An RPG Pretending To Be An RPG

HIGH The never-ending parody.

LOW The emptiness of certain areas on the map.

WTF Does Kofi Quest have the best slime character ever?

In 2014, Loftur Studio launched an animated webseries called Kofi Quest and the plot couldn’t be more amusing — it’s about characters who know they’re characters in an RPG. The so-called protagonist is Kofi, an underdeveloped character devoid of any special abilities, weak and bland, who would fit better as a level 1 NPC. And yet, he aspires to become a true hero and stop being a noob.

His luck seems to change when his instructor gifts him with a summoning skill. But no, Kofi is only able to summon a slime, the most weak and generic of RPG fodder. Worse than that, it’s a grumpy slime who’s lazy and addicted to videogames.

However, as in any classic fantasy story, it’s from the most unlikely places that that adventures begin, for the game starts at this point. Kofi Quest directly continues the storyline of the webseries, although the player does not need to have watched the cartoon to understand the plot, since the concept and cast are properly introduced.

With its strong colors, cartoonish design, comic tone, and ridiculous characters, Kofi Quest is a well-made 2D RPG parody. All the RPG clichés are here and serve as the building blocks for this game.

This land is filled with bad orcs, archer elves, a mysterious wizard, and even random slimes wandering the map. The script is filled with metacommentary that breaks of the fourth wall and easter eggs from other games. Kofi is mocked by NPCs for being a loser, everyone abuses the respawning system, there is provocative text on signposts and item descriptions, there’s an item that can break the game with bugs, and the list goes on. There’s even a character who just wants to talk to others, but because he’s programmed to be one of those silent and always standing still NPCs, he can’t. Poor Flink.

As wacky as its sounds, Kofi Quest (intelligently) doesn’t resign itself to being simple parody, and actually delivers a joyful and interesting journey worthy of an actual RPG.

For example, along the way, we’ll meet new characters with distinct abilities that we’ll use to solve the many situations the developers present us with — orcs who build bridges, moles who dig tunnels, or newts who can swim.

The combat system is real-time squad combat, much like classic Warcraft, but Kofi Quest also offers a pause option for a tactics menu where we can choose the individual actions of each party member during battle. Although the combat is a simple click-to-hit affair, the automatic lock-on system is clunky, especially in the moments when we control a large force. As such, in the confusion of the battle it’s easy to miss a target and click on the environment, disorienting our fighters.

The map in Kofi Quest is relatively large, offering a dozen regions with different biomes, and each one of them is divided into sections. However, despite many points of interest, the map presents many filler sections where there’s not much to do. These places seem uninspired and unnecessary, serving only as a thing to be crossed between two more vital areas. Since each time we cross one there is a minor loading screen, the pace of exploration can be slowed down.

The difficulty level between these sections is also a little off balance. In one area we fight two weak enemies, and in the next we face a gank squad with many large and strong foes. The difficulty curve here is more like a random zig-zag.

In the end, Kofi Quest is a homage to the pathetic and it feels good to play a title that doesn’t take itself seriously and have some laughs while doing so. Kofi Quest has the potential to resonate with the most enthusiastic players of the RPG genre and the studio has shown potential for a great game series here as they already have the characters, the visuals and the concept. I look forward to more in the future.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by Loftur Studio and published by Hypetrain Digital. It is currently available on Switch.  This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 12 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was not completed. There are no multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated E10+ and contains Mild Violence. This game is safe for kids. Despite the jocular tone, the language used is not inappropriate for children as there are no profanities or adult themes. The battles do not feature violent or bloody scenes.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game offers subtitles. (See examples above.) The subtitles cannot be altered and/or resized.  The game can be played without audio. The only audio this game has are the soundtrack, battle sounds, the menu/interface sounds effects, and the environment sounds. There are some audio cues, for example when an enemy approaches, but is always accompanied by a visual signal. In my view it is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.

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