Today, General Mills cereal (owners of all things Chex) officially released Doom-alike advergame FPS Chex Quest 3, free and Windows-friendly. It’s just slightly delayed compared to the first two episodic releases in 1996 and 1997 respectively. Today’s release via an adorably ’90s themed page isn’t entirely new, but the previously-unofficial work of original Chex Quest developer Charles Jacobi, who has been carrying a torch for the series for decades. Below, a surprisingly good mini-documentary on the game’s history, including some fun facts on its unpredecented mass manufacturing process.
For those who never got to play it in the 90s, Chex Quest is Doom with all the hard edges sanded down. Guns are replaced with weird techno-devices that look like TV remotes. Demons are replaced by alien goo-monsters, and shooting is replaced by teleporting them back to their slimy home dimension. You’re not using medkits to heal, but just cleaning up for a balanced meal. All kid-friendly yet still unmistakably Doom, and it’s where a lot of American kids got their first taste of the FPS genre. Let’s be honest; the disc was probably the tastiest thing in the box anyway.
Taken by itself, and by modern standards, it’s not that extraordinary a game – there’s dozens of free Doom-based games now – but Chex Quest is a nostalgic artifact. Seeing the powers that be officially adopt the unofficial third episode as canon now warms my heart. As far as corporate marketing moves go, this one’s okay.
Today’s Chex Quest 3 runs on the open-source ZDoom engine, giving it support for modern screen resolutions, widescreen and more. It also includes the original two cereal-bundled episodes, plus a more recent third and unofficial chapter by Jacobi, given official Chex blessing today. The third episode, while not particularly challenging for modern-day Doom fans, is a bit of a step up in challenge. Still, if you know what you’re doing, even the highest difficulty shouldn’t be too rough. Give it a zap, and if you last played it back in the ’90s, see if you remember where the secrets are.
This isn’t the end of the Chex Quest story, either. Jacobi’s next project is Chex Quest HD, an officially branded, full 3D remake of the first Chex Quest episode. Personally, I’m hoping we’ll see all three episodes eventually. While we wait, there’s Flemoids to Zorch. Grab the game free on the official page here.