If you’d told me thirty years ago that I’d still be playing Game Boy games I’d probably have laughed awkwardly and walked away shaking my head at you, despite how much I adored – and still adore – Nintendo’s charming chonk of a handheld.
If you’d told me that I would be playing an entirely new Game Boy game in 2020, I would have thought you utterly mad, in a Lovecraftian ‘this universe’s secrets are too terrifying for mortals to uncover’ kind of way.
Yet here we are. Quest Arrest is – impressively – the sole work of John Roo, with the noble aim of making a fun game that can relieve anxiety. It’s what games have helped him to do and, incidentally, have been very helpful in doing for me too.
Quest Arrest is a top-down RPG in which you’re cast in the role of Detective Alison Bennett – who’s been recently promoted and tasked with cleaning up the mean streets of her city, Strange Meadows. A recent crime spree has thrown the city into disarray and Bennett is the woman for the job.
There’s some really neat touches; combat is handled in a turn-based manner, with a Pokémon-esque system of lethal and non-lethal attacks that’ll see you attempt to arrest criminals before their health drops to zero (much like you try to capture Pokémon in Pokéballs before they faint). Kill them – intentionally or otherwise – and you’ll lose Credibility. The level of Credibility you finish the game with determines the ending you get – and in addition to this, having a particularly low level of Credibility will mean that you’re perceived as a Bad Cop; people will treat you differently based on this.
It’s a nicely playable game that should take around two to four hours to complete; though not the longest game in the world, it’s a game length that not overwhelming or too short to be a satisfying playthrough. Though I played a pre-release version of the game, the wit in the script was apparent and there was even – surprisingly – profanity present, which was a little jarring with the innocent looking visuals, but definitely in keeping with the subject matter of the crime-ridden city that you’re charged with cleaning up. It was quite refreshing to see that the subject matter in general was quite adult; though again it initially seems like a disconnect with the cute visuals, it doesn’t take long to become accustomed to the game’s tone.
I’m very keen to continue making my way through Quest Arrest; if your interest has been piqued, you can check out the game’s website here – and follow the official Twitter account at this link. Limited physical copies of the game are also planned, but details are not yet finalised – keep an eye on Quest Arrest’s social media feed for updates.
Bonus: check out this interview with the game’s creator, John Roo, to get some fascinating insight into the game’s creation, along with some footage of Quest Arrest in action:
Thank you to John Roo for providing me with the pre-release version of Quest Arrest to check out for my site.
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