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Game Info:

Dad Quest
Developed By: Sundae Month
Published By: Excalibur Games
Released: February 23, 2017
Available On: Windows
Genre: Platformer, Comedy, Adventure
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Number of Players: 1
Price: $12.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Excalibur Games for sending us this game!

When I first loaded into Dad Quest, I was greeted to a short cutscene of why children are indestructible and powerful beings who lack guidance. But then everything changed. They brought the Dad into the mix. And now this creature without guidance has been turned into the best thing it can be. Not to mention Dads have strong feet. This is the kind of feel you can expect from this game.

Dad Quest is a basic platformer, and it knows this. But this game succeeds in building an odd, yet hilarious world. Every Dad is not powerful on their own. In this world, Dads use children as their weapons. They throw them at enemies, they bash people with them, they even somehow manage to light people on fire with them. It seems like some genetic editing has caused these little critters to be indestructible weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, as a Dad yourself, you can choose to use your child how you want. You can bash enemies from afar, or get up close and personal to smash them. There are some power-ups you can collect that do things such as make them do more damage, light enemies on fire, or freeze them. It even has some side quests and missions you can choose to complete or leave alone. The platforming section consists of things like double jumping, rolling, climbing on walls, and more usually seen in the genre.

Dad Quest has a simple, yet colorful collection of graphics. For all the pixel haters in the house, this game will not be your cup of tea. Dad Quest looks like a spiritual successor to the SNES and GBA era of graphics, combining big and smooth pixels with colorful, yet not overly powerful palettes. I was also taken by surprise at how fluid the graphics looked. The animation on the characters and enemies are incredibly smooth and well detailed. When it comes to animation quality, the only other pixel art game I've played that matches it is something like Hyper Light Drifter or Kingdom. 

Dad Quest
*Fly away little bird*
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great writing; Nostalgic graphics and music
Weak Points: Slow and sometimes boring gameplay; Somewhat tedious sections; Short amount of playtime
Moral Warnings: One use of blasphemy; References to a "Dad Spirit"

Dad Quest's music also reminds me of an era that refuses to be forgotten. An age when all songs sounded the same because each console only had a few sounds they could make. Violins that sounded digital but not horrible. Synths and bells that were somewhat plucky and hollow, yet could be assembled together to make a full and rich sound. The basses remind me of something out of Earthbound, and the drums out of a SNES game. Although they don't have the same compression these old songs had, they sound very good. The melodies are simplistic and play a sort of backup to this free-spirited adventure game.

Now, here is where I talk about Dad Quest's best feature. Its writing. Dad Quest is not a serious game, and like I said before, it knows this. You can see from its dialogue and writing that it isn't trying to tell a deep story that has a poignant purpose behind it; it's simply trying to have a good time. There is some story though, which I shall now tell you about. All throughout this world are many Dads, just like you. You'll meet many different types of Dads along the way, with unique children and abilities.

All of these Dads are trained by a worldwide company known as "TM." TM has a mission that they give Dads to embark on, known as the Dad Quest. From what I understood, the objective is to become the very best Dad you can be, and obtain the three "Dadges" from the three Super-Dads (not a term used in the game but one I'm just going to use for them). The three Super-Dads are as follows: Mountain Dad, Desert Dad and Cave Dad. Each of these three Dads possess a Dadge. Collect them all and perhaps you'll be showered with endless rewards.

Dad Quest
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 80%
Violence - 5/10
Language - 5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The controls for this game feel simple, polished and fluid, not over-complicated or convoluted. You can choose to use either a keyboard, or a gamepad. I was surprised by how at home the gamepad felt. I actually played through the game until about the end using my keyboard, then had the genius idea of trying it with my Xbox One controller, and it felt great. Now, let's get on to the cons.

Now, I don't have many issues with this game. However, there are a lot of times where I just felt bored. There were some gameplay-only sections between dialogue or meetings, where it wasn't entirely much fun, and just climbing or platforming, no dealing with enemies. I did take some breaks between playing this game, as some days it just didn't keep my interest. The graphics are also alright. They're not spectacular, but they're good. I'm going to give this game a higher score of 7 however, just because of the amazing and fluid animations.

Now morally, there is almost nothing wrong with this game. I've seen no inappropriate character design, no crude language or jokes, and only one use of the word "God" in a blasphemous manner. There was also a couple mentions to a "Dad Spirit" but they didn't explain it very well, so I'm not going to consider it something like the Holy Spirit, but it's something to note. But for one last critique, I must point out this game is very short. I managed to finish this game in about 8 hours, and I took my time doing quests and reading all the dialogue I could. This is an early access game, and only two chapters are currently available, with a third chapter coming soon which should add a bit of content.

So, in closing, Dad Quest is a hilarious and well-written platformer, albeit a bit short and boring sometimes.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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