A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game's sense of humor is offbeat and decidedly mature, but the characters are clearly on a just and noble mission. Plus, they help people in need whenever they find them.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of bloody battles involving guns, explosives, fists, and even rakes. Robots pee acid as a form of attack. Crimson puddles remain in the environment once the battles end.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional, humorous references to sexual acts, such as sodomy.
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The profanity-laden text dialogue is the primary reason behind the game's "M" rating. Expect to see creative use of the F-word, as well as s**t, ass, and bastard, among other cusses.
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Products & Purchases
The game is based on a popular, adult-oriented web comic called Penny Arcade.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional references to alcohol, such as a recurring ad for a fake whisky.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade and PC game based on a popular, web comic called Penny Arcade, which is renowned for its sharp, insightful, and often adult-oriented lampooning of video games and the video game industry. Like the comic, the game is loaded with mature humor, much of which involves coarse language and intense violence. Among the many images in the game not suitable for children's eyes: Robots peeing acid; players shooting bloody holes in evil mimes; vicious hobos being burned down to their skeletons by Molotov cocktails. Don't let the lavish cartoon presentation fool you; it's not a game meant for little ones. Parents would do well to ensure their Xbox 360's parental controls are set to block M-rated games (this is the first Mature title to be released through Microsoft's online service), otherwise kids will be able to download the free trial version of Penny Arcade without their knowledge.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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