Side Quest is a 2-D side scrolling MMO in development by Fractal Entertainment. Currently, chapter one is in open Alpha and playing it helps you get a feel for the world, the graphics and the humor in the game. Browser based with paper doll characters, my first look at it reminded me of Adventure Quest which began as a single player game and spawned an MMO, Adventure Quest Worlds.
The humor is reminiscent of Leisure Suit Larry with sexual innuendoes left and right. What was totally unexpected was the rape joke in the opening sequences – so here’s a trigger warning for potential players who may be affected. It’s not an optional quest, it’s in the opening sequences and thus unavoidable. That said, the remaining jokes I encountered in my several days of playing are unexceptional and some were rather humorous.
You are provided five characters, each with two flavors that you will eventually unlock as you play through the game. The busty, giggly pink-haired girl in a pseudo nurse’s outfit and overly large boobs that bounces as she walks – yes, that bit of the paper doll moves separately. The warrior with the mucking big sword, the archer, the erudite wizard in a robe that analyzes every situation, and the knight – who is also female but armored. In fact, the only armored character.
There is quite a bit of customization planned with your choice of characters, upgrades, party formation and such. Currently, you enter combat with three characters and whom you select as leader determines the characters in your party. There’s enough currency to unlock two other characters and whomever you pick as leader will get the points for skill-ups but won’t appear in the party. Just for kicks, I selected our busty healer “Ooh! Pick Me! Pick Me !” as leader and got the Warrior, Knight and Wizard as my party. Selecting the Knight gave me the Warrior, Healer and Wizard.
This is Alpha – so you get a taste of combat in the opening sequences with hotbar controllable skills, but after that, combat is automatic. You enter the instance with your characters arranged in the formation you selected, and they start marching across the screen. When they encounter enemies, they enter combat. The only input from the player at this time are the use of potions, items and mousing over and clicking loot / items to pick them up. Locked chests take more clicks. As drops happen when enemies fall, you have to be paying attention to pick it up as your characters continue their relentless march forward. No lollygagging for you! Healing takes place after each quest by entering your house where your storage also resides, aptly named Heroes Respite. In case you are not sure what to do, a “Heal!” graphic pops up over the house icon on your toolbar.
PvP is found in an arena where you select an opponent from a list offered to you. The number of gamers affects the matches available as sometimes, there were none my levels. However, win or lose, you gain some rewards which can be traded in for PvP equipment.
You also get a taste of all the other features that is being worked on; upgrading equipment at the forge and the marketplace/auction house. I can also imagine that your Heroes Respite will be customizable in the future. Each feature unlocks as you level up and quests are often replayable for more coin, loot and xp, so don’t think that all it is, is a series of quests with boring, automated combat. The game is in Alpha after all, and Devs are squashing bugs with all their might and power. At this time, it is also a single player game with a simple PvP matching feature.
Side Quest can be found at www.side-quest.com – and if you enjoy being able to influence the development of games with feedback, come on in. Development is going a little slow right now due to a failed Kickstarter project, but it is still moving along. It is an amusing little game that gives us a peek at what else is to come.