When I caught glimpse of BillyGoat Entertainments up coming Her Majesty’s Spiffing :The Empire Staggers Back, I was intrigued. Loving RPGs and a good space game in general I was pleased as punch to get an opportunity to review this Indie companies new release.
The game’s story itself is a post Brexit satire in which our queen has decided that things have gone to pot [making her possibly the wisest person we know – Ed] and dissolves parliament to invest in a space programme to further the empire on another planet. Obviously…
You play as the aptly named Frank Lee English, you’re accompanied by Aled Jones. (I promise I’m not making this up) and you are in command of the near futuristic space ship HMSS Imperialise. What follows is a series of the sort of silly stereotypes that bring a wry smile as you bumble around some fetch quests to combine silly items from around the ship. I won’t ruin the rest of the griping story that ensues.
The nostalgic gamer in me was reminded of great point and click games such as Discworld and the Monkey Island series. You plod along and listening to one-liners and quips that send up the nationalities of both members of the crew. I was never great at those games as a kid but I enjoyed them all the same. The jokes in the game did become a little worn as I went around trying to work out you did with a rubber glove that was too small for you hand… (message me if you get stuck on that one).
The Run Down
Graphics: 7/10: The version I played was suffering from some very notifiable graphical glitches as I moved around my ship which was quite distracting. But the cartoon style of this game added to the fully intended silliness of the experience. From the slow gait of Frank Lee English to the absurdity of your spacecraft.
Story: 7/10: The story takes you through a completely nonsensical satire on Brexit. It’s not Shakespeare (well there’s plenty of it quoted in the game) but it’s done well to rush this recent news story into a game narrative. The only thing that can get a little stale is that the jokes can become repetitive if you get stuck working out the games ridiculous puzzles.
Sound: 6/10: The pace of the game is slow as you work through the puzzles. The game is mainly a list of European stereotypes and sound bites which did become pretty tiring.
Replayability: 6/10: For the most part I enjoyed this game. The puzzles can be a bit hard to solve because of the silly nature of the story. It’s linear but enjoyable. It doesn’t have much in the way of depth to revisit but I’d be lying if a bit of me didn’t love it for its quick wit to recent events and its silliness.
Satisfaction: 7/10: It’s a good game, not a great game. It has a few bugs to be sorted out and could do with a few extra jokes… but I enjoyed my time with Her Majesty’s Spiffing and it did pass the 6 laugh test. It’s quick release after the British EU referendum makes a charming satire on what some have considered gloomy times.