Adventures of FrikiBoy is an overhead dungeon adventure with a focus on exploration, secrets, combat, traps and a lot of fun. At a glance the game might look like a Zelda style dungeon adventure, because its top down and each room is a screen, but the combat plays out differently. You have a sword with a short radius and a gun for long distance attacks. Both melee and ranged attacks use the mouse, which grants you a full 360 degree radius of accuracy. To slash a nearby enemy, you need to get in a radius and left click it. To shoot just aim your mouse and fire with the right click their direction. You don’t have to click them like you do the sword attack.
You play as FrikiBoy, a fat couch potato content with staying up late, watching Blade Runner (the director’s cut) and eating muffins. That is until he gets a text message informing him that a dessert has been stolen by Guitar Shark and only FrikiBoy can save the day. Yes its a game with random humor and while I didn’t laugh at all it, I felt it never hindered my enjoyment of the game like comedy in other games. In fact, I’d say for me, the comedy took a back seat to the action and exploration. Along the way you’ll read quirky signs left by the boss.
Since the adventure takes place entirely in a dungeon, its pretty dark outside of torch lights. You do have a torch of your own that is bound to your mouse and not your character. So if you want to look at a dark corner of a room, just move your mouse there. to save time walking. The only drawback is if FrikiBoy is getting attacked by enemies, you won’t see it until you sweep your mouse over. I think a bigger issue was keeping the mouse aimed at a long distance archer and then having FrikiBoy pop in and out of cover to shoot him without taking any arrows. I found that I’d be shooting a wall between the archer and I without even realizing it.
The combat is good and by the end of the game, there are plenty of aggressive foes after you that result in some cat and mouse games of using cover. The enemies need to see you to be aggressive. When they see you an exclamation point pops up to let you know that you’ve been spotted. I can’t say that the enemies will actively peruse you if they know you’re hiding, but it makes for some interesting situations.
There’s a good variety of enemies, meandering bats to get your feet wet, charging skeletons. Archers and even bold, instantly charging minotaurs. All these enemies combine in the later areas to give me that “eek” sort of feeling as I pop out from cover only to get seen by a dashing minotaur that speeds to me and won’t stop until its dead. He’s not a slow sort of foe, he’s someone that breaks through cover, making you get out in the open so the other enemies can attack you.
With the combat and enemies out of the way, there are traps too. Spikes are timed to go in and out of the floor. Its a nice change of pace to go from combat to some timed footwork. There are also traps by way of floor panels that if you step on a darkened tile, guns or darts will shoot at you from the walls. While these floor panels are pretty obvious, in the dim light of a dungeon, its easy to overlook them. The game also introduces them in an easy way. There’s a cupcake ahead of you, with an obvious trap in front of it. You can easily avoid it, but now you know what the game has up its sleeve.
With enemies, there are switches, barricades and doors. Switches reveal secrets or open shutter doors. if the shutters don’t open from a switch, then you probably have to kill all the enemies in the room. Barricades prevent anything from walking through, but you can always fire your gun through them to kill an enemy on the other side to unlock a shutter door. The shutter doors are there sometimes to make backtracking easier. Just made it through a room full of traps? Pull a lever, open a door so you don’t have to walk back through the traps. Its a time saver.
Finally there are gold and silver locked doors. These of course need keys. I’d say the game gets broken up into four major chunks. Each of these chunks has its own locked door at the end. Once you go through the door to end the section, you lose both keys and need to find the next set of keys. Its a way to break the game into chunks while still having one big dungeon.
There are no extra items beyond what you start with. Your gun uses ammunition that you’ll have to collect. Other than that, there are plenty of cupcakes and pastries that will give you points, but not health. Why would a frosted dessert ever be health? No there are hanging pieces of meat that replenish your health. You’ll find them attached to walls, usually surrounded by enemies. The bigger the meat, the more health gets restored.
You only get one life, but there are a few save points here and there. There is only one save, so if you paint yourself into a corner by using all your ammo and having no health and then saved. You might find yourself starting over again. Its a short game, but with a healthy hour of fun behind it, so playing again and again isn’t a bad thing.
Along your adventure, you’ll uncover hidden rooms and unlock secrets, all without the game ever hinting at them. It feels so good to find things on my own especially something so crazy as reflecting a bullet off of a shield to hit a switch. You’re only rewarded with points, but it feels good to find things on my own. There’s a sense of discovery there.
After you complete the game, there’s a completely different second quest and a survival mode included. The survival mode has you fighting against waves of enemies with plenty of ammo and health. To balance that out there are more than enough enemies at once. It also feels like the waves keep coming even if you don’t defeat all the enemies. Its either a glitch or its something to make things more interesting. To spice things up on round 5 there are random traps. I say random because one time it was floor spikes and another time it was falling rocks. There is also some sort of leader board system too, but I’m the only person on there, so maybe its not an online leader board? The second quest is completely new and more challenging.
Now for the negatives. It seems like the light setting in the main menu freezes the game when you start or load it. Hopefully that can get fixed with a patch. I’d personally prefer if there was support for a 360 controller instead of strictly mouse and keyboard. I’m just not a fan of what feels like a dual stick shooter without a dual stick. It would only enhance my enjoyment to have a controller.
The art style and music aren’t glowing features of the game. They aren’t bad by any means, but I think the game could go further and make more money if it had a better art style. No disrespect to the musician or artists, but I feel the game is so fun and entertaining that it becomes the thing that I like the least.
Adventures of FrikiBoy is a fun game worthy of anyone’s time. Fun turns to challenge by the end even on the easiest difficulty called “Weaksauce.” While I can’t call it a hidden gem, I feel like the game is a true diamond in the rough and free-to-play.