This is episode 3, and Strong Badís fun machine goes
belly-up right in the middle of a hot game of Hot Babelian Odyssey. Bubís
conces5ion stand is the only place in the good burg of Strong Baddia Ė
quite literally at the start of the game - so off to Bubís we go. Can he
fix it? Yes he can! But only for a sack-o-cash, which Strong Bad doesnít
have but which is gettable, so long as Strong Bad is willing to take a job
as a grime taster. Yet in the age old adage of adventure games, Strong Bad
knows there must be a more convoluted way, so declines the job offer in
favour of organising a Battle Royale of the Bands.
Baddest of the Bands is a colourful animated point
and click adventure, with a bizarre array of characters and situations.
Its look and its wit will either appeal or it wonít; there is unlikely to
be an in-between. It did appeal to me, from the strangely drawn cast,
through the simplistic sets, to the helpful advice about lobsters and
underpants. It is predominantly inventory based, and using cheese whiz and
plastic whales to solve conundrums made more sense in Strong Baddia than
it does in many such games. They arenít my favourite types of adventures,
but I had a good time with this one.
Strong Bad occupies the centre of attention, but the
support cast adds to the experience. For those familiar with the Homestar
Runner internet world, they will all be recognisable, as will other
aspects of that world. Strong Badís email advice, for instance, which can
be accessed from his lappy 486, as well as the Teen Girl Squad comic which
Strong Bad draws. Indeed, said comic actually offends one of the
characters (which some may find redeeming), although the result is perhaps
not what the character would have hoped. Strong Bad however is well
There are two puzzles which require more than just
using the inventory items correctly, although some trial and error will
likely be required. One has a minimalist timed element about it. You donít
die, there are no sliders or mazes. No musical puzzles either, except of
course for finding ways to sabotage the entrants so there is only one true
Strong Bad carries a map, on which new locations
will appear as you achieve triggers through the game. Strong Bad draws
them on the map, reinforcing the comic book style origins. A pop-up icon
will alert you to a new location being available. So too upgrades to your
level of Awesomeness will be identified. I ended as a Three Necked Axeman,
although as I didnít find all the objects or achieve all the musical
moments, you may well do better. A check list appropriately titled ďHow
Much I RuleĒ keeps track for you.
The objects referred to arenít necessary to complete
the game, but Strong Bad will find things as he goes if, like all good
adventurers, he looks in everything he comes across. Digging holes in the
landscape with the help of his metal detector will also unearth the odd
collectable, as will singing in certain locations. Among the things he
collects are some costume pieces, which can then be tried on against a
variety of backgrounds at the photo booth Ė purely for fun, and completely
unnecessary if you want to ignore it. So too you can ignore if you want an
in-game photo option, used for taking and storing snaps on your hard drive
of your bestest baddest moments.
Once you get to Battle Royale, some locations are no
longer available, but I got access to extended play once I had finished.
As far as I can tell, this just makes all locations accessible, enabling
you to hunt for any missing objects.
Really Really Really Tiny Cellphone
There is quite nifty hint system included, which you
can tweak to give greater or lesser hints. If Strong Bad stands around too
long in certain locations, he might hear something which might suggest a
way forward. I fiddled with it, turning it up and down, and thought it
worked really well. There are also clues revealed in other ways Ė like
many adventure games, pay attention to the things you collect.
There are only 4 save game slots but that is way
more than is needed. Returning Strong Bad to his House of Strong will also
autosave your progress in a particular slot, so in that sense saves are
Baddest of the Bands isnít a long game, but it isnít
expensive either. I had fun, plenty enough to go back for more. If you
like off-beat, and can appreciate the sort of dialogue and humour likely
to be articulated by a character that wears boxing gloves and a Mexican
wrestling mask, you might have fun too. If you arenít sure, just check out
the Homestar Runner website for free, or play the demo; you donít really
have anything to lose.
Strong Badís Cool Game for Attractive People Ė
Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands (PC version)
can be purchased via download at