There are few things as vapid or as insipid as the Saturday night television lineup. Countless celebrity chat shows and talent(less) competitions litter the schedule, each one an almost identical copy of the other. You could liken those shows to television junk food – the type that really clogs your arteries up and causes a cardiac event in later life. There’s never anything original on either, like, say, ‘America’s Got Death Defiers’. Our weekend television schedules are positively crying out for some originality! Supreme League of Patriots has the answer and its protagonist, Kyle Keever, has set his eyes on winning the America’s Got Superpowers crown. Kyle’s ultra cynical British pal Mel is also on hand to give some moral support, as well as the occasional intelligence based insult. Over the course of the first episode the pair take the world to task on everything from police brutality to homophobia.
Supreme League of Patriots follows the Telltale formula, splitting its story up into three distinct ‘issues’ as they’d call them in the comic book world. The Telltale comparisons is particularly noteworthy not only because the game is an episodic point and click, but also due to its similarities to the Sam & Max series. Having said that, Sam & Max always toed the line between adult and kid-friendly humour, whereas Patriots takes a hop, a skip and a jump over that line, so expect adult gags aplenty.
As the inaugural episode of the series you’ll become acquainted with Kyle and Mel, their apartment and their day jobs. Kyle is a professional lay about with a dream of becoming a professional actor, he enjoys pizza, porn and sleeping. He thinks he can get his big break by entering America’s Got Superpowers as “The Purple Patriot”, a hilariously off-colour interpretation of Uncle Sam. His mate Mel is much the same but he also works in the computing department at the local police force.
Kyle’s a bit of an idiot and forgets where his audition is so you start off by around the apartment for the address and then create a map to the television studio. Once you’ve accomplished that you are on your way, and the game’s silly humour really starts to kick in.
The action plays out much like any other point and click game, meaning you’ll have to keep an eye out for points of interest in each location and pick up any items that might come in useful. Kyle isn’t a particularly talented chap, so most of the puzzles revolve around helping him cheat his way through his audition. Whether it’s helping him feign superhuman strength or the ability to fly, you’ll need to think outside of the box. Failing that, you can always just mouse around the screen until you find something that you missed earlier. If you get really stuck you can also consult Mel, who will see you through some of the harder to decipher puzzles.
Supreme League of Patriots main draw isn’t its bog-standard gameplay, rather it’s the discourse between Kyle, Mel and the other goofballs you’ll meet between the game’s opening and closing scenes. Every location is packed with stand out one-liners, such as Mel’s ex-girlfriend calling her vagina “old glory” because she expected it to be treated with reverence. The game also takes a masked swipe at TV talent show judges who bear a striking resemblance to David Hassellhoff and Simon Cowell, painting one as a talentless oaf and the other as a “privately gay” gentleman. Barring a few duff, borderline homophobic jokes the writing is startlingly on point and self-aware, ridiculing how bland and repetitive point and click games can be at times. There’s a joke in there for pretty much everyone and the humour is spread on so thick that both Yanks and Brits alike will get have a giggle. The script isn’t a laugh-a-minute by any means, but it kept a crease at the edges of my lips from start to finish.
As I mentioned before, the game bears the usual hallmarks of the point and click genre and does little to shake things up, so chances are you will enjoy Patriots if you are a fan of the genre, and detest it if not. The humour is always the main focus of the game though, and the tasks you’ll complete are simply there to keep the gags rolling in.
Issue one of Supreme League of Patriots ends on a cliffhanger, as all good episodic content does, leaving Kyle, ahem, The Purple Patriot in a precarious situation. Will he make it out alive? Will Mel stop being such a sarcastic knob? Will Simon Cowell ever come out of the closet? All of these questions and more might be answered in issue two, so stay tuned for my review. Oh, and definitely pick up issue one while you are at it!