In light of what has been a very bizarre year politically, in terms of the Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump finding himself as a future incumbent of the White House, it was only a matter of time before someone grabbed onto those events and used them in video game form - mercifully, with a huge dose of sarcasm, wit and humour, because we all need a good laugh right about now.
Her Majesty's Spiffing sees the Queen retake control of the British Isles as, after Brexit, it seems that politicians can't be bloody well trusted to do anything right in her eyes. However, with the rest of the world already firmly against Britain, it seems the only chance for future expansion lies in the stars. Cue a rapidly built space mission launch using Big Ben, and a spacecraft that is a whimsical combination of a harrier jet and a Mini. What could go wrong?
You step into the shows of Captain Frank Lee English and his stoic, and disapproving, helmsman Aled Jones. It's inherently stereotypical but always with a huge slice of humour, and the game is happy to riff on its own foibles, those of other games, general pop culture, obvious (and some not so obvious) sci-fi references and everything in between.
A point and click adventure, though in this case using the controller if you find yourself playing on consoles, that sticks cleverly to the tropes of the past while still finding time to subvert and mock those very same cliched ideas at every opportunity.
The game looks wonderful, with detailed backgrounds full of items to tinker with to elicit the usual range of dry and sarcastic responses. As ever you'll be trying to the jam every item you find into one another to successfully come up with solutions to the problems you face. The voicework too is top notch, and along with a solid script, is sure to raise a number of laughs. It's nothing ground breaking, but the crew at Billy Goat surely know their stuff when it comes to classic adventures of yesteryear and the game is a wonderful homage.
Puzzles never seem overly obtuse either, so you aren't likely to go crazy trying to figure anything out. Plus a few of them have multiple angles of approach that can lead to alternate minigames and jokes, so it's worth experimenting to make sure you see and do everything.
If there was one minor gripe it would be that the game is not overly long, you'll be able to get through everything in a few short hours, even without a guide. It's a minor quibble though, as the overall package here is so well put together and enjoyable that it's well worth your time. Though it may also have less appeal to those that don't quite click with the British sense of humour, as some of the comments from Frank and Aled are VERY British.
If you like tea, and space, and political commentary, and jokes, plus stereotypes and mocking those stereotypes, and mocking the fact that such stereotypes always turn up in these games and.......what was my point?.......oh, if you like well made point and click games with a sense of humour then you'll like this. Here's hoping for a sequel.
It's pretty spiffing indeed.