All the feels.
Very few games will cause me to tilt the phone and play. I am not a mobile guy, I like my controllers. Saturday Morning RPG started its life as an iOS game, and is one of the few I took the time to play. The mix of nostalgia and pop culture references were outstanding, not to mention it was a simple yet addictive RPG that focused on fun. Now that the game is getting a chance on consoles, I cannot recommend it enough. For those that grew up in the 80s and 90s, this game speaks volumes for the generation, and throughout every episode, I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face as I played it.
Saturday Morning RPG is a simple game, one that relies on what it presents, rather than the complex systems players are usually required to learn. Almost every attack involves some sort of mini-game, and all attacks are modeled after pop-culture references. Whether I am sending a stampede of Fruit Stripe Gum horses, or laying down a back slap while performing the Moonwalk, it is all visually pleasing and fun.
Platforms: PS4, Vita, PC
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
The story follows a kid named Marty who is tasked with taking down the bad guys. He is visited by “The Wizard”, who bears a striking resemblance to Lucas from the movie of the same name. He even has a Power Glove on. The Wizard bestows a special Trapper Keeper to Marty, complete with scratch and sniff stickers that provide buffs before each fight. On PS4 I could use the analog stick, or the Touchpad to scratch them before each fight. It is a gimmick, but one that works in the context of the rest of the game.
Combat is standard turn-based fare, but with a small action twist. Players can opt to charge their attacks before each turn, making them much more powerful. These charges can even be stacked up to three times before delivering. The attacks themselves are also action-based, meaning they all involve some sort of button prompt to deliver more damage. Whether it is a meter or a series of inputs, each move is unique. It keeps things interesting during each encounter without getting overly complicated.
There are five episodes to plow through, with each one lasting an hour or more depending on how many side-quests and how much exploring I decided to do. Each episode feels entirely fresh with new locales, enemies, and things to do. What I love most about Saturday Morning RPG is that it respects my time. This is not some 40-hour opus; it is a tightly-knit experience that is clearly designed for players of my age – those with more money than time now.
Visually the game carries over its iOS roots with pixelated characters with simple animations. It is both colorful and charming. As I mentioned the locales are varied and fun to explore. I could see inspirations for all the characters, and it tugged on my nostalgia every time a new series entered the fray.
It has been a long journey for Saturday Morning RPG, starting with Episode One on iOS and now a full-fledged console game (complete with a physical copy if you were lucky enough to snag one). I have adored the game since its inception and am happy to say the console version finally feels like the complete experience. Everything works well with a controller, and the nostalgia for players who grew up in the 80s is unmatched. I cannot recommend this game enough if things like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and He-Man make you smile. This game will have you grinning ear-to-ear from start to finish.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.