Do the names Tycho Brahe and Gabriel ring a bell? If your first thought is for Danish scientists or biblical angels, you should probably just walk away from this review right now. And if you're offended by colorful language or potty humor, run - don't walk. Those of you who immediately thought of Penny Arcade's main characters probably don't need to read this review either, as it seems likely you've already made a purchase decision. For the rest of you, perhaps the best place to start is by heading over to the Penny Arcade archives and do some "research".
Anyone can critique games - after all, we're doing it - but it takes a lot more time and energy to try to create them. Long-time webcomic and pseudo-review site Penny Arcade has stepped out of the shadows and into the dark waters of game design. Joining with the people at Hothead Games, we were more than just a little curious to see what sort of offspring would result from this demonic union…. (We mean that in a good way - not all demons have to be bad, after all!)
Those of you familiar with the Penny Arcade webcomic are probably interested in knowing whether the game actually captures the spirit of PA. The setting is a new steampunk world with Lovecraftian trimmings called New Arcadia, so you won't find yourself among Twisp and Catsby or the Cardboard Tube Samurai. What you will find are Gabe and Tycho along with a few supporting characters, and plenty of snide comments, jokes, and an interesting blend of adventure/RPG/comic storytelling.
Many of us are fans of the Penny Arcade comics, and Mike "Gabe" Krahulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins have done an excellent job of posting satire, sarcasm, and invective directed at various segments of the gaming community over the years. We were more than a little curious to see what they would bring to the table when it came time for them to make their own game. The result defies easy classification; whether you'll like it or not will at least partly depend on how much you enjoy crude and vulgar humor.
Besides looking at the game itself, we also want to examine the hardware and technical side of things. This isn't a game that will push the limits of computer technology - far from it, in fact - but there are still some interesting developments… one might even say Startling Developments… that warrant discussion.