Parents' Guide to

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Web comic game has plenty of sordid humor

Game Windows , Xbox 360 2008
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 1 Poster Image

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People who say video games aren't a valid art form often make the difficult-to-dispute criticism that games have become, by and large, a platform for lousy writing. That can't be said of Penny Arcade, which has a genuinely humorous and strangely poetic lilt sure to tickle the funny bones of older gamers who prefer their comedy geeky, violent, and a little dirty. The best part of the game is its dialogue, which is loaded with hilarious, nerdy jokes about urinologists, trash collectors, and evil clowns ("The strangely garbed mime isn't just quiet; he seems to radiate silence," says the narrator at one point.) A close second is visuals. The lush, cartoon style 3-D graphics will make fans of the web comic feel as though they're playing an animated version of their favorite strip.

Unfortunately, the game play is a bit stale. Players wander around on short quests, looking for specific enemies to battle while tediously kicking over every trash can and crate they see in hope of finding power-ups that can be used in battle. Speaking of which, combat consists of turn-based fracases that see players twiddling their fingers as they wait for action meters to slowly fill so that they can issue commands and use various support items. It's not easy -- some of the later battles can be devilishly difficult -- but it is repetitive. Funny attack animations and mid-battle jokes (such as a chubby, evil vagrant who likes to pull out a hobo sign that reads "Will Deal Damage for Food" before attacking) spice things up a little, but don't change the fact that the combat is dated and monotonous. Long story short, it's a great bit of fun for adult fans of the web comic, not so much for players simply looking for an original, well executed game.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Windows , Xbox 360
  • Available online?: Not available online
  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Release date: May 21, 2008
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Mature Humor, Strong Language, Violence
  • Last updated: November 4, 2015

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