Point-and-click games just don’t come along as often as they used to. I still remember the golden era of LucasArts games, where you could literally pick from a handful of adventures that tested your mettle, and maybe a little bit of your funny bone.
Fortunately, the developers of Cyanide and Happiness: Freakpocalypse remembers these days, and have fashioned their game to play out with a bit of point-and-click goodness, while also retaining the rude, hilarious humor that we’ve come to expect from the out-of-control comics. The end result is a game that’s a bit on the short-but-sweet side, one that’s more notable about the journey than the destination. But if you’re a fan of Cyanide and Happiness, that’s sure to be your speed.
In the game, you portray a bullied kid that simply wants to make something of himself before he graduates as a nobody. The game follows his misadventures over the course of the day, where things get a little too out of control for their own good. Fortunately, the writing never strays too far from the weirdness we’ve come to expect from Cyanide, so we’re in good hands.
Keep in mind that Freakpocalypse is the start of a trilogy, so you won’t quite get the full tale here. In fact, you’ll probably just experience about five to seven hours of gameplay depending on your choices, which is a bit tight considering the game’s $20 price tag. But there’s lots of moments that make the trip worthwhile, along with gameplay that’s relatively easy to get into.
Now, let me just give you a heads up. If you’re unfamiliar with Cyanide and Happiness, this might not be the game for you. That’s because it revels in rudeness. Like, the main star, Cooper, goes through the type of humiliation that would infuriate us in real life to no end. To the point of maybe punching someone. But that’s the attitude that the series has always gone with, so if you’re familiar with its approach, you won’t mind it so much.
That said, the humor that’s on display in Freakpocalypse isn’t bad. There’s a lot of good jokes here, even if you might wince at one or two of them, and they all tie in rather well with the story, leaving you eager to see what the next adventure in the saga may add.
The gameplay itself isn’t really that challenging, as you can solve some of the game’s puzzles with ease and get around without much effort. But the focus here is on the story and the characters, as crude as everything is, which explains why it’s more for the fans. But the devs did a great job nailing down the format.
What really shines in this Cyanide and Happiness game, however, is the presentation. The visuals are exceptionally well done, coming across like an animated show based on the cartoon, right down to the stiff character movements and some interestingly designed scenarios. What’s more, the voice work is excellent; and the sound effects really fit the bill in terms of Freakpocalypse’s tone. Just don’t expect this pill to be swallowed so easily. It is Cyanide and Happiness, after all.
Really, you’ll get more mileage out of the game if you’re a fan of the series. Freakpocalypse makes it clear from the start that it’s not for everyone, and some may not even see it through to its end depending on how much you can stomach. But the development team stayed loyal to the comic’s material, and there are some good moments – and laughs – to take in here if you can weather the storm. Plus, honestly, we have to support point-and-click games as much as we can if we want to see them make a comeback. Even if we have to put up with a Freakpocalypse to get there.