Buying new games is a lot like buying lottery tickets. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you get back what you put in, and sometimes…every once in a while you hit it BIG! Now, buying that fancy, latest and greatest, current gen game isn’t going to be much of a gamble when it comes to exposing hidden greatness, but when you dive down into that indie rabbit hole it can be a throw of the dice when it comes to what you’ll end up with. Sometimes developers are just too good at making trailers for their own good ya know? And what looks fantastic in a two minute trailer ends up being a giant snooze fest in reality.
The Spiral Scouts’ eye catching cover image popped up into our Steam feed right around that special time of year when digital sales become the crux of many a backlogger and given we were on the hunt for an inexpensive title to tide us over, we decided to give the trailer a watch. “Holy s*%t!” , we exclaimed whilst both simultaneously reaching for the purchase button. And you know that feeling you get when you are at the cusp of potential greatness? That feeling of burgeoning possibility? That was Mr. Backlog and I upon booting up this game for the first time. So, you might be asking, did that feeling pay off, or were we left in emotional debt? Let’s embark on a swear filled, potty humor ridden quest together to answer that very question!
Wiener, Wiener, Chicken Dinner
The Spiral Scouts released on Steam in 2018 and was developed by a two man team by the name of Cantaloupe Kids. Now one of these devs you might recognize as the one man team who developed the naughty sleeper hit HuniePop. Which is only my favorite, risque, match three game ever! This little factoid alone had my hopes high for Spiral Scouts.
You start the game as an unassuming little girl who has just been transported to a mysterious realm with no memory of who she is or how she got here. Upon meeting some of the residents she is quickly taken under the wing of the leader of the legendary Spiral Scouts and recruited into their ranks. Given the name Remae, since she doesn’t remember her own name, she is tasked with helping to set the realm right after an unknown source seems to have locked away the world’s guardians.
Of Brains and Bone-Dogs
So, to understand what you’re getting into with a game like The Spiral Scouts you need to understand that while it may look like a cutesy, colorful Paper Mario type game, where you solve puzzles and collect badges, it’s actually a shockingly ribald, cute, and colorful game where you solve puzzles and collect badges. Now, I have no idea how old Remae is supposed to be but this kid is bonkers and absolutely every other person, place, or thing in this game complements that perfectly. While I am an adult who has been gaming for a fairly long time, I’ve experienced my fair share of tawdry language and gameplay before, but this game takes the cake and then defiles it most majestically. Many a gasp or muffled giggle accompanied our reading of the dialogue for this game let me tell you.
The graphics were definitely Paper Mario at their core with the whole 2d in a 3d setting. The artwork, however, was very much something all its own style. Everything was a menagerie of pinks and greens and deceptively sweet. Until you speak with the characters, that is, and realize you are fully immersed in a confusing world of raunchy and adorable. Like the Chaos realm, for example, populated with cute little hotdog people working on farms and going dancing that will also try and convince Remae how awesome heroin is. Yep…moving right along then..
When it comes to the puzzles, and I can’t stress this enough, they were insanely clever. Really out of the box thinking required for a lot of them. What impressed me the most is that while many of the puzzles were challenging, none of them were obtuse. Everything you needed to reach a solution was right there in front of your face. You just need to put on your thinking cap and maybe keep a piece of paper and pen handy. I really appreciated the variety of puzzles that were given as well. The Spiral Scouts is a relatively short game but not a single style of puzzle matched any of the others.
A Different Kettle of Dirt Fish
So, I think it’s safe to say that I liked just about everything about this game. The foul-mouthed dialogue, the weird cast of characters, and most definitely the cleverly constructed puzzles. Everything was exceptional right down to collecting the fruit from the Butt Nut tree. Really I only have two minor complaints. The first one was the age old annoying end quest of going back through all the previous areas to find a set of thirty hidden collectables – pubes in this case. Gross I know, but definitely on brand. The second complaint is just that the game wasn’t long enough. I need more! That hardcore dialogue combined with mind blowing puzzles had me hooked and I wasn’t ready for my adventure with Remae to be over! A sequel, Cantaloupe Kids! I beg of you!
You Can Bet Your Butt-Nut
I get that some people might take issue with the R-rated language and content, but I kinda felt like it added to the charm and ended up making the game a completely unique experience. Sure there are plenty of games out there that have bits and pieces of this type of content in it but none thus far have reached The Spiral Scouts level, trust me on that. So, my recommendation is this: with a tagline like “Experience a fartwarming tale of personal growth, self discovery, poop, weiners, and butts,” how could you go wrong? A good hard laugh is something I think we could all use from time to time and believe me when I tell you that this game will give your brain and your funny bone a run for its money!
If you’re interested in checking out The Spiral Scouts for yourself, you can find it right now on Steam!