The Penny Arcade games were, perhaps, not all of the good in the world in one place. But there’s some rather splendid news afoot. What had clearly been abandoned is to return, but now in the hands of the rather brilliant Zeboyd Games. They who made the utterly fab Cthulhu Saves The World. They’ve been put in charge of the ever-hideously named Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness, episodes 3 and 4.
Pastiching RPGs is always a risky business, mostly because you’ve got to be at least as good as the RPGs you’re mocking. Hothead frankly didn’t manage this. (Their oddly high Metacritic rankings come from a combination of very few reviews mostly from niche sites, and reviews that say, “The game isn’t very good. But I love Penny Arcade! 80%.” [Looks around proudly at his industry].) Mediocre at best, they were something for fans of the web comic who can’t get enough of those crazy guys saying “fuck” and looking to camera.
But today’s news bodes well, timed to coincide with this weekend’s Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East. Zeboyd have already demonstrated a calibre for sending up RPG tropes, while generating a very playable RPG, and they intend to do similar here. So characters Tycho and Jonathan continue attempting to save the land of New Arcadia, this time from an “unspeakable evil”. And it looks like it’s leaning more toward Zeboyd’s style, which should mean greater emphasis on the RPG. The art style will still match Mike Krahulik’s designs, but be in Zeboyd’s retro pixel happy place, and Holkins is working with the two developers on the script.
It’s coming out on PC, Mac and phones in “the coming months”, which is a touch vague, but more details are promised soon. There are a ton of screenshots over at the series’ new official site, and a trailer is promised soon.