I expected nothing more than cheap humour upon first glance, what I got was a pleasant surprise. The Belfast based developer, Billy Goat Entertainment have put a lot of thought into creating a unique graphical point and click adventure game that not only has deep charm and humour at its core but also creating a genuinely fun experience.
Now picture this, your British, yes, I know but just bear with me, the Queen has decided to take back her country from the elected representatives at Westminster, believing they are no longer fit to govern. The Queen continues on to establish S.P.I.F.F.I.N.G (Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies) in an effort to start a new Galactic British Empire, because Britain hasn’t been performing too well on earth so it seems. This is where you come in as Captain Frank Lee English who prides himself on being a gentleman, joined by Aled Jones your colleague who hails from Wales and has some very stereotypical mannerisms to boot, you will take to the stars for your Queen.
Gameplay is very basic and works for the most part, you can move around at your leisure and interact with various objects that you come across. Four options are presented for each object, grab, talk, examine or use inventory item and dependent on what you are trying to interact with you may be told by the main character you cannot talk to inanimate objects or grab your colleague. The issues arise with selecting an option because this can be temperamental and you’ll be subject to trying a couple of times to choose an interaction, not to mention you sometimes have to be standing in a certain spot to even be able to select an item. When it works however, it’s smooth and plays a key part in the overall joyous experience.
A bit of a brain is necessary for overcoming some quirky puzzles that will be laid out in front of you, but if you think logically, remember what you’ve come across and are imaginative enough to think of which items can be combined together to help further your mission, then it will be smooth sailing or flying or floating, whatever it is you do through space. It’s also beneficial to be thorough and ensuring you search every room and in some cases every nook and cranny as some items you seek will be hidden.
As stated before Her Majesty’s Spiffing is a point and click adventure, in way of game modes, your limited to the 3-4-hour single-player story but remember it’s all about quality and not quantity and this experience has quality. The 3D cartoon art-style is the perfect choice for the genre, story and aids in showing that playfulness Billy Goat presented, the textures look sharp with some fine detail where it counts, whether it’s the shading on a fridge to show the smudges and dirt from general use or the buttons and circuitry shown on the control panels in the cockpit.
Tying the art style and story together is the superbly executed voice acting with stereotypical accents and slang words, the characters really come alive in a silly but smart way. Accompanying this you have the ambient music throughout featuring subtle and yet appreciated sound effects, every footstep you hear the crunch when walking along rocky terrain or the clunk when on metal. Dependent on the room you are occupying you could also be treated to the soothing sounds of frogs ribbiting, machine’s clanking or the sizzle of electricity, okay maybe soothing was the wrong word but the sounds are welcomed in creating the atmosphere.
The game doesn’t offer much in terms of replayability other than that you could miss a few achievements along the way and wish to replay the story to achieve 100% if you desire. But this isn’t so much a game that should be played more than once than it is a solid, laugh out loud short experience.
Her Majesty’s Spiffing has a fitting graphic design with unique and amusing characters that come with big personalities and apt voice acting. You’ll get more than your fair share of fourth-wall breaking gags to keep you chuckling away. Now meanwhile the gameplay could be tighter, it’s slack however doesn’t detract from the story and banter. Plenty of charm with few issues, this title easily hits the recommended list as a feel good, nonsensical quality game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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