Penny Arcade Adventures Seduces
An intersting observation: the second episode of the endearingly-titled On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Penny Arcade Adventures has just come out and I’ve acquired it, as I did with the first episode. I’m about half way through, and I can see the improvements they’ve made without sacrificing any of the fun of the original. However, the very fact that I have purchased and am playing the game is curious. The game is a phase-time RPG, and a simple one at that. The world is not overly large, the range of items and character development is modest, and the variety of enemies and obstacles is likewise undaunting. Yet the game is so much fun! But what makes me more eager to play PAA than other, similar titles? Why do I choose to purchase this title but ignore Fallout 3? This is not to say I won’t eventually get Fallout 3, or enjoy it when I do. But I jumped to purchase PAA while I am content to wait more or less indefinitely to buy Fallout. Why?
I have been a fan of Penny Arcade and their jokes and antics for some years now, almost as long as the strip has existed. I have watched the creators grow from a couple of jokers with a copy of Photoshop into premiere game critics and the progenitors of now-tremendous PAX and Child’s Play. Is it then a sense of loyalty or familiarity that makes their game so attractive, simple though it is? There is far less opportunity in the game to offer the kind of witty commentary I enjoy about the strip, and while I also appreciate the art style (both in the stip and the game), art alone has never sold me on a game before. Perhaps its my penchant for creative indie product. I’m on the verge of beating Braid (one puzzle piece to go, that last one in world 6) and I’m playing through World of Goo. PAA is a similarly quirky title from an indie developer. Likely this is part of the reason. It is elusive, the reason for this enthusiasm in the face of apathy towards other, more sophisticated titles. I am curious: do others also experience an attachment to games that would not logically seem to warrant such enthusiasm? Do you have a pet favorite that holds some magical drawing power that seems to affect only you?