There's not a day goes by without one of the boys shedding a tear for the old-fashioned point-and-click adventure game and the good old days of LucasArts in general. Look in the Top 100 and you'll find that this one company used to dominate the genre with classics such as Grim Fandango, Monkey Island, Sam & Max and Day Of The Tentacle. If you haven't played all of these then they're still worth checking out - unlike other genres, adventure games age well and could be described as timeless classics.
Still, things are looking up somewhat. Later in the year we're going to be treated to another instalment in the Monkey Island series and we're hoping for a big return to form after the disappointing third episode. But that's not all. French development house Xilam is also hoping to ride on the retro wave with its first PC title, Stupid Invaders.
As you can see, the graphics look superb in a real-life cartoony sort of way (if that makes any sense whatsoever) and are reminiscent of Day Of The Tentacle. As far as the story goes, it's your basic aliens crash-land on Earth, are chased by a mad scientist and have to solve various weird puzzles to escape back into outer space sort of gig.
Other basic facts you might be interested in: 120 locations, 50 interactive characters to meet and converse with, and the promise of witty dialogue and one liners (using the vocal talents of TV's Futurama series). We're still not completely convinced by the latter. You see, the game itself wasn't a product of the developer's imagination. Apparendy it was based on an obscure animated series called Space Goofs. With a title like this, and in-game characters with side-splitting names like Bolok, we're not sure how the sledgehammer French humour will translate into English. But with our penchant for adventure games we're willing to give it a go. You can expect to see our verdict in the next couple of months.
Download Stupid Invaders
Let it never be said that one cannot judge a book by its cover. Or at least, let it never be said about a video game. Stupid Invaders is the comic tale of a band of five aliens who have crash-landed on Earth, only to become stranded for a year as they attempt to repair their broken vessel. Discovered by Dr. Sakarine, the director of Area 52 and a man who is far too interested in collecting aliens, they’ve got to contend with his hired bounty hunter, all the while trying to keep their ship intact and avoid making bad Area 51 jokes.
Stupid Invaders is a graphic adventure game based on a television series called Space Goofs. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the show, because the game will give you a crash course in insane sci-fi humor. After you’re introduced to the principal villains and heroes, you’ll take control of one of the aliens, the only one who didn’t get zapped in the introduction sequence because he was busy using the bathroom. Armed with only his wit (or lack thereof), you’ve got to guide your characters through the puzzles that confront them with increasingly absurd obstacles.
Very comedic, and definitely far left field of good taste, Stupid Invaders provides you with your daily dose of strange cartoon humor. If you succeed, you’ll be able to help the aliens escape Earth, and return safely to their home planet. If not, then at least you’ll get to see a few things melted by the judicious application of household acids. The storyline is simple and so is the gameplay, as I’ll try to explain.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Controlling Stupid Invaders is ridiculously easy. You’ll use a pointer, an action button, and an inventory key. As a simple adventure game, Stupid Invaders tells the entire story as a sort of ‘interactive’ cartoon, where you’ll solve small puzzles to advance through the different parts of the game. Usually these puzzles and scenes are integrated into the story of the adventure, so the entire game has a continuous and captivating storyline.
The pointer lets you interact with the environment, in an extremely simple way. If you click on something, either your character will walk towards it, or you’ll activate the action associated with that. Some things will zoom in and let you see more detail, while others will activate strange traps or comedic events. Once you find something you can pick up, you’ll be able to put it in the inventory for later use. Using these elements, Stupid Invaders presents a series of easy to understand puzzles that mainly involve collecting certain items and combining them to great effect.
One of my greatest complaints, and certainly something the designers must’ve thought about, given that they put a small walkthrough in the back of the manual, was the non-intuitive nature of many of the puzzles. Early in the game, you’ll need to create a grappling hook using a plunger and toilet paper. You can get the plunger easily enough, but clicking on the toilet paper only yields a zoom in, where you’ll see exactly what brand of toilet paper you’re looking at. You need to hunt around the screen until you find the small area that lets you actually pick up the toilet paper, and then combine it with the plunger.
Stupid Invaders has top-notch graphics for a Dreamcast game. The cut-scenes are well-done and simple, avoiding many of the usual problems with fake looking creatures or poor movement. In this game, they’ve set out to create a cartoonish environment, so it pays off. When you actually control your character, you won’t be disappointed, as the backgrounds are of the same general quality as the cut-scenes and rather dynamic for an adventure game. Many parts of the backgrounds are animated, and the visual quality of each scene is usually quite high.
There wasn’t much music to speak of, and what little there was... wasn’t much to speak of. Neither interesting nor annoying, I couldn’t rate it much more than to say that I was blase about it. Most of the voice acting is on target with what you’d expect from each of the characters, but I found the accent of each of the main characters somewhat stereotypically idiotic. All in all, none of the audio managed to captivate me, or even help build the atmosphere the game tried to project. This is something that struck me as rather strange, given how crucial it is that the story, visuals, and audio come together in an adventure game like this.
Borrowing heavily from its television beginnings and the modern penchant for slightly vulgar humor, Stupid Invaders has a lot of ‘low-brow’ humor, from toilet jokes to a very disturbing puzzle involving Santa Claus and a bottle of industrial strength acid. While this form of humor can be quite entertaining, it needs to be sharp and witty, neither of which can be said about Stupid Invaders. As a result, these jokes are just shocking and/or disturbing, often leaving you with a grimace instead of a smile. With the content of some of this toilet humor, I was very surprised that this game has just a Teen rating.
Stupid Invaders is a game I’ve played through once, and will likely never play through again. While it was mildly entertaining in the beginning, with a good use of CGI to portray the cartoony characters, the shine wore off of the package after the second "let’s solve this problem with high strength acid!" joke. I might suggest this as a rental if you’re really bored and have a lot of time on your hands. However, for the rest of you, I’d skip it and avoid the horror of the Santa Claus scene.
This odd adventure game from Ubi Soft should be available now. It's the story of five stupid aliens who've crash-landed on earth. Dr. Sakarin, an evil scientist at Area 52, discovers them and sends a hitman out to seize them at all costs. Basically, it's up to you to guide each alien through a myriad of weird puzzles and traps in order to repair the spaceship and rocket to safety.
Stupid Invaders is a point-'n'-click adventure game reminiscent of old LucasArts and Sierra PC games. It's compatible with the Dreamcast mouse (thank god), and mainly aims to gross you out at every turn. We especially like the room full of cows whose only reason for living is to constantly poop. Who wouldn't love that? The game is also written by Jim Gomez, better known for the Ren and Stimpy show.