The A.Typical RPG is one of those games that has buckets of charm and wit. It has a visual style lifted straight from the cartoons of nineties childhoods, the sort of style that’s lovably rough around the edges, mixed with a lot of Scott Pilgrim inspiration that’s about as subtle as a brick to the face.
You play a pink-haired hero trying to make his way through the trials of teenage life inbetween some genuinely witty, if a little depressing dialogue, and social minigames used to increase your standing in the town and with other characters. Sadly the majority of the activities are either an exercise in tedium or simply poorly designed, as the very first level in the game, a football match against some bullies, immediately illustrates. The instructions are vague, movement seems to be a fairly arbitrary process, and winning isn’t nearly satisfying enough to justify working through the hit-and-miss level. This seems to run throughout the game, which really cripples the charm it has in spades.
It never seems quite clear when you’ve achieved a goal or where you have to go next, so you end up aimlessly wandering around the maps hoping to trigger some new dialogue and find out what’s going on in the storyline. As you wander the limited soundtrack begins to jar (they didn’t even have the decency to make it 8-bit!) and the clever jabs other characters make at the laziness or lack of funding on the programmer’s part becomes depressing instead of amusing. It’s a game that screams for more time and effort, but for all its charm, just ends up being vague. It’s not even disappointing, but it could have been a real niche hit, had the developer made social interaction and general gameplay a more rewarding experience. Instead, you go from one map to the other, following your friend Pat, blundering though a weird conversation system that is obsessed with just mindlessly agreeing with everyone you meet, and minigames that just don’t seem to have much consequence or even reaction in the game world. There’s no combat to speak of, and a lot of missed opportunities for fun and simple minigames themed on college life.
The game looks great and will surely invoke some fond nostalgia for the days where this kind of game was commonplace on the internet during the dawn of Flash, but gameplay-wise some unforgivable corners have been cut that makes it quite a neutral experience overall. I wasn’t struck by crushing disappointment, but neither was I particularly thrilled past admiring the quirky visuals. It’s biggest crime is poor minigame design. For a game that decided to revolve around sporadically small tasks and conversing with other students, both aspects of the game feel like something thought up in the space of five minutes and coded into the game in even less time. Yeah, it’s quirky, but the game itself is badly designed and doesn’t do much to impress. It hardly leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but there isn’t much point in playing it past enjoying some cute cartoon graphics and misanthropic dialogue.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.