|a game by||What Pumpkin Games, Inc.|
|Editor Rating:||3/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 3 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Visual Novel, Best Indie Games, Funny Games|
The format that constitutes a video game has been subject to change in the last decade, with the lines between interactive stories and action-packed gaming experiences being blurred in the process. More so than ever, you can find games that are less about their novel mechanics and more about their similarities to a written novel from a bookstore. You would think that this would not sit well with the hands-on nature of a video game but in practice, there seems to be quite a market for these games. A market that Pesterquest, a visual novel developed by Pumpkin Games, aimed to move into.
This game plays rather like whimsical interactive stories such as Florence or If Found, both published by Annapurna Interactive. This game aims to use carefully written narrative and interactive features that are woven into the fabric of the story to immerse the player and make them feel truly involved in the actions of the story. However, it fails to cater for anyone outside of the existing fan base.
Alienating For Some
The first thing that may be apparent to those unaware of the Homestuck franchise, a franchise that this game bases its universe within. Is that if you don’t know a thing about Homestuck, that a lot of things go over your head. This is particularly annoying considering that there aren’t too many aspects of this game that are accessible to the general player. It’s a game that is driven by text dialogue and little else. You’ll make choices, meet interesting NPC’s and follow the story from start to finish but that’s it. There are no gimmicks, mechanics or techniques that drag the player into the story or immerse them in the events on-screen. You still feel like a spectator rather than a member of the world and that is a missed opportunity.
The writing is also aimed at a very niche audience too. So not only will you be alienated by the lack of knowledge of the franchise, you’ll also find that the humour, references and general demeanour of the characters are skewed toward a younger, more ‘internet savvy’ audience and as you can see from the use of that phrase alone, I don’t think I qualify.
One thing that comes with a title aimed at a niche fan base is that the creator will be making the game for the love of the world rather than the fame or the fortune of a potentially brilliant game. This shows itself in the overall presentation and visual quality of the game. The hand-drawn environments, character models and in-game assets are truly wonderful and most likely in keeping with the Homestuck universe. However, that is an assumption rather than something that can be gathered first hand.
The UI is also simple and easy to navigate, making the game accessible and able to flow quite nicely. The only issue with this simplicity is that it just feels flat. It’s like a slideshow of pictures, animations and the occasional choice. It has little reason to play the first time unless you are a true fan of this universe and even less reason to return to this story.
A Pest Indeed
If I were a fan or even aware of the Homestuck franchise, perhaps this score would be higher but as a general gamer coming to this game, it’s a real disappointment. The story is far from gripping. The developer makes this story near impossible to decipher for non-fans of the Homestuck franchise.
The writing is aimed at young, internet prowling teens and despite the aesthetically pleasing visuals, it’s one that should be avoided in favour of visual novels with more bite.
- Visuals are pretty throughout
- Something of value for returning fans of the series
- Alienates newcomers and older generations of gamers
- The story leaves a lot to be desired
- Hardly any player input or interactive sections
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP