Most RPGs set you off on some kind of grand quest, a hero's journey filled with danger and peril as you track down some legendary sword to defeat a world-ending evil. Boots Quest DX, however, has much humbler aspirations. You are a mere boot enthusiast on an adventure to find the very bestest best boots known to man (or blobs, I genuinely can't tell what provenance these rotund creatures hail from), and nothing else will deter you from achieving your lifelong goal. Find a honking great sword on the beach? Trash. A pirate's cutlass? Get in the sea, literally. If it's not a pair of boots, you're not interested - and it all makes for a brisk, anti-RPG adventure that's incredibly refreshing.
Boots Quest DX is daft in the extreme, but it also kinda knows it, too. Its vaguely-medieval fantasy characters all say very knowing, fourth-wall-breaking things that leave you going, 'Yeah, big same, blob friend,' a lot of the time, and it genuinely made me smile on several occasions.
Indeed, you come across all sorts of different kinds of boots during your quest, which you'll equip automatically as soon as you find them, such is your hunger and desire for all things boots. Some make you go fast, while others such as the armour boots will slow your walk to a crawl, and ugh, wait, gimme back those other boots, man, these ones are horrible and almost certainly going to give me blisters. Muddy boots, meanwhile, make this horrible squelching sound that gives me the shivers just thinking about it. But wear them you must, because there is no question of if or want in this game. You are a boot fiend, plain and simple, and all boots are equal in your hero's eyes, despite their sometimes enormous stat discrepancies.
At times, you'll think you'll have found the perfect pair of boots - ones that make you feel nimble, light on your feet and have a real good boot-feel, you know? But all these treasures still cannot compare or slake your thirst for the very best. Your adventure continues, taking you from strange villages to shacks in snowy mountains, desert islands and even a mysterious land of bootmakers hidden in the clouds. It covers a surprising amount of ground in its two-hour run-time, but the thing I love most about Boots Quest DX is all the other items you stumble across during your journey that your small round hero simply has no interest in. They're all classic RPG fare - enchanted weapons, shields, axes, mystical creatures in tucked away springs who can grant wishes... All are nought in your quest for boots, however, and the text boxes that appear when you attempt to pick up these items really made me chuckle. A Wyrmslayer, you say? What a horrible thought. Put that thing away this instant where no one can find it...
At its core, though, Boots Quest DX is ultimately a real sweet story about a small lil' guy wondering what to do with their life. Was their hunger for boots actually wildly misplaced? Is there more to life than finding the best footwear? And were they, in fact, just using their love of boots as an excuse to fill a void in their future?
To reveal the answers to such questions would be to spoil Boots Quest DX's excellent ending, of course, so why not consider donning your adventuring shoes and venturing out onto Steam to see for yourself? It's a charming, silly and heartwarming little game that really is good for the sole (yeah, I went there, don't put the boot in, all right?).