Confession: I had no clue what Quest for Infamy was when it was dropped on me for review. However, a quick peek at the trailer and I was excited to dive into the hype. Being a huge fan of the original Monkey Island and Space Quest series, I have a soft spot for the old school “point and click” adventure layout. And after a few minutes into the game, it was clear that developer Infamous Quests and I share a similar love for the genre. Don’t be fooled by its pixelated design and classic gameplay mechanics, those are just part of the charm! Behind all of that simplicity lies some serious depth and an often hilarious story. It features an expansive lore and lacks linearity, which makes exploration vital and rewarding. Indeed, Quest for Infamy is a game that you’ll get lost in, but have a damn good time with in the process.
Our experience in Lonaria is seen through the eyes of the slick-mouthed protagonist Roehm. (Which is pronounced “Roam”. Infamous Quests, what you did there…I see it!) Spend 5 minutes in his shoes, and you’ll learn everything you need to know about this satirical and unforgiving world. Part Beowulf, part John McClane; Roehm’s “rebel without a cause” personality feels right at home even when forced into an unfamiliar land. For a fella going around gaining points of infamy and bedding damsels, Roehm’s level of bad-assery is only matched by the fact that he’s kind of an asshole. Be that as it may, he’s a pretty likeable asshole. His deeds, while noble at the core, often tend to coincide with his thirst for women and riches.
In addition to our dashing psuedo-hero, we are accompanied by an unseen and equally sarcastic narrator. The dynamic between Roehm, the player, and the narrator is probably the most interesting feature of the Quest for Infamy experience. As funny as Roehm’s interactions are with the locals, most of the humor is delivered by the fourth wall destroying narrator. Always in “mock mode” and ready to roast Roehm for incorrectly interacting with the environment, the narrator is easily the greatest representation of how rich Quest for Infamy is in character.
Aside from the games charming personality, it features an extensive story for each of the 3 basic RPG classes. Your first order of business is to choose a mentor in one of the three disciplines. Brigand, rogue and sorcerer each have their own unique skillsets and garner entirely different storylines as well as styles of play. The Brigand is the “kick ass, ask questions later” type, the rogue specializes in stealth, and the sorcerer…casts spells and stuff. Following the old school formula closely, the class “system” lacks in the customization department. New skills and abilities aren’t really gained, and you’re stuck with whatever class you choose for the entirety of the game. While the classes share the same skills, each has a specialty that changes the way Roehm approaches quests and challenges. I chose the rogue (…Because I’m a ninja) which gave me unique entry point options via lockpicks and grappling hooks. As restrictive as the classes can seem, there is a good amount of freedom associated with which skills you choose to sharpen. So feel free to scale walls and sneak around all day to level the associated skill, regardless of how ridiculous you look.
Quest for Infamy’s battles are turn-based, and just like classic RPG’s of the same genre, just as frustrating. Roehm might know a thing or two about wooing the ladies, but he knows jack about fighting. Both his accuracy and damage are abysmal in the beginning segments. And while you are free to wander the Valley of Krasna pretty early on, I wouldn’t recommend it. Fortunately with a little grinding, Roehm’s battle prowess can be leveled up and you’ll be off slaying zombies and beasts in no time.
Quest for Infamy is a game littered with pop culture gems (Shoutout to Jafar hanging out in Volksville), nostalgic gaming references, and cheesy one liners that would make Mel Brooks proud. It does take a bit of patience to fully appreciate the subtleties, but journeying through Lonaria is enjoyable and I often found myself wanting to venture out further. And while it’s easy to overlook the old school visuals, I highly recommend taking a moment to appreciate the hand drawn detail that went into each screen. The combat and class systems take a back seat to the game’s lush personality…and you know, I’m ok with that! Simply put, It’s a blast from the past that doesn’t take itself serious and does a wonderful job at balancing brilliance with slapstick buffoonery!
- Pays great homage to classic RPG adventures
- Hilarious cast and satisfying story
- 3 unique gameplay options promote replay value
- Inconsistent voice-over quality
- Lack of direction or hints maybe off-putting to beginners
- Unforgiving and bare-bones battle system