PC Review: Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People – Episode 2: Strong Badia The Free

Strong Bad gets his vengeance on the King of Town for his email tax in this hilarious second episode

Homestar Ruiner had you play as Strong Bad for the first time as he singlehandedly ruined the life of Homestar Runner, but had to make amends so he could get his house back, it was a great introduction into the universe of this series and was overall a really funny game. The second episode begins with Strong Bad checking his emails when he gets one saying “What’s the dumbest law the King of Town has passed?”, Strong Bad begins to reply but is busted by the man himself for avoidance of his new email tax, the penalty…house arrest.

After breaking out, he declares that Strong Badia (which we saw in Episode One as a wooden walkway with a tyre and a sign) is now its own independent nation. His friends all scatter and do the same, so everyone has their own country. Of course, this doesn’t get Strong Bad any closer to casting out the King of Town, so the goal becomes clear…take over each country and then proceed for the castle. It’s hilarious since most of these countries consist of one person; it’s just a case of convincing them to join the Strong Badia cause.

I won’t tell you how to do it, but you’ll have a blast figuring it out as I did. The puzzles are a bit tougher this time, but it’s still fairly easy. There have been some minor gameplay improvements also, the metal detector from Homestar Ruiner now has a shovel attachment…so when it starts beeping rapidly, Strong Bad will just break out his shovel and begin to dig. Strong Badia The Free also lets you get more acquainted with Homsar, a floating character who you heard on the mobile phone in Homestar Ruiner…he speaks random gibberish, but you finally begin to understand him…briefly, there’s a funny moment where they are talking and Strong Sad is just so confused, and who can blame him when they are blurting out stuff like “I’m a song from the 60s!”

There are some differences between the PC and WiiWare versions of the game, these are:

  • On PC, the game will “remember” which costume items you unlocked in episode 1, and these will be displayed in the photo booth in episode 2. On WiiWare, all costume items from episode 1 will be unlocked in episode 2, regardless of whether you played the first episode.
  • On WiiWare, Math Kickers is controlled by turning the Wii remote sideways. On PC, the mini-game is keyboard controlled.
  • On WiiWare, Strong Bad can send emails and pictures taken using the in-game camera to Wii friends using his trusty Lappy 486 computer. The ability to send emails is not available on the PC (but you are still able to take pictures).

    Strong Badia the Free also has things to hunt down, there’s a hidden “Teen Girl Squad” and the manual for Math Kickers, the new arcade game in Strong Bad’s house. As you’d expect there’s plenty of costumes and items to find, but it’ll only extend the gameplay by a bit longer. The length of this episode is roughly around the same as the first episode, but it’s a much better one with its side-splitting gags and ways to progress through the game.

    The game runs smoothly enough as it’s designed to work for lesser PCs, but looks great at high resolutions like 1920×1080. It may not exactly push the hardware to Crysis limits, but you wouldn’t expect that of a game like this. Voice-acting is simply incredible and it’s done by such a small group, it’s amazing considering the range of the characters’ voices.

    Towards the end of the game is a chess like mini-game where you must get the King of Town across the board, it’s tricky at first since you don’t really know how to win, but each of the players on the board do have weaknesses, it’s just a case of capitalizing on it and moving past them to reach the goal, to be honest though…it’s probably the only part where I got incredibly stuck.

    The Verdict

    Strong Badia the Free is simply an amazing, well-scripted second episode to the SBCG4AP series. It’s hard to even explain, it’s one of those things you have to try for yourself. I guarantee that you will have a good time; if you don’t then you simply don’t have a sense of humour.