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The Supreme League of Patriots takes some decent voice acting and a promising premise — a point-and-click adventure about a misguided superhero — and it stuffs them into a boring, clumsy package.
The result is a frustratingly slow-paced game that you can’t click through fast enough. It launches today from developer No Bull Intentions and publisher Phoenix Online in three episodes ($6 each or $15 for a season pass) on Steam and other online stores for PC, Mac, and Linux. I played on both PC and Mac.
Each chapter runs about three hours in a normal playthrough. But it feels much longer.
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What you’ll like
The setup: superhero gone wrong
Kyle Keever is a big blond goof auditioning for a TV reality show, America’s Got Superpowers, in a bright purple Uncle Sam suit (whose colors ran in the wash). His British sidekick, Mel, is the best character in the game: dry, sardonic, subtle, a real human being.
It’s clear from the start that the rest of the cast is going to be over the top, which isn’t a bad thing. And the premise — this accident-prone doofus’s audition and a later accident that makes him think he’s his alter ego, the Purple Patriot — seem ripe for humor.
The voice acting
The entire game has voice acting, a mountain of lines all told, and the talent is good. The voice of Mel in particular is easy to listen to, spot-on for comic delivery, and enjoyable. The lines are sometimes crisp and well written.
“Dennis Leary is coming to town,” Kyle tells him early on. “Are you going to go see him?” “No, I saw him in 1987,” Mel replies. “I’ll wait until he has some new material.”
While the conversations the rest of the characters deliver aren’t nearly as good, the voice actors do a good job of imbuing them with some feeling of investment and emotion. The judges at the talent show, the other contestants, the boss at their day job at the police station, the Stan Lee knockoff at the bar, all sound like people you’d consider having a beer with, or at least laughing at.
Supreme League of Patriots could give a little more instruction on how to use one object in combination with another, but overall, its controls are intuitive and well executed. A utility belt-like display holds the objects you’re currently using, with a longer belt as an inventory method.
You use radial menus to interact with the surroundings. And a well-drawn map enables you to teleport around the city (the only part of this game that’s fast).
The cheerful story’s twists
The progress of these characters through the scenes is painfully slow (see below), but the story itself is generally unobjectionable and has some nice twists once you get to them. Kyle has to work through challenges at a number of one- or two-room locations (his apartment, the police precinct, the studio, a bar, a park, a hospital, etc.) to fulfill his objectives of getting on the show, becoming a real superhero, and the like.
I won’t spoil the plot of Kyle’s adventures, since it’s one of the better aspects of this game, but it’s interesting, makes good use of the locations, and probably looked tremendous on paper when developer Philip Ings was storyboarding Supreme League of Patriots. Unfortunately, we don’t get the storyboard. We get the game.
What you won’t like
The oozing, predictable, painful pace
I adore adventure games. I’ve been playing them for decades, and I know the drill: lots of dialogue to click through, lots of items to click on, puzzles to solve, and things to put together. I couldn’t wait to start this one, because an adventure game that’s also funny is a rare treat.