Quest for Infamy is a part tribute, part send-up of the Quest for Glory series. In case you didn’t play them originally, Quest for Glory was an iconic RPG/point-and-click hybrid, beloved by many gamers back in the day. Quest for Infamy is a faithful homage to the series, with a twist: you play as Roehm, a funny, sharp anti-hero, giving you the chance to revel in being bad.
Quest for Infamy Review: An Expansive Game with Some Crucial Issues
Title: Quest for Infamy
Developer: Infamous Quests
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre: RPG, point-and-click
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Steam, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5
Release Date: 4th March 2022
The first thing you should know about Quest for Infamy is this: it’s silly. And that, in my opinion, is a very good thing. I love serious, epic games with a rollercoaster story and emotional depth. But I also like silliness, and Quest for Infamy has the kind of self-aware humor that I really enjoy. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and there were many moments that made me smile.
It’s also silly for another (perhaps unintentional) reason: some of the voice acting is absolutely terrible. I had to turn the sound down eventually, so jaw-droppingly bad were the accents. I’m not entirely convinced that this isn’t on purpose.
However, the actor playing Roehm did a good job, which is helpful given that his is the voice you’ll hear the most.
The writing is good, and I enjoyed the moments where the narrator spoke directly to me, as the player. Roehm’s total lack of regard for rules or power structures meant I could choose to be pretty devious, and I really enjoyed the fact that you get to play an unashamed anti-hero. It’s worth talking to all the locals, too (although you might have to turn the sound down again).
A Surprisingly Expansive Game
The game is set in the Kingdom of Lonaria, lovingly rendered in detailed pixel art. I’m fairly obsessed with point-and-click pixel art, and I enjoyed exploring Lonaria. It’s packed with small details, and with over 200 rooms, there’s plenty to look at.
It feels authentic, a loving tribute not just to the Quest for Glory series, but other games of that era. If you played any of the Sierra games back in the day, you could spend many happy hours getting lost in Lonaria.
As the game progresses, and you explore more of the kingdom, you’ll begin to see the consequences of your choices. Right at the start, you’ll have the chance to pick one of three paths: brigand, rogue, or sorcerer. These paths will have a huge impact on your experience and will open up different quests and interactions with characters.
NPCs will know of your exploits before you arrive, which is pretty cool. Despite the silliness, there’s a rich world to explore here, and it really feels as though your actions are making a difference.
The downside of this retro nostalgia was (at least for me) the pretty archaic representation of women. While it’s meant to be silly and tongue-in-cheek, the fact that almost every woman had their boobs out is just not necessary. At best, this depiction of women made me roll my eyes. At worst, it made me want to put away my Switch and call it a day. It feels seedy, a grimy reminder of the way I used to feel when I was a young girl trying to get into gaming, which is out of step with the otherwise sharp humour. Frankly, we should have left the pixelated cleavage back in the ‘90s where it belongs.
The puzzles are quirky enough to bring back memories of old point-and-clicks, like Broken Sword, while being logical enough to keep you from going crazy (although there were a couple of frustrating moments along the way). It’s packed with interesting side characters and environments to explore, and you can level up your skills as you go (for example, attempting to scale a wall multiple times will increase your ‘climbing’ skill, meaning you’ll be more likely to actually make it across).
One downside is the combat – I didn’t find it to be enjoyable at all (and having accidentally stumbled onto the Brigand pathway, there’s a lot of combat involved). If you hesitate, your enemies will go ahead and attack you anyway, and I didn’t find the controls to be intuitive enough to respond quickly. Ultimately, I found myself trying to avoid fights where I could.
This brings me down to another problem. The controls (on the Switch) are not at all straightforward. It took me a long time to get used to which button opened which menu, and sometimes Roehm, true to his character, rebelled against me by outright refusing to go where I wanted him to.
Having said that, I could see why you could get lost in this game: once you’ve settled in, it does get easier. You should just expect a bit of a learning curve if you’re picking it up on the Switch.
My Final Thoughts on Quest for Infamy
I found this one difficult to score. It has so much potential, it’s expansive, and it’s fun. I loved the silliness, I loved the pixel art, and I loved exploring Lonaria.
On the other hand, the terrible voice acting, the eyebrow-raising portrayal of women, and general issues around navigation and controls on the Switch made me enjoy this game less than I had expected. I found those three problems difficult to overlook, which is what made me settle on the final score.
Having said that, if you played the original Sierra games back in the day, you’re probably going to love it.
LWOGaming – The Final Verdict
** Code provided by Ratalaika Games **
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