Racism, sexism, homophobia, paedophilia — all the horrible things that makes Family Guy what it is are present in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, plus some free-to-play mechanics some might find offensive.
Noticing that EA's The Simpsons: Tapped Out was making an incredibly exaggerated million dollars (£600,000 or so) per second, executives at Fox tapped developer TinyCo. to create basically the same thing, only with Family Guy. They're both Fox programs, so it's okay.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out begins after the fictional city of Springfield explodes, its stupid, overweight main character tasked with restoring the town to its former glory. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff begins after the fictional city of Quahog explodes, its stupid, overweight main character tasked with restoring the town to its former glory.
It's a timer-and-quest city-building game. Characters are unlocked and sent on quests to earn more money to unlock more buildings and characters. There's no real skill required — just a great deal of patience and a high tolerance for offensive content.
The comparisons fans have been making between The Simpsons and Family Guy since the latter started airing apply to the two games as well. Tapped Out keeps it clean and mostly politically correct; The Quest for Stuff attempts to overcome outrage by offending everyone equally.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out is older, its formula well-established. The Quest for Stuff is fresher, layering on glitzy new features and clever ideas that sometimes work quite well.
Giving each individual unlocked character their own experience level is neat, for instance, but it also adds another barrier to progression — some required quests are only unlocked at a certain level, meaning a lot more waiting.
Actually progression barriers are a core mechanic of the game. Unlock a character, and a series of objectives appear over their heads. These are usually items players are required to collect — ten frogs, six lipsticks, four popsicles — that sort of thing. These items can either be acquired through waiting on building timers, waiting on quest timers for other characters, or spending shells, the premium currency of the game.
They're really pushing the premium currency here, to the point where, early on in the game, players are given a quest to spend $5 (£3) on it. That quest never goes away — it sits there in your quest bar until money is changed hands. That's something Tapped Out has never done.
Note the rather substantial number of coins and clams in my inventory. The developer gifted my account with 10,000 clams for review purposes. The in-game store lists 3,500 clams as the "Best Deal!" at $99.99 (£60). At the time of this writing, I have blown through more than £60 of in-game currency.
Where did it all go? Some I spent on unlocking premium content like Buzz Killington or Consuela the maid. Most of it went towards bypassing timers or skipping the tedious collection quests in order to activate more quest-bearing characters. I've spent nearly sixty pounds worth of in-game currency on impatience.
That's not to say The Simpsons Tapped Out doesn't give players ample opportunities to spend. It's just a bit more subtle about it. There's that show correlation again.
If you're able to resist the call of currency and are a fan of the Family Guy show, you'll likely find something that tickles your fancy in The Quest for Stuff. The signature humour is intact, for better-or-worse, and getting to know the citizens of Quahog all over again is entertaining enough, especially with the fake Facebook pages each character updates as they progress through the levels.
Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is as crass and offensive as they come, which completely works given the game's target audience. It's also a major time and potentially money sink, wearing its desire to acquire your hard-earned cash right there on its quest bar.
Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff
- Genre: Quest-and-timer city building
- Developer: TinyCo
- Platforms: Android, iOS
- Price: Free