Village People: The Videogame
A Review by Mr. 8bit
Download Here

In Surlaw’s own words: “This game was entered into [The Terrible Game Contest] because of its ridiculous premise alone.”  On its face, this statement seems to be true.  A game about The Village People?  That HAS to be absurd!  But once you get down into it, this game makes so much sense.  And that is the genius of Surlaw’s artistic vision.  He takes a premise that would seem to be ridiculous and treats it in a “serious” (for lack of a better word) manner.  This results in a game that is both engaging and full of heart. 

Judging by the download count, most people reading this review have already played Village People, so I won’t go too far in depth as far as the story goes.  Basically, the other members of The Village People have mysteriously vanished and it is up to the Police Chief to find them.  This is the where that ridiculous premise turns into rock-solid game design. 

The Village People are presented as a sort of Superhero Squad, with each of them having their own unique abilities.  For example, the Cowboy uses his guns to pull off a scatter-shot.  The thing is, these characters fit so well within the RPG system.  The different costumes really present some funny and unconventional character classes.  But it is truly great how much sense these characters make while filling their respective roles and functions.  The whole execution took some vision on the author’s part.


In this demo, you are only allowed to rescue the Cowboy.  In order to find him, you have to make your way through a desert.  There is a clever puzzle involving a sandstorm and the boss battle itself forces you to make immediate use of your new-found companion’s abilities.  I have it on good authority that this will be true of all future boss battles as well.  This was a refreshing change of pace from most OHR games, where generally, special attacks and abilities are useless.  It was cool to be presented with an ability that you could implement immediately.

The graphics in this game are vibrant and oozing with style. Everything looks like it belongs.  Structures are interesting to look at and nearly EVERYTHING has flavor-text attached to it.  This is a nice touch that really immerses the player into the game world.  NPCs have developed back stories that make interacting with them a fun and rewarding experience.  The world is also stuffed with secrets and items for you to find.  Every trashcan should be examined and every tree should be climbed.  The exploration aspect of this game is really astounding.

The little details are also fantastic.  When you equip the disco ball, for example, the screen flashes like a disco-tech.  When you wear the clown suit, you actually look like a clown- even in battle.  When you attack with the rubber chicken… well, you get the idea.  I was blown away by the amount of thought and detail that was put into this game.  Surlaw obviously pulled out all of the stops when designing it.

But as much as what’s IN the game makes it great, it is also what is left OUT of the game that deserves some mention.  As far as I could tell, there were no ‘gay’ jokes to be found anywhere.  I commend Surlaw for not going down that road.  Those types of jokes would be uninspired and obvious.  Instead, the characters are treated not as cheap caricatures, but as living, breathing (Village) People. THAT is what gives this game so much heart and makes it so endearing.

This game is the next OHRRPGCE classic.  Period.  Once the open ended game-play is implemented, it will take this game to a whole new level.  I’ve been told that there will be certain areas that only specific Village People will have access to.  Future boss battles also sound like they are going to be unique and fun experiences.  I can’t wait to see what abilities the other Village People have.  If you haven’t downloaded this game, you are really doing yourself a disservice.  Go play this game.  Now.