It was my privilege to accept a truck full of money and a review copy of DLC Quest by Going Loud Studios. We don’t usually like to employ the standard number rating for games here at GreenLit Gaming but after counting the number of reasons why I should give one; I have decided to award this game a twelve out of ten, which may or may not be directly related to the number of sacks contained in the truck. Gaming is undergoing a series of growing pains as ever larger studio giants attempt to maximize monetization and spreadsheet their way to success. Going Loud Studios has produced a two part satirical look at the far extreme of those efforts and leave no stone unturned, assuming you purchased the appropriate DLC of course. Far from being preachy, DLC Quest delivers an entertaining running commentary through delivering on excellent, well designed game play.
+ Riddled with intelligently delivered satire
The satire is thickly woven into the game from step one. As you start out your adventure you find yourself in a silent world with but one command, moving left. Running left you collect a few coins and eventually find yourself stopped beside the DLC Vendor. The fun begins, with your first few coins in hand you purchase state of the art controls,the amazing sound DLC and the power of a pause screen. Once purchased your first awardment is given, “These used to come standard”. If you had any delusion about the games intent, I would hope it comes clear now. Every step of the game has a challenge in the way that is ultimately solved by collecting enough coins to purchase the appropriate DLC to continue. Coins too high? How about a double jump DLC. Need to sharpen that sword 10000 times? How about DLC to speed that up. It wouldn’t be good satire if every DLC has a purpose and so you will find yourself chuckling at tongue in cheek delivery of top hats, sexy outfits for your mostly male NPC’s and of course Zombies. What game would be complete without zombies?
+ No trope left behind
Going Loud Studios has really scraped the corners of the barrel too ensure no trope goes unnoticed and no issue goes un-punned. From totally non-game breaking DLC to highly demanding stranger NPC’s with more problems then you can shake a coin at, DLC Quest delivers on a wide range of issues that will challenge even the most astute armchair philosopher to beat. Even taking time to poke fun at the more recent server disconnect issues that seem to be a newly growing problem with big name releases.
+ Strong, thought out level design
Underneath the jokes, puns and satire is a strong well designed game that I wouldn’t put down no matter how hard my cats tried to get my attention. I have a love of satire, in case you couldn’t tell, but even as I chuckled along with the humour I found that level design, mechanics and control of the game was top notch in design. The UI was simple, the jumping challenges fair and the level layouts left very little wasted time running back and forth. The amount of coins available to collect never left you with the risk of buying yourself out of being able to progress in the game. Being a 2D platformer, the level design is everything and even in the larger world of the second game Live Freemium or Die the use of clever check points, DLC of course, made navigating the maps a smooth experience. Which is good, as Live Freemium or Die features the ability to die as a free inclusion. A move which I am sure the ever profiting Nickel, the ironically named DLC shopkeeper, felt was too generous.
+ Two for one
DLC Quest as available on Steam is in fact two games combined into one, just think of the savings. The original award winning DLC Quest and the follow up, gloves off Live Freemium or Die. Arguably not a positive as its their combined efforts that deliver a short, but excellent five to seven hours of game. But I wanted to make sure that Live Freemium or Die got is kudos for taking the concept delivered in DLC Quest and delivering an even stronger game that has plenty of fun poking more holes in the state of gaming.
- Too Short!
Checking the list of sanctioned negatives that twelve bags of money in the back of truck permits, the only complaint I have was that it was too short. Perhaps it was better to be too short then to push the limits of its motif until it was flogging a dead horse. Better to leave them wanting more then to go that one step too far and all that, however, the gameplay was fun and the satire was right up my alley so I could have used a couple more hours. Perhaps being too short allowed for the tight design that has left me no other outstanding negatives, or perhaps the cats have found a way to bribe developers into shortening games so they can chase a string and get their allotted sunday tuna early.
The downside to a satire filled 2D platforming romp is that every word I say is a spoiler to a well delivered joke or point. Going Loud Studios have definitely delivered a strong, entertaining game that also serves as a warning of the worst the current trend of heavy monetization can lead to. The commentary is well delivered without being preachy or trying to beat the message into the player, instead its delivered with a wink and nudge as you enjoy a well built game. Letting the player chuckle along side the satire inherent is probably the strongest feature of the game. For the cost of a regular cup of coffee at starbucks, yes they serve those there, DLC Quest delivered an afternoon of fun and chuckles that left me wanting more. Always a good problem to have in a game.