Review by Grenadier

"Erm. . .I sometimes wonder about this. . ."

Progress Quest (http://www.progressquest.com/)can be discovered in many different ways. In my case, it was through http://www.whattheheck.com, reporting Whattheheckisms all throughout the Internet. There couldn't be a ''game'' that fits that category better than Progress Quest. It's an automated RPG--basically, you turn it on and it plays for you. WHAT'S THE POINT?

''GAMEPLAY''

When describing the ''gameplay'' of Progress Quest, you sort of need quotation marks around the word ''gameplay''. You don't play it; it plays itself. All you do is choose from a list of starting parameters (randomly generate stats, choose species and class and make up a name), and everything after that is completely automatic. The species and classes are zany and odd (Demicanadian, Enchanted Motorcycle, Dung Elf) and the stats don't mean anything, since you don't even control your character!

Once everything is set up, you experience a vision that reveals much to you and you are left in a forest dazed and bewildered. You set out on a journey, with nothing but a Sharp Stick as a weapon. Then, you see the tasks you are assigned racking up on the right of the GUI, the spells you've learned on the left, your inventory in the center, and your equipment right above that. Your stats are in the upper left. There are several bars across the GUI, noting how many EXP you need to the next level, how many more items you can carry, and how far you've come in your current task. There's also the bar at the bottom of the screen, under the label denoting what your character is doing. You'll be killing creatures 90% of the time, gaining items from them. Then, once your inventory is filled, you'll go to the marketplace, sell all your loot, buy new equipment, and go out and kill more creatures. And all the while, you'll be accomplishing tasks like fetching buckets, exterminating elementals, delivering I.O.U.'s, etc.

Everything's automatic, except for the starting choices. You basically let your character level up and submit your stats to a massive online database where all the characters in PQ are stored and ranked (I'm rank 10912 as of now).

So what's the point? Maybe this is just a satire of RPG's and how stupid they get. Maybe the point is to get more powerful, making you seem more statistically important. Maybe the point is to impress people by being able to say ''Ha ha! I'm better than all of you because my PQ character is level 50 and yours is 25!'', thereby convincing them that you have less of a social life than they do.

Whatever it is, I don't care. I'll just leave PQ running in the background and rack up more experience points, let it make me more powerful. It's running even as I type this. So why not just let it run? It can't hurt, can it? And with PQTray (A very useful utility that lets PQ hide in the system tray) I don't even have to know about all of the weird items I'm acquiring or lose space in my taskbar. Hey, I got to level 50 that way, and I'll reach much higher levels that way too.

It's stupid, granted. But that's why it's so much fun to be more powerful than others in. So get PQ and leave it on 24/7.

OVERALL ''GAMEPLAY'' RATING: 7/10

GRAPHICS:

It's. . .erm. . .a Windows GUI with progress bars and listboxes. It's also a very well-designed one. No graphics--completely text-based. Not much to rate. Couldn't it at least had some pictures of the races and classes to give the player some idea of what their character looks like? The idea, of course, is to let the player decide for himself. Hmmm. . .maybe it's better that way. . .

OVERALL GRAPHICS RATING: 5/10

SOUND

There is no sound.

OVERALL SOUND RATING: N/A

STORY

Erm. . .what story? All that happens is you're told that you get a weird vision at the start of the ''game'' and that you progress through ''acts''. . .nothing in between them. Every task you're assigned is randomly generated, meaning there's no order to them that would make up a story. Oh well. . .

OVERALL STORY RATING: 2/10

REPLAY VALUE

You can't even finish it. All you do is start and let it run. No replay value whatsoever. Nothing to unlock, nothing that you might miss the first time through. NOTHING.

OVERALL REPLAY VALUE RATING: 1/10

FINAL SCORES:
GAMEPLAY: 7/10
GRAPHICS: 5/10
SOUND: N/A
STORY: 2/10
REPLAY VALUE: 1/10

OVERALL SCORE: 5/10


Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 04/13/02, Updated 04/13/02

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