Family Guy is notorious in today’s media. It’s either you love it or you hate it. The humor is often sharp, offensive, and simultaneously witty and stupid, but that presumably may be its intent. It plays a lot on shock factor by joking about things people usually have qualms about in public media, such as racism and homosexuality.
It’s kind of like a dream stage for comedians, as it doesn’t really require consistency or coherency – just a setup for the next joke- which the show often achieves by randomly jumping to one scene or another just to pull off a punchline. It has its appeal though most would like to say that it’s clearly a rip-off of the popular Simpsons series.
Regardless if you think so as well or not, one cannot deny that Family Guy can be quite the guilty pleasure, despite its non-inhibition and recklessness for shock entertainment, and it has developed quite a following over the years. I’m not really much of fan, but I do have to admit that there were a lot of times the show made me laugh (even maybe tear up).
So whatever one has to say about the series, Family Guy is kind of a big deal in the entertainment industry as of the moment and would be here to say. That being said, it’s kind of sad to see that a game said to be so faithfully designed to resemble the series is so dragging, slow, and boring. And it’s also a rip-off of a Simpsons (hint: The Simpson's: Tapped Out) game too.
Quahog in your Finger tips
Family Guy: Quest For Stuff is a city building/management game that is simplified and tailor-fitted for the fandom. The story is mostly shallow and stupid (which sort of fits so it’s not necessarily a bad thing). Peter Griffin and the Chicken get into an escalated epic battle which culminates in the destruction of the city of Quahog. From there, the player has to pick up after this development to collect the characters and rebuild the town.
Unlike most town builders, you only really need to worry about the buildings. You construct the character’s homes, certain key buildings, and the obligatory roads and decorations. Characters you unlock all have a set of actions available to them that produce the resources you need to progress in the game. Basically that’s pretty much all you have to do. It’s mostly just a point and click game, with the source show’s humor in text / speech bubble form and fan service that’s really keeping the game going.
For starters, the game looks really good. Everything is modeled perfectly after the show, and the attention to detail is superb – everything from the little bits of animation and easter eggs in certain buidings, like the Drunken Clam sign and the Wacky Waving Tubes, to the reenactment of memorable scenes from the characters made available through their actions. Everything and everyone here appears as they have in the show, which is a plus and a great nod to the fandom.
Even the briefly mentioned or featured ones are here. You got the main stay buildings like the Founding Fathers restaurant and McBurger Town, but you also have objects and places here that were episode-specific or was just there for a moment like Stewie Flowers, the Petercopter and Hi-Yah’s Dojo.
Point is, if it’s remotely memorable in the show, chances are you’ll find it in the game.
The background music is an instrumental looping version of the TV show’s theme. You even have special events that bring in guest stars and event-exclusive items from the show. Currently they’re holding the Comic Con event so costumes from the Fabulous Four, Robo-Brian, and the shows versions of Felicia Day, George Takei and Patrick Stewart, among others, are available for unlocking.
Another game feature that deserves another mention because of it's nod to the fanbase is the in-game voice clips. These can be accessed through their introductions, the opening movie sequence, or just when you aggressively tap on the character in-game. Aside from that, communication between characters is delivered through speech bubbles.
You can also see how the game really follows through with it's series tie-ins since the in-game dialogue is typically like Seth McFarlane's. It's just as if the show was ported into a mobile game. The sheer amount of materials, quips, jabs and humor has translated properly into Quest for Stuff. I can in fact, go as far as it seems that you're watching one of those weird Family Guy episodes where Peter does something stupid and turns everyone in Quahog into a game.
FaceSpace is also here!
If not to stress how much Family Guy's world is put into Quest for Stuff, the game also has FaceSpace. Family Guy's obvious parody amalgam of social media sites Facebook and Myspace. It acts as your gallery / bestiary of characters you’ve unlocked. In FaceSpace, characters available to you have their appropriate profiles up, filled with status updates and picture posts befitting their characters.
Besides the usual player leveling up which grants you access to more game features and unlockables, individual characters also level up via the frequency of actions you make them take. Every time they level up, they gain access to a new action, a costume that they have appeared in iconically in the show (which you have to build by collecting weird random materials) and a new FaceSpace post.
So far, I have unlocked Hooker Peter, Speedo Quagmire, Captain Hammered, and I’m currently 1 eyeshadow and 3 CD’s away from unlocking Goth Chris. Accessing a new costume also grants that character new sets of actions to perform and unlock.
Also, as reference to the show and a way to sneak in the “play with friends” function of an online game, you can enter the Multiverse, which is basically you visiting your friend’s games, performing actions for coins, XP and sometimes clams, before returning to your own Quahog.
The Bad Part
And now for the bad part. Like the show, Quest for Stuff is an imitation of the Simpsons’ Tapped Out game. However, the game quality of Quest for Stuff pales in comparison to Tapped out. While the game concept and gameplay between the too aren't that too far off.
The main difference (and mostly the main reason why Family Guy pales so much in comparison) is that Quest For Stuff constantly harasses you to buy the game's premium currency, clams.
Sure, like all free-mium games, you can play it perfectly fine without having to resort to in-game purchases, but Family Guy constantly pesters you to do so. Often in the form of quests to boot. It’s the game that also takes forever to progress. For you to do or achieve anything in this game, you have to perform character actions.
That sounds simple enough, until you realize that each character action takes at least an hour to finish. Most of the actions you need to take are 4 hours long, and as you get further along the game, everyone and everything starts needing to have an almost 1 day long buffer time.
That’s quite inconvenient, especially since it’s event season wherein you’re pressured to perform quests under a time lock, and the only way to shorten wait times would be to (surprise, surprise) pay real cash for clams. Let’s not forget that you default have only one workforce for building so you can only construct one thing at a time and wait times also last from 4 hours to a day. Shortening the wait or adding another man to the workforce would of course entail further purchasing of clams.
I get that it’s trying to be the app that doesn’t require much of your attention, something that you’re supposedly just picking up on your free time for a laugh or two, but as something meant for fan service, it disappointing that the game has such a high paywall that I personally think, fans would find it hard to spend a few more dollars just so they can make Quagmire say another sexually infused joke.
Family Guy: Quest for Stuff, as a concept, should appeal to fans of the show, but it’s hard to say for sure that if you like the show, you’ll like the game. I’m not much of a fan of the series, as I’ve said, so I’m not feeling enough to try to justify the good points of this game the way real fan would.
The humor and the writing is there, and the game does look really good. Truly, there are ridiculous amounts of fan service to be found here. It could’ve been great, or at least okay, if it weren’t for the equally ridiculous amounts of waiting.
There’s virtually more waiting done here than actual playing, and the constant harassment to buy clams is just a total turn-off. For those reasons, I’d give this game probably 2 stars out of 5. It really just didn’t try hard enough to justify itself as more than just horrible and cheap reskin of the Simpsons this time.