Follow the space voyage of Captain Frank Lee English and his compadre Aled Jones as they take on the Queen's mission for a new British Empire. A point and click adventure full of humor and puns, it marks the beginning of a potential new trilogy in games. Everything you need to know about the game can be found right here!
Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, developed and published by Billy Goat Entertainment, is a puzzle adventure game that tells the story of how “societal isolation” (Brexit) has caused Britain to look towards the stars for rebuilding. Her Majesty the Queen has established an organization known as S.P.I.F.F.I.N.G. (Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies) after dissolving parliament and assuming ultimate power. The main protagonist, Captain Frank Lee English, is accompanied by his Walsh partner Aled Jones as they travel through space. This is the beginning of a three part series, where part two of the trilogy will completely depend on the success of the first.
Everything is based off of the point and click genre, but while giving you control of the main character, Frank Lee English, to walk around and interact with things as you wish. I'll cut to the chase early and let you know that the game is incredibly short for the first play through, and unbelievably short if you play through it a second or third time, where you'll obviously remember everything necessary (I completed my first play through in roughly 4 hours). To paint the picture a little bit more clearly for you; after the initial conversation between Frank and Aled, you're tasked with going into the kitchen to fetch some tea for the both of you. After returning to the control room, and giving the steaming hot tea to your friend, you will have finished 11 percent of the game. Now you get what I mean by short.
But luckily, the game wasn't built upon the idea of delivering a story worthy of an Academy Award, and if you can remember, it's only trying to tell the first third of the story that it is. The attractiveness of the game is it's humour and laid back approach to real world controversies as well as everything that it encompasses. It pokes fun at itself and doesn't take anything too seriously. Even the puzzles aren't extremely difficult or time consuming. You'll scratch your head here and there but more so because you're over thinking them. It's loaded with British references and jokes, movie and video game references (just look at the cover image for the game), and puns that are really funny because they are borderline extremely lame.
Sound and Graphics
It was a pleasant surprise to see how nice the game looked, even though it had only a number of environments to "explore." The rounded models of characters and objects meant that it all had a very comical and fun nature. There's no attempt at realism either, just quirky and silly actions. How can Frank possibly fit two steaming hot mugs of tea in his suit, sprint for a few good seconds on a treadmill, and still deliver it unspilt? It doesn't make sense to me or Aled Jones either but it happens. I didn't see too many technical issues while playing aside from the occasional screen tearing, and the fact that the camera cannot be rotated or moved.
The screen tearing feels minimum though since the overall flow of the game is pretty slow moving. Camera angles, while are locked into specific angles depending on the room, are not all that difficult to play within. At times I wished I could move it slightly in order to better observe the rooms, but nothing was ever truly blocked from my view. Voice acting is excellent throughout and delivers all of the humor as perfectly as you could hope for. The downside to in-game speech is repetition by the characters with actions. The first time you'll see it is during the beginning when Aled is responding to Captain Frank; regardless of what he says, he makes the same exact movements with his hands and head (it's a very subtle thing, and perhaps I'm nitpicking).
Her Majesty's SPIFFING could be viewed as a success just as easily as it could be viewed as sub-par (based almost entirely on what is to come in the future). I had fun with its extensive humor and not so subtle jabs at real world occurrences, stereotypes, and issues, but its incredibly short gameplay and story had no closure about them, and won't unless we are fortunate enough for the developers to make the next instalments and provide us with such conclusions. For me, the game feels up in the air in terms of being a worthy purchase or not; if you take the chance on it, I'm sure you'll enjoy much of what it has to offer, but don't forget that the rest of the story is still to come (maybe).
+ Fun characters and interactions
– A little pricey
+ Creative story and setting
– Short and lacks reason for multiple play throughs