Stupid Invaders by UbiSoft
Review date: 08.03.2001
Release date: 06.03.2001 in USA/ December 2000 in Europe
The game was: purchased
More screenshots: here
Introduction. Even when Lucas Arts dropped the classic hand drawn point and click adventures, luckily there are still people that believe in humor and 2D. Although this game doesn't come from the gods at Lucas, saying it slightly resembles the Day of the Tentacle is reasonable and in more than one area the alumni went over the teacher: just as an example, the cutscenes are superior to anything else you may have ever seen on your PC, only some high quality cartoons are as brilliant as the ones here. Of course all this graphical beauty and the length of cutscenes let the title spread over an astonishing quantity of CDs, 4! A DVD version would be a good bet, I guess. Everything starts with your usual UFO crash, but here you will take the role of the embarrassing dumb aliens instead of the lame USA forces. The whole game you will deal with these funny creatures trying hard to head back home, and of course their lack of common sense will bring them to reiterate failures. The Plot takes an 8.8 out 10, funny and original.
Graphics. Everything but the characters themselves is great, and during the cutscenes the invaders themselves also look great. Simply during gameplay the invaders' animations are lousy with really too few frames shown during action, i.e. it looks like as walking has only 3 or 4 different frames. Although in the overall beauty of the backgrounds, objects and cutscenes, this is just a small glitch that you will master to ignore... fast. Backgrounds are gorgeous; they look dynamic and alive; not like in most of pre-rendered 3D flat adventures, colors are vivid and often unrealistic, everything is aimed at giving a fresh gaming experience and not a reasonable world. Overall the cutscenes will last more than an hour, the point is that the game doesn't last longer than 20 times than the movies. The Graphics take a 9.1 out 10, wonderful looking.
Sound. Well whilst most scientists are still wondering about their existence, here we discover that they speak English and they can be subtitled in five languages... The speech alone is highly entertaining, giving each of the invaders their own characteristics and some appearance of real-like. You will learn to love each one of the invaders, with his voice, his acting, his faults and everything else, though as soon as you will really love them the game will be already completed. Of course most of the fun in the sound area is offered by the voices of the transsexual invader and of the dumb orange one. Well, yes, if you’re still wondering, actually one of the Invaders is willing to change sex, many of the jokes are not appropriate for a younger audience and although hand painted, the game target is above 14 years old. Sound effects are clean and solid, having a simple subwoofer will make your hearing experience highly pleasant, the explosions alone is a huge pro for Stupid Invaders. The Sound is worth a 9.3 out of 10, as it really adds up to the gameplay.
Music. I always feel music rating is personal, the music genre here is relaxing and sometimes there will be no background music at all. Anyway the music arena links fairly well to the gaming experience, and although not as reliable as I-muse of Lucas Arts, it tries hard to change based on the context of the situation. The Music goes back home with an 8.2 out of 10, good try.
Gameplay and Controls. Oh, well, I guess you’ve heard of point and click adventures by now; if you didn't please close this window now, we are a site for gamers... err... well the interface is really easy, just a matter of clicking left button. In a couple of situations you will have to use the right button to shift actions from the default view, as during right click the cursor icon will try its best to resemble the action you wish to perform. But the controls are pretty buggy and in various places you will keep clicking, shouting 'hey, move over there', but there's no way out; sometimes places that seem walkable can't have the pleasure of supporting alien feet. Gameplay is linear: although there are a few funny things not needed to complete the game that can be done, there are no two ways to solve one puzzle and playing the game for a second time is pointless or at least as entertaining as watching a Disney cartoon for a second time. It will not add anything to the first time, but will still be a pleasure for the eyes. My only complaint about gameplay is that the puzzles are really badly targeted; they range from impossible to damn easy. The puzzles are so unequilibrated that to solve some of them you will have to read a walkthrough while some others just require a couple of easy clicks. Just an example: the desert level without a walkthrough would just mean trying and trying again and again until you have drawn a map of it all and know where to grab everything needed to complete it, and since going out of boundaries leads to death, it will require you to play in a boring die an try again fashion. One of the feelings that will last both during gameplay and after completion, is that the characters always run around alone; there is really little talking going on, rarely two characters will be in same room if you are in action mode, whilst a lot of characters may join the area during cut-scenes. Makes me wonder if they were not able to develop an engine that could afford some more artificial life, I can't guess, although I am sure that anyone playing the game will often have this feeling of lonelyness. However some parts of the game, like the first house or the exploding chickens or again the mad scientists and some location of their own “area 51” are so well thought and drawn that they will last in your head for a while. I am sure that if Stupid Invaders was the first point and click adventure of my life, many pictures of it would last forever in my mind. Sadly I’ve played the entire Lucas Arts arsenal and I think my memories will keep being full mainly of Threpwoods, Tentacles and here and there some Stupid Invaders, some Sam, some Max and some Loom. The Gameplay takes a short 7.1 out of 10, nice but shoooooort. The Controls are worth a 7.0 out of 10, easy but somewhat buggy.
Overall. I did complete the game sitting in front of the PC in five or six sessions, for an overall gameplay of maybe 15 hours, and just to assure you that I'm not that smart, my girlfriend completed it in the same amount of time. Everything in the game pushes you to complete and keep playing it, though, being an adventure and having a forced way trough, there's absolutely no replayability, therefore each of the CDs will bring about 4 hours of entertainment, just two times as much as a DVD movie. Probably a Stupid Invaders version in 25 CDs, with the original Lucas engine could have been the best adventure ever, but here we have a short adventure with great atmosphere, a hilarious plot, great cutscenes, awesome voice acting, good music, some impossible to solve puzzles, some bugs and the feeling that it could have been so much better. Kudos go to the guy that invented the Stupid Invaders first and my guess is that someone that developed the game is really interested in excrements, play the game if you want to know more, I'm not going to talk about poo poo here... The Stupid Invaders drive back to their planet with a 7.8 out of 10 score.