Developer: Going Loud Studios
Publisher: Going Loud Studios
Release Date: March 18, 2013
ESRB: N/A (E suggested)
This review is based on the PC version of the game
If you“ve heard of DLC Quest before then it may be because the game initially hit the Xbox 360 back in 2011. At that time it even managed to win the Official Xbox Magazine“s award for Xbox Live Indie Game of the Year. More recently, the game took up a spot on Steam Greenlight where it charmed users and got voted through. Now that it“s out on Steam, PC gamers can see whether or not it was worth the wait.
First, it must be explained what this game is and what it is not. In regards to the PC version, there is no actual DLC required to play the game. Despite the name, the original DLC Quest, as well as the sequel, Live Freemium or Die, are included as one pack. The naming of the game is due to what Going Loud Studios was going for with their games - satire of the modern gaming world.
It“s easy to make jokes about gamers, but what of developers and publishers who continue to parcel DLC out to any and all franchises capable of sustaining it? As long as you“ve been playing games in the current generation, then you“re probably well aware of DLC and the sometimes silly nature of it. This is where the inspiration, and much of the content, in DLC Quest comes from. The first of the two games“ main focus is actually this digital content over serious gameplay mechanics.
The original DLC Quest plops you into a 2D cartoony world as a simple hero. At this point, you are informed that your character cannot go left or even jump. All that can be done is to progress right until running into a shopkeeper. What is this guy selling? Of course, it“s the aforementioned DLC of the title. As stated earlier, this is not DLC paid for with real funds, but in game coins only. Regardless, we are ushered into a game world where DLC is depicted as the norm and required for getting much of anything accomplished.
This is certainly a strong message and is handled primarily with humor. It feels less threatening that way! Although the game takes on a simple platforming control scheme, you“re mostly focused on finding as many coins as possible to return and get more DLC. Little interesting gameplay is informed by this design choice, although it“s obvious what the intention in doing so was. It takes around an hour to complete, thanks to a small helping of â€œAwardmentsâ€ to unlock.
Although the original game was actually kind of lacking in compelling play, it did have a neat spark about it. This spark was harnessed and molded into what I feel is a much better game with Live Freemium or Die. In this game, the world is expanded, leaving a much larger map to explore. Thankfully, DLC from the Shopkeeper is different from before, and pokes even more amusingly at game companies. For example, the â€œHD texturesâ€ pack turns the world a shade of brown. Then, of course, are the necessary gameplay features locked away until players collect enough coins.
As there are more areas, the game itself manages to last longer. Granted it still is sub-two hours, but it is an improvement in this regard over the first. Live Freemium or Die then manages to be superior with more dialog, actually engaging platforming, and better hidden secret coin caches. Overall, the quest is more compelling and humorous, although it“s a shame the game couldn“t be even longer. Perhaps at that point the DLC humor would overstay its welcome. After all, no one really wants to be completely beholden to game mechanics for too long.
You might think that a set of games that only lasts a couple hours isn“t worth a purchase, but then one must also consider the price. DLC Quest is on Steam for $3. At that price point, there“s not really much to be expected, so most will probably find their bucks well spent, and if not, there“s little room to complain since the price point is entirely fair. If you are staunchly opposed to DLC or buy into it begrudgingly, then you“ll find DLC Quest to be an enjoyable game.
+ Humorous satire of DLC and free-to-play business models
+ Freemium or Die is a competent platformer
+ Turns video game tropes on their head
- Neither game is much longer than an hour
- DLQ Quest is not particularly exciting to play
Overall Score: 6.5 (out of 10)
DLC Quest delivers a good dose of satire to gamers overrun with DLC but doesn“t quite stand up in the actual gameplay department.