General Horse and the Package of Doom is a game coming soon to Steam that I am super excited for. I am seriously expecting myself to be talking about this game for months among friends and colleagues, if it delivers on the promises the developers are making in this insane trailer.
Croatian based game developer Studio Spektar seem to be making a name for themselves in the indie adventure scene with a unique sense of humor that toes the line between bizarre and rude. First they earned my seal of approval over at IndieGamerTeam with their cartoonish “Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure“, and now have piqued my interest with the recently posted trailer for their next game, General Horse and the Package of Doom.
The trailer embedded above shows us that General Horse is a 90s styled FMV adventure game. But after watching through the scenes a few times, I now understand that the game is intended to be an Oregon Trail styled experience, complete with resource management and some roleplaying elements.
I worry that a lot of people will dismiss General Horse and the Package of Doom because the props and scenery look like they were quickly assembled from random junk laying around the house. The thing to remember is Viktor Steampunk Adventure also had a simple art design, one reminiscent of a cheaply made animation series for young children. But here’s the thing – it managed to be both consistent in style and keep surprising me as I played through it. So maybe they know what they’re doing?
While the trailer comes off as an abrasively silly homemade video, I am excited to see just how well Studio Spektar pull off their sense of humor in this sci-fi roadtrip adventure. The devs will be launching an IndieGoGo within the week that interested readers can look out for on this page or through Studio Spektar’s Twitter.
Update: Studio Spektar has launched their IndieGoGo for General Horse and the Package of Doom on this page. They are attempting to raise $3000 USD within the next month to help fund their game development.
Sam Adonis is a writer who feels very passionately about point and click adventures and Teddy Roosevelt. He’d love to hear your thoughts on this article on Twitter!
Originally posted to IndieGamerTeam.com in July 2017
Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure is a deceptively emotionally complex adventure game. It introduces itself as a story about a boar named Viktor, who after years of service to the Austria-Hungarian Empire, has grown tired of being a poor nobody. Viktor is a nasty little boar of a person who kicks and screams at everyone who makes him unhappy in his life. Viktor is convinced that with his experience as a peasant, he has the know-how to become Emperor, and sets out to take the throne after the game’s short introductory cutscene.
While the art style mimics the look of a cheap children’s cartoon, the subject matter of the game is tricky to label. After all, having your main character introduce the setting of the game as a world where “all stereotypes are true” is an awfully bold claim. (Editor’s Note: Oh, this is gonna end well…) This is a game attempting to balance racist jokes with insight, something we don’t see in most media these days. While playing the game, it often felt like we weren’t seeing the developer mocking minorities, but instead they were poking fun at their and Viktor’s small world views.
As the game progresses, we meet a wonderfully bizarre cast of caricatures based on real world cultures and famous writers of the early 1900s. Each character is voiced in a Banjo-Kazooie style where real voice actors record imitations of noises or accents with no audible words being said. The amount of work Studio Spektar put into the huge list of ridiculous characters is impressive, especially for such a small studio. Just after the tutorial we’re introduced to the following cast of characters:
A kilt wearing “Jewish Scotsman” dog who alternates each sentence between using a Hebrew term or Scottish accent
A toga wearing, deeply philosophical, alcoholic Greek frog
A turban wearing Indian rhino who knows even more about poverty than Viktor
A Japanese rabbit girl riding a mech, who adds overly complicated emoticons to every sentence
These are just a few examples of all the characters you encounter in the game. There is a long list of unique people that will abuse or manipulate Viktor through a number of varied locations. I’m sure a lot of people would call this game ignorant or even hateful in its mockery of cultures. Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure is a game that is so thoroughly filled with heart, jokes, and detail that I don’t think it’s fair to make a quick judgement to dismiss it or its creators.
Aside from the details of the writing, Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure is quite a strong adventure game. Puzzle rooms are small and brisk to work through, and with most puzzles offering a good challenge. There is even a hint system, where Viktor calls his buddy Martin – an owl smoking a hookah pipe in the bath who claims to be psychic. Viktor will have the choice to ask about specific obstacles in the game, and Martin will respond with a joke or some advice that the player usually can make sense of to solve the immediate puzzles.
That said, I did run into an issue with one ridiculously complex puzzle that had me stuck for quite a while. I definitely recommend keeping a guide handy, but truthfully, I say that about every adventure game. I definitely recommend fans of the adventure genre to give Viktor, a Steampunk Adventure a playthrough. With its unique art style, wide range of characters, and some damn funny writing, this might be one of my favorite adventure games in a long while.