Platform: iOS, Android
Release date: April 10, 2014
Developer: TinyCo, Inc.
How’s this for a premise? Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff allows you to rebuild and design the town of Quahog after Peter Griffin accidentally destroys it in a fight with his nemesis, Ernie, aka the Giant Chicken. Progressing through the game unlocks more Family Guy characters, which you can level up and perform different activities with, growing your town and visiting other friends in the Family Guy multiverse.
The Quest for Stuff is a prime example of the tepid nature of the ‘freemium’ game. For those of you unfamiliar with that particular structure, it involves copious amounts of waiting – unless you’re willing to purchase the in-game currency, hence the ‘Pay2Win’ tag often associated with said games.
It’s easy to consider the entirety of the Clash of Clans/Hay Day wait-till-you-drop bracket of apps as the single most horrific thing to happen to gaming in the iPod generation. If you’re the kind who doesn’t have the patience to play for five minutes every few hours – or the money to skip waiting – forget The Quest for Stuff now.
The game is incredibly similar to The Simpsons: Tapped Out (making it worth checking out Nouse’s earlier review). This effort draws inspiration from Tapped Out’s signature, self-aware satire and witty dialogue, with the devastatingly dark humour that fans of the Family Guy franchise will be familiar with. In fact, die-hard fans of the series may find plenty of joy in the game’s countless references to the television series – some more obscure than others, with characters from deep in the show’s history making appearances.
It’s hard to fault the game’s sterling graphics, although the interface fails to offer anything new, instead replicating Tapped Out yet again. A large part of the two star rating is down to The Quest for Stuff failing to really break any new ground, in what proved as a slightly disappointing product from TinyCo.
However, the game’s dialogue and continuous, no-holds-barred comedy does provide relief – if you have the stomach for it! (Sensitive types steer well clear of this one). The title felt a little bit of a let-down by the lack of actual speech – much of the game’s text just appears in speech bubbles, which can hurt the funny factor in characters’ trademark delivery of lines.
All-in-all, this is not a game for the faint of heart, light of wallet, or short of time – as with most freemium games. Playing is a real commitment and lacking the patience required can certainly prove detrimental to the experience. For those of you who are real Family Guy fans, however, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a must-have. The creative joy of controlling the characters through the rebuilding of Quahog is enhanced massively by your connection with the series. If only the game wasn’t so reliant on it, it would be a lot easier to enjoy shaping a world you might be unfamiliar with.
In short – if you’re loaded, or rich on time or Family Guy knowledge, give The Quest for Stuff a try. If casual freemium games are your thing, it’s worth a go. If none of the above applies to you, chances are you’ll be left feeling a little empty.