By: Jeff Cater
Blasting off from a recent Kickstarter campaign, Her Majesty’s Spiffing is a wonderful adventure about Captian Frank E. Lee and his blunt sidekick Aled. Their mission? To claim that dirty old rock in the distance in the name of the Queen!
HM Spiffing plays like a point-and-click adventure, except you are moving the character to each designated item you’d like to interact with. The controls are extremely easy to work with, as the X button pretty much governs most, if not all, of the actions and decision making in the game. Walk up to an item, hold X, and a menu will pop up with four choices that you can select from via the left stick.
You can often pick up interactive objects to save for later and combine together. Taking the time to examine an item is often crucial to finding the solution to a particularly vague puzzle, but once you do the concept is somewhat ingrained into you and later sequences will reward your vigilance.
You may thumb through your inventory with the directional pad and easily combine items together without ever leaving the main game screen, which is a wonderful way to keep you in the puzzle solving mood.
By the way, I hope you’re in the puzzle solving mood, because this is a classic adventure puzzle game. How will you get the disk out of the drive when it’s stuck? Good lord, not only is there a cat on board this ship, but will no one even empty the litter box?
These questions and many more like it are ones that you’ll find answers to in this journey, as the game definitely doesn’t take itself seriously at all. It even pokes fun at the fact that the project could’ve made a bit more Kickstarter money by tossing in references to buttons and tools that literally do nothing but act as delivery devices for jokes. For instance, there’s even a BREXIT button that Captain Lee remarks, “Never again” when examined.
The only true demerit to the game I can come up with is that it’s incredibly short and can easily be knocked out in about two hours, maybe a few more if the puzzles give you trouble. The humor is sharp and often laugh-out-loud funny, though, which not a lot of games can truly pull off.
Humor and challenge of the puzzles are carried out nicely by some surprising visual flair. The lip syncing is very well done, faces are appropriately expressive (even Captain Frank’s blank stare), and the details and effects used around the ship are quite impressive. Voice work is superb throughout, too, and everyone sounds like they enjoyed the role and had a great time working on it.
My only complaint about Her Majesty’s Spiffing is its length, which is the only thing that might depress sales. Otherwise this is a seriously funny, quality adventure that has plenty of jokes, great interactions, quirky puzzles and overall charm.