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Trailer Park King #XBLIG Review

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Review by: Rob Rich

Ah, trailer parks. The strangest mash-up of uncouth, grungy, unlearned and downright smokin’ hot-hot-hotties in the entire country. Assuming TV and video games never lie to us. Which they don’t. Ever.

Anyway, as the self-titled King, it’s your job to wander around this M.C. Escher designed collection of double-wides and figure out whodunnit. By “dunnit,” I mean murdered the park owner/manager’s son and framed King for it. And by “figure out,” I mean wander back-and-forth from trailer-to-trailer, talking with the resident sexay laydays and going on fetch quests. Yup, Trailer Park King is one of those games.

First the good. The illustrations are, generally speaking, quite nice. I’m not a fan of the oddly-shaped eyes on all the characters or the almost complete lack of any movement whatsoever, but they look pretty good. The voice acting is also a step up from normal XBLIG fare. It’s not quite on par with, say, Sequence, but it’s well done overall and absolutely everything is spoken out loud. Yessir, no needless “reading” going on here. Although dialogue boxes do still make an appearance.

The game itself is also pretty fun while it lasts. Some of the items you’ll need for other characters to cooperate will take some thought to acquire, although a few of them are a bit obvious. And as with most point-and-click style games, it’s fun to sweep the cursor all over the place and see what can be fiddled with and what happens when you do.

Now for the not so good. As much as I love adventure games and figuring out whocouldhavepossiblycommittedsuchaheinouscrime, the entire experience feels rather stripped down. There’s no inventory, no dialogue choices… heck, you can’t even talk to the ladies anymore (and hear the same lines) after they’ve said all there is to say. Solving the crime is really just a matter of talking to a few people a few times until their name gets checked off the suspect list, and the lack of an inventory makes remembering what you have to give to whom a bit troublesome.

I’m also not much of a fan of the story, sorry to say. I like the premise just fine, but the actual plot is rather disjointed. Random alien technology makes a couple of appearances for no discernible reason, the player is presented with a choice that seems to make no sense on more than one occasion and that ending was… I don’t mean to sound like an ass but what was that? And worst of all, there doesn’t appear to be any option to save your game. Granted, the entire thing can be beaten in a little over an hour or so with some diligence, but I still feel a little short-changed here.

As much as I might hem and haw about  Trailer Park King‘s shortcomings, I still had fun with the time I spent playing it. Adventure games are sorely lacking on Xbox Live, especially in the indie channel, and the last one I can remember before this is the open-handed slap to the face that is Get Rich or Die Gaming. I only hope that there’s some kind of follow-up that chronicles the further adventures of King and his… sheep. So help me, I still want to know what happens.

Rating: 3.5 buckets o’ crap out of 5


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