Quings Quest VII is a game made by Dietrich Squinkifer in 2014. It was presented this week in elitclass and as such I was fairly familiar with the work before trying it out for myself for this week’s blog. I also took the time to read up on the work on the eliterature collection volume 3 beforehand as I wanted a clearer understanding as to why the game was made. According to the author statement, the game was made to express his frustrations as a result of the tense situations surrounding Gamergate, and how divided the gaming community became in their endless arguments of what video games should or shouldn’t contain. As such the game is both a nod to old school games while containing everything that supposedly ruins video games, making it something of a playful parody.
To navigate the piece you have to click on links found throughout the game’s text, making it a mixture between an old-school text-adventure and a hypertext piece of e-literature. You also have a lot of freedom of choice when it comes to trying out different links. Some of them let you move around, or offers additional background story, or humorous anecdotes, but most are not necessary to finish the game. To me that gives the game some replayability, should you feel inclined to learn everything, but without making you feel like you miss out on too much if you don’t. The overall story itself is fairly linear, and you don’t always have the freedom of turning back so the length of a playthrough can therefore vary a bit.
Aside from the text, there is the game’s logo on the title screen as well as a starry background that goes with the space setting. Otherwise there are no other visuals, leaving you to use your imagination as one would with text-adventure games back in the day. There is also music and the occasional sound effect accompanying a screen to set a certain mood, be it relaxing, funny or tense.
Overall it is a very simple piece to navigate, and even if you miss out on some text you will still have a good understanding of the story. The story itself is essentially the main character and their genderfluid compatriot lamenting how the misogynerds invaded their home planet ‘Videogames’ and decided for everyone else what was supposed to be right. There’s also the character Frankie, who could represent those who didn’t necessarily directly side with anyone in the conflict, but did so indirectly by not voicing their opposition as they benefited from one side anyway.
While there are two different endings, they have a similar feel to them. The first has you blowing up what remains of the home planet, so that a new one can regrow, hopefully as a better place than it was before; or leaving the world behind to collapse in on itself while searching for a new home. It paints a somewhat hopeless picture of how things must’ve felt at the time, but also a hopeful outlook that maybe when things blow over something good will come of it. I thought it was a pretty amusing game, and I quite enjoyed the retro style and references found within.