Video games generally don’t remind me of my age in a bad way, but The Adventures of Bluke Bifton: Chapter 1 takes me back to a certain flavor of animation that really didn’t inspire me in the nineties. It doesn’t do much for me now. The Adventures of Bluke Bifton plays like a visual novel with a host of minigames, so if you like story with the odd interruption, this might be for you.
Bluke Bifton is a regular teenage boy who helps his father run his restaurant, Bifton’s Bar and Grill. While not exactly thrilled with his life, Bluke helps the evicted Captain Munch move his worldly goods from the curb to the Munchmobile, and thereby inadvertently stumbles onto an adventure that will bring him into contact with the Forces of Evil attacking his home, the Isle of Flungo.
You will explore most of the island, including its capital Gusk City, and you’ll end up enlisting the aid of a host of characters, including Krekner, clearly a riff off of the Australian explorer stereotype, and his companion Paul who mostly resembles a cross between a rubber duck and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger with Walter White’s taste in underwear. And yes, you did read that correctly.
The Adventures of Bluke Bifton is an exercise in exploring the absurd that tries for the charm of the Spongebob aesthetic and doesn’t quite get there. However, let’s talk about the game by category. In terms of the aesthetics, The Adventures of Bluke Bifton leans into the ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, the animation is well done if visually irritating with all the bouncing, and the colors of the handpainted backgrounds are striking. However, the particular vibe is not one that gels with me.
The title is fully voiced, and I can’t really criticize any of the performances. My issue lies mostly with the writing. You do have dialogue options, but these can be divided into the polite and the extremely rude. There never really seems to be a neutral option. If you have kids, please pay attention to the game’s rating; the language is pretty profane.
The gameplay is nicely straightforward, and the simplicity makes for an intuitive play experience. The title seems clear of bugs and other programming issues. The Adventures of Bluke Bifton creates most of its gameplay challenge via the plentiful and varied minigames sprinkled throughout its runtime. I’m not the biggest fan of minigames, but they’re well done in The Adventures of Bluke Bifton. I’m also serious about the variety. They range from puzzles to button-mashing tests of your twitch reflexes, so you really aren’t going to get bored.
Moreover, The Adventures of Bluke Bifton recognizes that not everyone will be good at all things, so you don’t have to win the minigame in order to advance. Simply completing the base challenge is sufficient to meet the requirements. I have to admit, I really loved that choice by developer Brainloaf Studio. You’ve also got various interesting boss fights awaiting you throughout your adventure, and these are well-crafted and fun.
While I don’t think the game is for me, I do recognize and appreciate that the developers decided what they wanted The Adventures of Bluke Bifton to be and went out and made it. It is unapologetic about what it is, and the devs have tried to execute that vision as well as they possibly can. I think they succeeded, but it’s not going to be for everyone. Parents and players should know that there’s plenty of adult language and violence in the title that may mean it won’t be appropriate for everyone.
The Adventures of Bluke Bifton: Chapter 1 retails for a reasonable price of $5.99 on Steam.
- The burger minigame can get frustrating because it’s very much reflex-based. Same is true of the fair.
- Again, I really wish my sense of humor jived with this. It’s definitely going to be one of those titles that you either adore or drop within the first five minutes.
- Paul is for sure the MVP in The Adventures of Bluke Bifton, but I have real questions about the sheer lack of shirts in this.
- You can alienate characters, which is weirdly a nice choice as well.
- Once again, I just want to stress that The Adventures of Bluke Bifton does what it does well. It’s just not a vibe that works for me personally.