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Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff Early Impressions
Released on iOS and Android recently, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is a simulation game at heart with some social aspects and a shiny Family Guy veneer. Tasked with rebuilding Quahog after Peter’s nemesis the Giant Chicken (whose name is Ernie…I know too much about Family Guy) destroys it, the player is basically in control of remaking Quahog in their own image. So what can you expect from it?
One of the common criticism of the show is its similarities to another popular animated show, The Simpsons. Fans of the show know that isn’t exactly the case, but The Quest for Stuff certainly doesn’t make a compelling argument. If you have played the mobile game The Simpsons: Tapped Out, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this. The games are so alike, The Quest for Stuff could be a Family Guy expansion of Tapped Out and no one would know. The basic structure is almost identical: you start with a blank slate of land, of which more can be bought, and begin to place iconic buildings, people and items from the show as you rebuild Quahog. These things give you money and experience in turn, which allows you to buy even more stuff…just like Tapped Out.
Developer TinyCo absolutely nails the visuals and sound of Family Guy, perhaps even more so than Tapped Out does The Simpsons. Characters and buildings look and sound exactly like their TV counterparts, and it is full of little animations and callbacks that fans will instantly recognize. Early quests had me let Peter and Quagmire take a bro-nap together, Jerome walking around town doing “black guy stuff”, and sending Chris into the Griffin household for some, ah, private time. Tasks start out at couple minutes, but soon I was waiting four to six hours for my objectives to pass. Due to this, The Quest for Stuff is designed for short bursts of gameplay rather than extended sessions.
As is the case with most free-to-play social games, there are two types of currency: money and clams. Money is given out for pretty much anything, and can be used to clear blocks, purchase a small number of buildings and cosmetic items and unlock the occasional character. Clams are given out much more rarely (or can, of course, be bought for real money) and you use these to unlock the majority of the characters, upgrade your workers so they can build more at a time and to automatically skip objectives. I’ve been playing non-stop for about a week, and have amassed 26 clams. For reference, the three cheapest characters I can buy are Jake Tucker for 50 clams, a Brain Damaged Horse for 120 clams, or Buzz Killington for 250 clams. However, some reach into the thousands, a sum unlikely to be reached by someone unwilling to reach into their wallet.
The main problem with The Quest for Stuff is that your progress quickly slows to a crawl. This game is meant for the long haul, but some of the objectives are just frustrating. For example, one quest tasks me with dressing Peter up in his hooker outfit. To do that, you need to get five each of four different items. These items are basically random loot drops from specific actions. Say you need five tubes of lipstick. You may be able to get them from Chris’s six hour Private Time action, or from Bonnie’s four hour twerk section. Or you may not, it just depends on the loot. This is even worse when one action is needed for two quests. Two of my current objectives are calling for a rare drop that I can only get from a Peter action that runs eight hours. In the meantime, I have little to do check back and hope it has dropped, and then send Peter right back into tearing his eyeball out (I mean that literally, and that isn’t the worst thing I’ve made him do.) Right now the stable of items you can buy, particularly with the in-game currency, are super small, so if you have friends playing, you will notice that all your Quahogs look pretty much identical.
The social aspects are ripped straight from Tapped Out as well. You can click on your friends Quahogs and make a bit of money by tapping on their buildings, and they can do the same for you. Besides that, and considering most people are stuck with the same handful of buildings in the fairly small space, there isn’t much incentive to partake in the limited social functions.
I like the framework of the game, familiar as it is, and hopefully future updates will help with the extreme dearth of content. If you know exactly what to expect from this, and are a fan of the show like me, then there is entertainment to be had here. Right now though, it is more of a slog for money than a fun game, albeit one that captures the feel of the show excellently.