episodic games based on existing intellectual properties (see exhibit Sam & Max), and Homestar Ruiner is no exception. Working closely with Homestar creators Mike and Matt Chapman, Telltale has done an extraordinary job of putting you inside this surreal universe - ably replicating its simple 2D art style in a 3D landscape, using the same voice actors, and bringing to life The Brothers Chaps’ bro-licious words in a manner that makes you feel like you’re playing the cartoon.
While you don’t have to be a Homestar Runner fan to play, it definitely helps. There’s little introduction to the characters, save Strong Bad, who proclaims his awesomeness immediately. As befits the series, the story is purposefully slight - you (Strong Bad) want to pummel Homestar, wacky hijinks follow. But it’s not the point-and-click adventuring that’ll attract fans, it’s being able to explore familiar sites (Marzipan’s house, The Stick), ruthlessly destroy the Teen Girl Squad (Strong Bad’s crude cartoon take-off on girl power), and play arcade minigame parodies. So what if the puzzles are easy? You’ll feel more awesome for playing.
Homestar Ruiner is available from Telltalegames.com for $8.95 or as part of a five-episode subscription for $34.95.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 80% (excellent)
Aug 27, 2008