It is ironic that I started playing Grim Fandango as I was writing up this review. Why? Because it allowed me to compare this game with one of the absolute classics of the genre. The revitalized adventure game genre provides plenty of comparisons, and allowed me to see both good and not so good elements in Supreme League of Patriots.
Type of app: Point & Click Adventure
Developer: No Bull Intentions / Phoenix Online Publishing
Supreme League of Patriots Description:
- Three episodes of fully-voiced satirical superhero antics
- Discover, befriend and declare your enemies from the city’s zany and colorful cast of superheroes and archenemies
- Two playable characters: Kyle Keever aka The Purple Patriot and his sarcastic sidekick Mel
- Tiered hint system to make the game as challenging as you want it to be
- Fantastic original soundtrack composed by Jake “Virt” Kaufman
- Fight for something resembling justice from the sewers of New York to the theatres of Broadway!
Supreme League of Patriots Major features:
Poking fun at pop culture, politics, reality TV and more, Supreme League of Patriots combines classic point-and-click gameplay with a modern, satirical and irreverent sense of humor. Join Kyle Keever in his politically incorrect quest to win a spot on the newest hit reality TV show, America’s Got Superpowers. When a freak accident turns Kyle’s alter-ego, the Purple Patriot, into his main ego and triggers real superpowers at the cost of his sanity (and good taste), Kyle’s got a new mission to become the hero New York deserves, and definitely not the one it wants. Navigating a twisted world of vigilantes and villains with his cheeky and sarcastic sidekick Mel, Kyle’s got a lot to learn about the world of superheroes!
The opening sequence of Supreme League of Patriots introduces you to Kyle and Mel, the protagonists of the game. You will immediately notice that they are very British in terms of mannerisms and phrasing as well as voiced accents. This is the first potential stumbling block for some – the humor (note how I spelled it in the review title?!?) has a very British slant. If you enjoy classic and modern British comedy this is a good thing; but if not then you should consider the game a ‘non-starter’.
The point & click adventure game genre has been very popular since TellTale Games brought back Sam & Max with ‘Sam & Max Save the World’ in late 2006, with TellTale remaining at the top of the heap with releases such as ‘Tales from Monkey Island’, ‘Back to the Future’, critically acclaimed ‘The Walking Dead’ and last year’s ‘Tales from the Borderland’ release. This library of games provides a great reference point for constructing a solid new adventure, which No Bull has done very well. From interesting characters to engaging locations to a slightly zany plot to unreasonable but amusing twists, it is all there.
However, I was also reminded of the 2004 game ‘Bard’s Tale’. Why? Because that game – similar to Supreme League of Patriots – spends a lot of time poking fun at all kinds of pop culture items and the adventure game genre, only to spend the majority of the game utilizing the very tropes and clichés it made fun of. It actually causes you to be more aware of the issue than you would be otherwise, which in turn made some of the elements less enjoyable – I have a high forgiveness point for fun, until you tell me I shouldn’t.
My biggest problem with the game is how often it gets in its own way. From the start, when you need a map and an invitation, the chain of events for Kyle to make it happen and get Mel to register that it has happened is different. You can hand the map over, but you need to use a special action to let Mel know you have the invitation. I found that out after trying multiple other ways – and having to click through the same set of dialogue each time I did something incorrectly. Later on you will encounter puzzles that must be solved in a certain order for no real reason, and have to navigate dialogue trees a certain way to unlock the clues needed to proceed. It doesn’t ruin the experience, but it takes away from what is otherwise a funny and well-done game.
I hadn’t mentioned it before, but the game consists of three episodes that you can buy separately or get as a season pass. All episodes are available now, and the bundled version will save you some money, so for the dozen or so hours of gaming you get it might be a worthwhile purchase.
Ease of use/Overall performance:
Supreme League of Patriots controls like a very standard point & click adventure. You click on locations to move, mouse over objects to see if you can interact with them, and click on them to take action. Most items give you multiple options for interaction – examine, use or take are common for objects. With people you can talk or give them items or other context-specific actions. This tight array of options helps focus the gameplay.
Technically the game is well executed – I played mostly on an 11″ MacBook Air, but also on a gaming PC, and on both platforms everything executed perfectly. I had no crashes or odd behavior throughout all of the episodes, and found the performance was great even on the MacBook Air. Controls were responsive, objects were precisely highlighted, and in general I was quite pleased with the technical experience.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! I loved the classic LucasArts adventures, and have loved the new TellTale games even more. These are low-stress games full of humor and fun interactions and puzzles – and while there are some issues with some of the puzzles, pacing and pathfinding, overall this is a fun and rewarding experience most adventure game fans will enjoy.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Fewer ‘stumbling blocks to success’ and artificial requirements.
Source: Publisher provided review code
Here is the Supreme League of Patriots trailer: