Game Over: Penny Arcade Episode Four Out Now

Weird place for a statue of... ooooh, I see what they did there.

I haven’t played a Penny Arcade: Otter Spod (thank you, Adam, for opening my eyes to the wonders of this acronym’s pronunciation possibilities) game since the first, rather lukewarm episode by Hothead games, but I’m quite keen to try out the latter half of the series, as Zeboyd are devastatingly handsome kings of comedy. So I guess I have some catching up to do, because Episode Four is officially out today, thus concluding the quadrilogy once and four all. But maybe you’re worried. Does this one have graphics? Sound? Is it even a game at all? I mean, for all we know, it could just be another poorly conceived Kickstarter in a videogame costume. Put your fears to rest with a trailer after the break.

Riboflavin! Spellcheck didn’t underline it when I typed it out, so it must be a real thing. (Curiously, however, it did underline “spellcheck”. But if spellcheck’s not real, then that means… OH GOD WHAT IS REALITY.)

At any rate, Penny Arcade: On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness Episode Four is about things. Specifically, these:

“Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 concludes the saga of Tycho Brahe, Scion of The Long Project, and his almost certainly human partner Jonathan Gabriel. The world has been destroyed, but existence extends beyond this mortal plane in the gruesome Underhell! The new game expands considerably on its predecessor in size, scope and gameplay. Create the ultimate fighting force by recruiting bizarre, occasionally disgusting monsters and teaming them up with the best trainer for the job.”

So it’s kinda like Pokemon, I guess. Maybe? Pokemon had giant statues of a shamelessly suggestive fruit fornicating robot, right? I’m fairly certain I remember that.

You can buy Penny Arcade: Otter’s Pod (nah, the first one was better) Episode Four on Steam right now. Do you think you can you do that? Will you do that?


  1. Ultra Superior says:

    Vomit inducing franchise.

    • Ksempac says:

      The thing is, the franchise has 2 halfs. I haven’t played PAA 1 and 2, but since Zeboyd Games took over it, I’ve played and enjoyed Episode 3. I didn’t care about the confusing story and weird PA’s style humor, but PAA 3 was worth it for the combat gameplay alone.

      Every Zeboyd Games so far have been fun and a study into “how can make a JRPG that doesn’t get stuck in grind and others usual pitfalls ?”. So far every game have seen improvement over the previous one in terms of gameplay / combat system.

      PAA 3 has 4 difficulties settings, and no possibility of grind (number of monsters is fixed and disappear once defeated), so if you like tactical challenges I recommend playing it on Hard or Insane difficulty

      I’m definitely gonna get PAA4 which, again, has a new combat system.

      • Arathain says:

        I played through most of 3 on Hard, which had a pretty well calibrated difficulty .Right at the end, though, there were some fights I didn’t see as being even possible, so I turned it back to Normal. Insane must be accurately named.

        • Ksempac says:

          My first playthrough was on Insane, and although several fights were very hard (had to try them several times, and find new tactics), I did manage to go through it except for 2 boss fights where I had to downgrade it to Hard after repetitively trying and dying (and Hard seemed a piece of cake compared to my usual Insane fights)

          Granted I probably blew way past the average playtime for this game :) Which is fine, as that’s how I like to play games (challenges that make me think, even if it takes long to find solutions). The good thing about all this, is that I know that 1- grind is not the solution 2- Robert Boyd always playtest the Insane playthough, so I know it’s doable, it’s only up to me to find out how. But of course, you’re welcome to play it differently if that’s not your style.

  2. RavenValor95 says:

    Unfortunately it’s nothing like pokemon, it’s just regular adding members to your party as you progress through the story.

    So it’s about monster collecting as much as Final Fantasy is about collecting humans.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Final Fantasy kind of is about collecting humans though…

      • RedViv says:

        And Moogles. And Yeti. And weird slurpy frog things. And…

        • Spengbab says:

          Giant mountable chickens. Do NOT forget the giant mountable chickens.

  3. arienette says:

    I’m not that keen on penny arcade, but zeboyd do some great stuff. Lots to enjoy if you like anything else they’ve done.

    • Doganpc says:

      Yeah I got the first two… didn’t get very far. Good thing I got them cheap, i’ll keep an eye out for these last two though, different developer might make for a better game. I’ve always liked the majority of their comedy too though, but bad gameplay is hard to play through just to read an interactive comic.

  4. Arathain says:

    None of the previous three have been great games, but the imagination, humour and writing have kept me playing without regrets. After the concluding events of number 3 I find myself really interested to see where it ends up.

    • jalf says:

      Yes, that. Might not go down in history as the greatest games ever, but they’ve all been entertaining and more than worth the price. So yep, I’m definitely grabbing ep 4

  5. Rikard Peterson says:

    I think drinking milk is a better source for it.

  6. nebnebben says:

    The first two are alright but the third is great. Zeboyd games really did do a wonderful job, and if you like it I suggest also picking up Cthulu Saves The World and Breath of Death VII as they are both very cheap and excellent and also by Zeboyd games

  7. RedViv says:

    In addition to above statements on the improved quality, might I also note that the music is only grand? Really. Then I checked who did it, and it’s actually done by Hyperduck Soundworks, which was quite a kinkydink as I finished Dust: An Elysian Tail on the same day that I then bought Scrolls, and on which this game later came out.
    Henceforth the seventh day of June shall be known as Hyperduck Day in the glorious city state of Viville.

    And the more games with a Grandia-esque battle system, the better. Because it’s really my favourite.

  8. Grygus says:

    I’m a huge fan of Penny Arcade in general and purchased the first three games just to support them, but have never been able to actually get through the first one; I enjoyed the concept and writing well enough, but didn’t like the combat at all. After reading some of these comments, perhaps I’ll just jump to the third one. If you fine gentlemen are right about it being much better, then I’ll certainly grab this installment as well.

  9. Radiant says:

    I don’t think I’m playing these games right. They’re incredibly tedious yet to play them I have to unwrap about 3 layers of praise telling me how good the game is.

  10. Radiant says:

    Also has anyone seen an episode of penny arcade’s reality gameshow?
    I saw one and wanted everyone involved to immediately stand in a fire and think about what they have done.

    • QualityJeverage says:

      For producing a pretty fun show where everyone’s been nice to each other?

      Those monsters.

      • RedViv says:

        It kept the ridiculous spirit of a reality contest show, but everybody was actually nice to each other, so I guess Radiant has a problem with the former. Hmm. This would probably be going into arguing about taste.

        • Radiant says:

          The one I saw was where the winners of a challenge won a dinner with the business head of penny arcade and the writer and the artist.

          Admittedly I don’t even know what the contestants are competing for.
          But take another look at that dinner.

          • QualityJeverage says:

            I don’t really see the problem with the dinner. What they’re playing for, fyi, is a cash prize as well as a year working at the PA offices to produce their own content. The general situation is that most of the contestants want to devote their time to creating a comic, but can’t afford to take time away from their source of income in order to do it. They’re playing for the opportunity to do that safely.

            That said, I suppose I can see how it would come off as smug, if you aren’t already familiar with the people involved and just see “These people are making other people compete to have dinner with them.” Perhaps most important: The PA staff, especially Mike and Jerry (The artist and the writer, respectively) are deliberately playing ridiculous “reality show host” personas for the show. It’s played for comedy to regular viewers and contestants, who know what they’re really like. I can see how it’d make them look like massive douchebags to everyone else. At the end of each elimination episode, they drop the act and talk with whoever was eliminated on much more real terms.

            This was a long response for such a tiny issue, lol, but I see a lot of people who seem to judge the Penny Arcade guys without knowing much about them, resulting in misunderstanding and (IMO) some serious misjudgement. It gets to me a bit because, having followed them for several years and met them in person at PAX a few times, there are few individuals in the industry who I think are as deserving of respect. Really genuinely nice guys who are endlessly humble, regardless of whether or not their comedy or their work is something you’re interested in.

          • jalf says:

            Admittedly I don’t even know what the contestants are competing for.
            But take another look at that dinner.

            Then… maybe the correct response would be to take another (or, well, just *a first*) look at the rest of the show?

            I thought the dinner probably shouldn’t have been filmed. It just came across as awkward. But I’ve really enjoyed the rest of the show. And condemning the entire show just for those 2 minutes of footage when you don’t know *anything* about the rest of it seems… Well, you know.

  11. Phantom_Renegade says:

    I really liked the third one, but am pretty disappointed with nr. 4 so far. It seems that the price went up but the fun went down. The humour is still there, but at times it feels like it’s trying to hard, and then sometimes it’s not trying at all.

    Also, the new way the combat system is implemented just falls flat. The pins from part 3 are gone, replaced by a kind of monster collection battle thing where you don’t actually get to collect monsters. They’re just party members that join at set times. I’ll continue playing for what story there is and for the good jokes, but it definitely took a dip.

    • Warskull says:

      The price is exactly the same as Penny Arcade 3. Both are $5 games if you do not get them on sale.

      • Bluestormzion says:

        Well, the price DID go way up… from the last sale that Episode 3 had… which was zero dollars and zero cents. Still, it’s 4.50 at the moment. I mean… how many RPGs exist that cost less than five dollars?

      • Phantom_Renegade says:

        Here in the EU it went up, from 4 to 4.5. Not by much, I’ll grant you, and for what you’re getting it’s still a steal, but when the cheaper predecessor was better, it kinda gives you pause.

  12. says:

    I’m kinda okay with them. I was a fan before, but got bored after that bit smug-ish anti-add campaign. What’s interesting on their page are awesome Extra Credits episodes which intelligently and critically talk about vid-game making.
    I have played 1st Ep. managed to slouch trough it, couldn’t be arsed with second, and now I’ll probably try these last two someday in the future..