• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

Attempts to milk comedy from ultracompressed storytelling, doesn't quite succeed.

It's hard to fault an RPGMaker game for being short. Considering the sheer amount of work it would take for a single person to put together a commercial length game, freeware RPG makers tend to focus on stories which can be resolved in a shorter period. Adventure Academy, on the other hand, takes the route of a typical RPG storyline, wherein some inexperienced youngsters work their way up the ladder to hardened adventurers, overcome some great threat, and become heroes, and crunches it down into about two hours, then points at it and laughs.

The aim of the game appears to be to fill the gaps left by removing most of what one would normally play a roleplaying adventure for- immersion in a high-stakes story, exploration, character development and such- with rapidfire comedy. Unfortunately, the comedy is rather too rapid for its own good. There is no buildup for practically anything in the game, including the humor.

The comedy in Adventure Academy is entirely gag-based, and can be separated, with almost no remainder, into three types:
*Signature character gags. Eric is hyper and wants to be a ninja or a samurai, Old Man is a crusty pervert who likes ogling younger women and getting massages, etc.
*Riffs on how generic or truncated the game's content is. Most of the cast members don't have names, just epithets like "Old Man" and "Famous Mage" and "Bookworm Boy," and characters occasionally poke fun at how the game draws directly from stock fantasy RPG tropes.
* Non-sequitur reference gags.
Nobody is given any characterization beyond their own extremely small sets of signature gags, so once you've been introduced to every character, you've seen the jokes they'll continue to harp on for the rest of the game.

The game contains elements which might have been genuinely engaging if they had received more investment. For instance, as the main characters raise their stats in the course of training to attain their character classes, the player is treated to occasional vignettes which illustrate the growth of their abilities. Unfortunately, these vignettes are themselves so minimalistic that they most just reduce to repetitions of the same basic character gags, or casual encounters lasting a matter of seconds illustrating the point that "this character is now strong," or "this character is now fast." The opportunity to raise affection values between characters in the game (which influences events in the epilogue,) also has a lot of potential for appeal. The ability to manipulate relationships between characters is a game element that I'm usually tremendously fond of. But since none of the characters have any characterization beyond their stock gags, I'm left puzzling over what any of them might actually like about each other, or why the player might prefer one to another.

The graphics are cohesive and consistent, and the gameplay is straightforward and serviceable, but since there are so few locations to visit, and so few challenges to face, neither is really developed for any significant purpose. The game simply hands the player everything they need to overcome the adversity the main characters face without any significant expenditure of thought or effort, making the main characters' rise to competence only slightly more satisfying than if they had been equipped with Get-Stronger Devices which automatically leveled them up from callow youths to mighty heroes with the push of a button.

All in all, while Adventure Academy has elements that might have been highly entertaining if they had been developed to a greater extent, by trying to draw its appeal almost entirely from elements which have no buildup at all, it exhausts most of its potential before the end of even its very short run.


Pages: 1
You had me at non sequiturs. I will forever hate Family Guy for cementing non sequiturs as the go-to comedy bit over irony.
Pages: 1