DLC Quest Review


  • Developer: Going Loud Studios
  • Publisher: Going Loud Studios
  • Release Date: 18 March 2013
  • Time played: 2.4 hours

I vaguely remember DLC Quest when it was listed on Steam's Greenlight page. Steam uses Greenlight to determine which games to sell next based on user votes. The more popular the game is, the more likely it will be released onto Steam. DLC Quest was one of those games I just had to see on Steam and consequently I made sure my vote counted - and count it did as you're now able to buy the game on Steam for as little as $2.99 USD (and when I say "now", I mean since March last year - damn that backlog). I like humourous games; ever since playing old Lucasarts adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island I've always had a soft spot for games where its premise was just to be funny since as we all know, laughter is the best medicine. DLC Quest promised to be one of those games but is it really that funny? Also, how does the gameplay hold up?

Plot (5/5)
This game is a satire so its plot is the same plot you get in many video games. DLC Quest is even nice enough to point it out to you in the very short intro sequence. In the first game/episode, you play the role of a guy who is aptly named "Player" and witnesses as his girlfriend is abducted by a villain. This, as the game points out, results in Player's "motivation" to go on his epic quest to save his girlfriend. The second game/episode called Live Freemium or Die! isn't that much better and involves you saving a village from an unknown menace. So the plot itself isn't anything that's terribly good but where the game truly shines is with respect to its humour.

DLC Quest is a satire of the video games industry, especially its love affair in recent years with Downloadable Content (DLC). Many of the game's jokes revolves around the obscene amount of DLC you have to acquire in order to progress through a game - some of the DLC is even based off real life ones (albeit sometimes in an exaggerated form). The fact that you're limited in the game by what you can do without the need of DLC is part of the joke, but it seems even funnier when you're actually experiencing the limitations which is what DLC Quest achieves. The game also has a lot of in-jokes, memes and references to other popular franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Diablo, Battlefield and even Plants vs Zombies. Consequently, I picture someone who has an eclectic taste in games will probably get the most out of playing this game, since many of the jokes will go over your head if you're the sort to just play Minesweeper and nothing else (but then you'd probably not be reading this blog either :)).

Gameplay (2/5)
Gameplay is very primitive in this game - it's a basic platformer. Player is able to jump onto platforms whilst avoiding obstacles such as spike pits and later on gets the ability to jump off walls. He can also attack things with a sword/pickaxe or use them to clear foliage in order to access new areas. Many obstacles in the game can be overcome by purchasing the right DLC from an in-game vendor, but don't worry, you don't need to pay real money - you instead use the coins you collect in the game that are dotted around the level, Mario style.

Consequently, there's not much I can recommend here in terms of the gameplay, except the game is very clever (and humourous) when it comes to the timing of new DLC notifications. Whenever you come across a new obstacle there always seems to be a new DLC pack you can get access to in the near future. Sometimes finding the obstacle triggers the DLC pack to unlock; other times you have to actually search for it. Consequently, the bulk of the game isn't really challenging (which is probably part of the satire) the only real challenge to be had is if you're attempting to unlock all achievements such as collecting all the coins in the game.

Gotta love Day 1 DLC

Sound (5/5)
The game contains basic 8-bit era sound effects but you'd expect that from a retro-styled platformer. There's also no voice acting which is again to be expected from a retro indie game (and it doesn't really suffer from not having any).

Music (3/5)
Music is your typical 8-bit NES era fare that you'd expect from a retro indie platformer. Nothing memorable about it but it suits the game.

Graphics (2/5)
The game adopts a simple, retro style to the graphics similar to platformers of the 80s (but at least it has more colours).

Replay (2/5)
Most achievements in the game are easily attainable but there are a few that would probably benefit from replaying the game. While I enjoyed the game, it's unlikely I'll return to playing it for awhile. Also, even though the game actually consists of two games or episodes (DLC Quest and Live Freemium or Die) it will only take you a bit over two hours to complete both of them.

Polish (5/5)
I didn't encounter any serious bugs while playing this game, well except the parodies of notorious ones from other games...

Score – 6/10

As an actual game, the game is probably deserving of the score shown: the game is a very basic platformer where you use coins to ultimately open up new sections of the game. When you put it this way, it sounds rather dull and uninspired. Where this game really shines though is in the delivery of its humour; by limiting basic game functionality it provides a scathing yet light-hearted commentary on the direction the game industry is heading. Add some in-jokes and references to popular game franchises, and you've got a game that makes it impossible not to laugh. It's also only 3 bucks so if you're an avid gamer that keeps up with what's going on in the industry, it's worth it for the LOLs.

DLC Quest is available from these retailers:

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[ LINK: Official DLC Quest website ]