Review – Patch Quest

Overview

Developer Lychee Game Labs
Publisher Curve Games
Genre Indie
Platforms PC (reviewed)
Release Date March 2, 2023

Patch Quest is an indie shooter with a monster-taming system that creates a nonviolent, endearing experience for players of all ages.

Content Guide

Spiritual Content: While not outright stated during the review’s playtime, the main enemy appears to be an evil spirit or demon.

Violence: The player shoots most of the game, but no harm is inflicted on the monsters. Before the player gets their gun, the game clarifies that it shoots calming sedatives with all-natural ingredients that help keep monsters from attacking you. All alternative ammunition is in the form of different scented and flavored gels. Fruits function as ammunition, so no actual bullets are used in the game except as the icon for attack boosts.

Language: There are some uses of the words gosh, dang, and possibly heck; however, no instances of strong language were encountered.

Review

Developed by the indie studio Lychee Game Labs and published by Curve Games, Patch Quest combines a variety of genres popular in the gaming world to make a one-of-a-kind experience. The main gameplay involves the player traversing a world made entirely out of quilt patches that change every new instance of exploring. The other main component of the game is monster taming and riding. Monster catching feels more akin to old Digimon entries, with the player using a lasso to catch the different digital monsters. The monsters each have their own move sets that the player can use while riding. These moves never felt repetitive, with each monster feeling fresh and unique to control. There are many varieties of monsters, and some are exclusive to biomes, much like the different routes of Pokemon.

The second central piece of gameplay is the twin-stick shooter elements. Despite its cute aesthetic, the game can be challenging when dodging numerous projectiles at a time or timing your charged shots so you are not exposed. It adds a level of strategy to encounters, especially boss encounters. The different types of ammo add many customization options that alter how the game is played; the player can even combine ammo types to further fine-tune their character to their play style.

The final main component of the gameplay is the roguelike elements. Each time you journey into Patchlantis, the layout of the different quilt patches changes to offer a fresh experience. There are various bosses and the ability to select a power to improve your character in each adventure. Like other roguelikes, the game never generates a broken adventure where there is no way to progress. Additionally, new bosses were encountered each game run-through, which kept encounters feeling new and challenging. The bosses’ attacks all felt unique to them and caused different strategies, so it never got overly repetitive.

The game’s visual design is well done and adds to the atmosphere. The game is not overly intensive, so that it can perform well even on lower-end PC models. The character design element of the game is well done, and the fact that it can be accessed at any time allows the player the freedom to change their avatar whenever they want. All the monsters are also unique-looking, with none feeling like copies of Digimon or Pokemon designs. The overall art style was similar to the 2D style with a 3D world that Don’t Starve pioneered. Patch Quest makes this style much more cozy and cute without the gothic horror that Don’t Starve drew from.

Patch Quest’s sound and audio effects are both very well done. The soundtrack is charming and doesn’t ever feel too repetitive. Due to the quality and quantity provided, the game’s soundtrack is possibly one of its strongest aspects. The sound design is well done, and the shooting sound effect never feels grating despite spending most of the game firing it. The animal sounds are also done in a manner that makes them feel believable and adds personality to them.

Overall, Patch Quest was a pleasant experience. There were no significant issues with the game that held it back. The game world is the one issue that felt like it could’ve been done better. While roguelike randomly generated environments are popular and relatively easy to use since there is no permanent design that has to be made by the designer, the world could’ve felt more cohesive if the game had gone with a fixed layout world with consistent designs. The random nature of the map causes it to feel rather hollow as opposed to if it had a charming layout that was fixed. The other benefit the permanent layout would have provided was a consistent way to find your favorite monsters. The game is still enjoyable; it could’ve reached its full potential if it had followed a tried-and-true approach from other monster-catching games.

The Bottom Line

 

Patch Quest is an indie shooter with a monster-taming system that creates a nonviolent, endearing experience for players of all ages.

 

8

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Logan Smiley

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