Back in 1989, Sierra On-Line began publishing a genre-defining adventure series on home computers known as Quest for Glory, which would go on to span five titles across its 9 year history. Here we are in 2014, and developer Infamous Quests has taken everything fans loved about the Quest for Glory series and created an epic fantasy tale where being bad has never felt so good. Featuring a massive world to explore, three different character classes to choose from, and all the crude humor you could ask for in a game about treasure, women, and personal glory, Quest for Infamy is a horse of a different color while still remaining the perfect love letter to the hand drawn adventures of yesteryear.
Quest for Infamy is a point-and-click adventure game set in the land of Lonaria. You control “Mister” William Roehm, a quick witted anti-hero who’s just escaped certain death at the hands of a romantic interest’s father, yet ended up in the small town of Volksville in the process. As luck would have it, the bridge leading out of town is out of order, so you’ve little to do but mingle with the townsfolk and see all the town has to offer.
You can rent a room at the local inn, have a drink at the pub, flirt with the buxom waitress, or even witness a public execution, but this is just the start of your journey. Quest for Infamy will have you undertaking personal quests to learn new abilities, steal powerful artifacts, flirt with even more buxom women, solve puzzles, piss off treants to the point of being ripped in half, and use swords and sorcery to overcome the most fearsome of foes. You’ll get arrested, mugged by hunters, and potentially mauled by bears in the process, but the adventure is epic in scale and full of charming characters that will make you want to see it through to the very end.
Early in your quest you’re given the opportunity to choose Roehm’s class. It’s up to you whether you want to fling mighty spells as a sorcerer, unleash the brute force of the brigand, or sneak and steal as a rogue, but each class has their own unique quests and adventures to go alongside the campaign. Hell, I spent at least 3 hours on sorcerer quests alone, learning new spells to poison my enemies, restore lost health, and launch shards of ice. As a class that has a “spell for every occasion”, they didn’t just assist me in combat either. Rather than hiring a lady of the night to distract a mob of hunters blocking my path, I could incite fear in them and watch as they scramble away in the opposite direction. Who needs a rope to climb down when I can just float on a cloud?
Quest for Infamy‘s class system is so brilliantly executed and I loved that it let me feel like a sorcerer at all hours of the day, not just when it was clobbering time. But when the need arose, the game boasts a fun turn-based combat system that lets you choose from various attack types and your personal class abilities and spells. Certain enemies are more vulnerable to stabbing, slashing, or bashing, but I would generally fling my magic spells and defend until I could cast them again. However as a brigand, I relied more on using the correct melee abilities.
Even still, the need was always there to become a better sorcerer and undertake my mentor’s quests and learn new spells, because I never knew when I’d need to pick a magical lock or move an inanimate object in to the palm of my hand; and this was all going on alongside the lengthy campaign. There was always so much to do and so many different places to explore that it felt overwhelming at times, but that’s what makes an adventure game an adventure game.
Quest for Infamy felt huge because there was conflict between cities and townsfolk, different races and species, and tons of lore which made it feel like it was based on a series of fantasy novels, not just a point-and-click adventure game. Every NPC is also fully voice acted, for better or worse, which made them all more personable and helped the mass amount of dialogue go down smoother than a pint of ale. Whether it was discussing battle tactics with Ned O’King back at the Volksville inn, or learning the history of the city of Tyr from its all-female guardians, the lore was always delivered with confidence and clarity in such a way that I knew Infamous Quests had been creating this world for a long, long time.
Infamous Quests also didn’t skip out on the humor, especially with their pop culture references. Sure it’s a fantasy RPG, but I still managed to stumble upon a musician wearing a Pink Floyd shirt, noticed a Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” reference inside of the prison, and witnessed nods to Stephen King’s Dark Tower series during my initial sorcerer quest. Its humor is often charming, but Roehm has a bit of a silver tongue; so it’s fair to warn you that you’ll have to endure some cursing and maybe a few sexual advances. Think of it as pub humor, but with a sense of finesse and polish that’s all part of the game’s charm. It’s never overbearing, and although every woman in the game seems to be spilling out of their tops, Quest for Infamy is more Quest for Glory than Leisure Suit Larry.
Quest for Infamy is always equal parts fantasy and humor, and it has the polish needed to balance it all out in to one of the single greatest adventure games that I’ve had the pleasure of playing in the last 10 years. Infamous Quests‘ obvious love for the genre shows in the overall quality of the writing, the hand-drawn pixel art style, its fantastical soundtrack, the well crafted combat system, and massive sense of scale in comparison to most modern adventure games. With each of the three available classes offering new abilities and quests, you’re looking at around 15 hours per playthough, so you’re definitely getting a good bang for your buck. If you enjoy your adventure with a little scoop of thievery, busty women, and smart assery, you’ll love Quest for Infamy.
Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, handling news, reviews, and a bit of our public relations communications. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and a diehard Orioles fan that’s completely obsessed with roguelikes, horror games, and point-and-click adventures. His favorite console is the Dreamcast, favorite game is the original Metroid, and he could watch The Goonies for the rest of his life. Contact him by e-mail at the address above, or follow his insanity on Twitter.