A BrutalGamer Review
DLC Quest is entirely satire. Entirely. You play as “Player”, a nice chap who must save the Princess from the Bad Guy, who also killed Player’s uncle and took a wee in the village’s water supply. Along the way, you will encounter NPC’s who offer a very satirical but in-depth look at the state of games. It’s all quite hilarious, as you face off against Trolls, Bad Guys, NPCs, Zombies, and even the occasional Sheep.
The story, as much of it as there is, is pretty flimsy. The game starts you off just after the Bad Guy has kidnapped the Princess. Something about revenge and peeing in the water supply are added motivation. You have to rescue the Princess, but not much else, plot-wise. The real story is in the ironic satire of the game itself, and of the status quo of what gaming consumers so often go through. It’s very clever, with tons of industry jokes thrown in. Trolls, Horse Armour DLC, etc, it’s all there. Even the in-game achievements, called Awardments, are styled satirically after common achievements.
The graphics in DLC Quest are mediocre, but not without their purpose. Pixelated, almost 8-bit in nature, and very cartoony, the graphics are meant more as, I think, a comment on the simplicity of some games. That, or 8-bit was just really easy to program with, considering the dev team is just one guy. What comes out of left field, though, is the smoke/dust that pops up whenever you hit the ground. It’s very high detail, and completely opposite from the pixelated nature of everything else. Very weird. Perhaps its a commentary on how inane features get lots of effort, whereas the core features of the game don’t? I don’t know.
The music is very reminiscent of the 8bit/chiptunes era of video game music. It’s very catchy, and very appropriate. It fits with the visuals onscreen, and it made me feel like I was playing one of those old arcade games from the 90’s. Very cool, and the music alone is worth the price of the game.
The mechanics of DLC Quest are what make the game so good. Purchasing “DLC” enables you to do actions that you would otherwise access normally in most games, like jumping, moving left, accessing the other section of the map, and being able to go back to the first section. It’s all very much a poke at the state of DLC. Unfortunately, the gameplay only extends to coin collecting, buying dlc, and destroying branches, people, and sheep. It gets boring after awhile. The platforming is kind of fun, though, especially since I haven’t seen or played a good 2D platformer in a long time.
To be honest, the game is worth the 80 MSP ($1) for the jokes and social commentary alone, and the size of the game (only two screens worth) means it probably isn’t worth much more than that. Size-wise, the game is pretty small, and I found myself wishing there was more to it, more to do. The creator mentions in the press kit that he wouldn’t mind making actual DLC for the game if it were to do well, and I hope it does and he does, poetically ironic though it would be.
DLC Quest is pretty cool. You’ll be laughing the entire way through as you notice all of the nuanced cliches and jokes. It’s fairly short, and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to finish everything (game, collection and achievements). Even the secret achievements and coin collecting can be completely finished with just a little bit of poking around as you go through the areas. The biggest draw of the game is obviously the jokes and the humour, a lot of which aren’t written or immediately obvious jokes. The platforming and combat are enjoyable, but become tedious right around the time you finish the game, which is either pure coincidence or fantastic design. The game is super short, something I wish the developer would change. Maybe release some DLC for DLC Quest, and be really ironic? Either way, at 80 MSP ($1) for about 1-2 hours of pure enjoyment, smart humour and social commentary, I’d say it’s a must.