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Game review: Her Majesty’s Spiffing is clever, cheeky and silly – but its very British humour won’t be everyone’s cup of tea

If you’re a fan of Fawlty, have a thing for Hitchhiker’s and dig Red Dwarf then Her Majesty’s Spiffing is a decent mobile point-and-click adventure. If not...

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 1:00pm

Her Majesty’s Spiffing

BillyGoat Entertainment

3/5 stars

To say British humour is an acquired taste is a bit of an understatement – what makes some people double over in laughter makes others recoil in horror. While there’s the universally acclaimed Fawlty Towers and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, there’s also the awkward humour of The Office and the adore-or-abhor Absolutely Fabulous.

Her Majesty’s Spiffing is very British. More British than the queen sitting in a pub with a pint of ale on a drizzly day, eating a crumpet, singing along to Oasis and petting her corgi while a black cab waits outside. Released for PCs and consoles last December, the game is now making its mobile debut (available for iOS and Android).

Originally created as an animated short, Her Majesty’s Spiffing transitioned to the gaming world partly due to Brexit and partly based on the developer’s supposed love of classic LucasArts point-and-click games.

Both influences definitely show. The adventure takes place in a near-future where Britain has exited from the EU and the queen is set on making the country great again through the establishment of a galactic empire.

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It’s equal parts clever, cheeky and silly, as only the country’s exacting humour can be, and there’s obvious inspiration from Hitchhiker’s Guide here. But while that’s all certainly appealing to a certain audience, its overall attraction is limited to those who really get the gags.

And then there’s the gameplay – call me old-fashioned, but modern adventure games just don’t “have it” anymore. The stories are there, well-crafted tales that follow classic narrative paths, but the puzzles simply don’t satisfy. Her Majesty’s Spiffing boils down to making dialogue choices, exploring locations and completing the humblest of puzzles.

There’s an argument to be made that the gameplay is a means to the story’s end, but I feel it should be the other way round, especially when there’s a supposed trilogy planned here.

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Her Majesty’s Spiffing is a decent little point-and-click which makes the transition to mobile devices effectively. If you dig Red Dwarf, if you’re a fan of Douglas Adams, if you enjoy The Walking Dead games, then this is definitely your cup of tea. For everyone else, sorry, you just won’t get it.