Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Free Point-and-Click/Direct Controlled Adventure Game - Dangeresque: Episode 1 - Behind the Dangerdesque

Dangeresque: Episode 1 - Behind the Dangerdesque is a graphic adventure game featuring Dangeresque, the alter-ego of Homestar Runner's one-time luchador acquaintance, Strong Bad.

It is an escape-the-room-style adventure where Dangeresque, a crooked cop, has to fake three pieces of evidence in a case file so that the chief will let him leave. To do so, he has to use the objects around the office to fill the missing evidence, and then mark the case solved.

The graphics and sound are designed to invoke the aesthetics of 1990s adventure games from LucasArts and Sierra. They do a good job with this, right down to the low-quality, sporadic voice samples that were included in floppy games in that era.

The only area that is a letdown is the controls. For the most part, it is point-and-click. You use the inventory box in the corner, ala Sam & Max: Hit the Road, choose an item, and use it in the environment. However, sometimes Dangereque says he can't interact with an item unless he is closer to it. This requires the use of the WASD keys for movement. It's clunky, unnecessary, and takes away from the otherwise enjoyable game.

Dangeresque: Episode 1 - Behind the Dangerdesque is a fun free Flash game with graphics, sound, and gameplay that feels lifted right out of the 1990s. It is mostly point-and-click, but the few times you are forced to use the keyboard take you out of the game. Thankfully, these moments are few and far between.

Flash may be dead, but the game can still be played using the Flash Windows executable. It will also be available to play online again someday when the Flash replacement Ruffle supports Actionscript 3.

Update April 17, 2024:

Ruffle now runs the Flash version of the game just fine and the Homestar Runner website allows it to be playable within web browsers. It's no muss, no fuss, just like the olden times.

Even better though, is the Steam version which includes two more roomisodes. The paid version of episode one has full voice acting and you no longer have to use W, A, S, and D at weird times to get to certain places. It's now a true point-and-click adventure in Unity.

The paid version is well worth the price, and is now my preferred way to play the game. If you want to stick to the old version, it now works well in Ruffle and is just as enjoyable as it always was.

Final Verdict:
3 out of 5

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