Stupid Invaders Download (2001 Adventure Game)

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The prospect of a sci-fi comedy adventure game is intriguing, especially when the tag line on the box states "Stupid Idiots Need Your Help!" Perhaps, though, in this case the statement should be considered a warning, not a cry for help.

Stupid Invaders is, unfortunately, built on a foundation of nonsensical puzzles and toilet humor, making the game's content as stupid as the invaders. The first scene sets the tone: locked in a bathroom and pursued by a bounty hunter, your character must escape through an impossibly high window which can only be reached by climbing on a makeshift ladder made from a plunger and a roll of "steel-reinforced asswipe" (sic). Within half an hour of starting the game, you must also melt Santa Claus with drain cleaner and pour sulfuric acid down the throat of a zombie. Not much hilarity ensues.

The interactive elements are equally inane and include the now-ubiquitous potty session and at least two telephone calls from a heavy breather. One should take heed and leave the room before a third call. Fortunately, given the relatively small size of the inventory (only six items), applying weird solutions to problems until something happens is relatively quick and painless. If you get stuck, the game's manual contains a complete walkthrough.

The dialogue is trite and rarely serves any purpose except to setup more hit-and-miss comedy bits. Death happens early, often and for no good reason -- open the wrong door at the wrong time and you'll be watching another of those cute, if entirely too numerous, death scenes.

Unlike gameplay, the audio-visual aspects are impressive, as the game looks like a high-end, hand-drawn cartoon with rich colors and much attention to detail. While the evil Dr. Sakarin seems to have been strongly inspired by Grim Fandango, the other characters have a certain "ugly but cool" appeal, while the backgrounds wouldn't be out of place in one of Tex Avery's better productions.

The music and sounds effects, while bizarre, effectively convey the intended atmosphere but the voice talent leaves much to be desired. For example, the actor who plays Bud, the dumbest of the five aliens, sounds like a poor man's rendition of Barney from The Simpsons and his voice quickly becomes grating.

During gameplay, the game locks up with some frequency, possibly due to a glitch in the installer. This unreliability has been reported and verified via other sources on the Internet, thus the problem isn't unique to this reviewer's system. In fact, the game had to be installed three separate times before the program worked without a hitch.

In summary, comedy that fails to deliver much of anything in the way of humor is a sad product. All the components for a successful funfest are present but the end result falls flat.

Graphics: Imprecise character animation lowers the rating but the colorful settings are a definite highlight.

Sound: Effective music and sound effects but poor voice acting.

Enjoyment: The humor falls flat and the frequent pauses between cut-scenes destroy any rhythm of the cartoon setting.

Replay Value: With a lack of alternate solutions to the puzzles, there's no good reason to play the game a second time.


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