I’ll be the first to admit that until recently I was unware of Larry Elmore or the Snarf comic strip that ran through Dragon Magazine. However, I do love a good adventure game and SnarfQuest Tales looked like something that is right up my alley. Making fun of role-playing tropes and bizarre humor all wrapped up in a classic point and click style was enough to get my attention. And to get me to back it. With the very first puzzle released to backers I took the time to try it out and with the blessing of the developers I wanted to give my take on the experience.
First off, this is a very short slice of the game. Which, as far as I know takes place very early in the first episode. Now, as I said I know nothing about this universe so if there were any “inside jokes” they flew so far over my head they hit the moon. However, I do have to say that the jokes that I did get had me either rolling my eyes by how bad the puns were, or had me laughing. The meat of this build, though, had to be in the puzzle itself.
SnarfQuest Tales finds the titular character leaving his home to make a name for himself, and this puzzle has him doing weird fetch quests and some bizarre puzzles within it that a lot of the adventure community almost universally hates. Like a certain sliding puzzle that needs to be solved in order to pick a lock on a chest. I actually have yet to meet an adventure player that loves that. In fact, in order to get each piece of armor and sword that Snarf needs to go on an adventure with, you’ve got to go through some of the most frustrating tropes known to the genre. The sliding puzzle was just the worst.
Now, don’t get me wrong. At least these puzzle-within-a-puzzle moments weren’t hard to figure out. It’s just that they crammed some of the worst examples into one small section of the game. I had no problems with any of them, even the above-mentioned slider puzzle. However, your mileage may vary. In any event, I can already tell that SnarfQuest Tales is shaping up to be an interesting addition to the point and click genre. Even with some minor frustrations I’m still glad that I backed the Kickstarter.
All in all, SnarfQuest Tales looks to be worth playing just on this little bit in the demo alone, even for someone like myself who knows nothing about the comic. This is proof that they at least have a working engine right now and it’s mostly a matter of getting everything worked into it. I didn’t hit any snags or bugs in my playthrough that caused me to put in a report or anything. For me, at least, it was a stable build. When I get my hands on later builds, though, this could all change. But that’s what testing is for, right?