We have games that make us excited and that make us sad. We have games that make us think and games that let us turn our brains off. We have all of these games in droves. But we have few games that make us laugh. Sadly, Supreme League of Patriots does little to alleviate this issue. Instead, more often then laughs, Patriots evokes frustration with the adventure game tropes that it perpetuates despite making fun of.
Supreme League of Patriot (or SLOP, the game candidly points out its acronyms is) is a point and click adventure game of the more classic variety. Even though the game is broken into episodes, this is not a Telltale-style affair. There are no quick-time events and no choices to make. You click to move, combine items and solve puzzles that make almost no sense. Like most games in the genre today, SLOP employes a help system. And it does a fantastic job of making that system both a game mechanic and an import part of the story by combining them into the Purple Patriot's old chum, Melvin..
The Patriot is Kyle Keever, a janitor-turned-crime fighter, and this first season plots his rise to herodom across 3 episodes that range between 3 and 5 hours each. Episode 1 revolves around Kyle’s entry into the reality TV show “America’s Got Superpowers” and subsequent transformation into the Purple Patriot. Episode 2 sends the Patriot on a quest to become a legitimate hero. Episode 3 takes a surprising turn a for a adventure game and actually looks at the consequences of those actions.
Episode 1, A Patriot is Born, is the easily the most traditional of the three. With your main goal being to pass the challenges on “America’s Got Superpowers,” you’re tasked with solving a number of illogical puzzles. Though it feels most prevalent in the first episode, the whole season suffers from the classic “click on everything and then click on everything again because something you clicked on the first time created a new option on an item the second time” method of solving puzzles. And that won’t be so egregious if the game didn’t make a blatant and genuinely funny joke about it not being that kind of game in the first 5 minutes. As with a lot of adventure games, SLOP doesn’t have an issue with telling you your end goal. Where it lacks is in the telling of what you’re trying to do now.
Episode 2, Patriot Frames, is my least favorite of the 3. It requires far fewer item combinations than episode 1 but because the game takes place over a much larger area, it also involves the most backtracking. It also involves some of my biggest points of frustration regarding puzzle. I had where an issue I needed to take an item but I couldn’t take it until I talked to the person next to the item and I couldn't talk to the person about the item until I examined the item. So not only do you need to click on everything, you need try every interactivity option for everything you click on.
Episode 3, Ice Cold in Ellis, is by far the best of the first season. It contains less of the item combining and backtracking of the previous episodes and it does something few games of it’s ilk do: take you actions into account. Now, I don’t mean you “soul searching choice/consequence” actions, I mean your “crazy adventure game protagonist” actions. All adventure games center around main characters that steal virtually everything and screw over almost everyone. But somehow this never causes an issue later on. With SLOP, your scheming and conniving in Episode 2 really come back to bite you in the ass and create the entire plot for episode 3. It’s quite refreshing.
But while the larger picture works, the moment to moment is less successful. SLOP has a debilitating weakness that keeps it from being great: the uneven humor. There’s are some genuinely funny moments in SLOP, unfortunately they’re undercut by their inconsistency. There’s a solid TV episode’s worth of comedy here, may me even a movie’s worth. But when that is stretched over the course of nearly 15 hours, it just feels out weighed. The issue is not that most of the jokes are overtly bad, they’re just fall flat.
Supreme League of Patriots has solid bones. It knows what makes a good adventure game but it sticks too closely to what’s come before. Mingled with a script that has not enough laughs, Patriots is a hard game to recommend. But with the initial world building out of the way, a second season could be something special. As it stands, Supreme League of Patriots it well made if unremarkable adventure game.
Jonathan is the host of the DarkCast, DarkCast Interviews, and Gamers Read. He loves books, video games, and superheroes. If he had to pick favorites, they would be Welcome to the Monkey House, Mass Effect, and Superman respectively.