Review by HYD

Reviewed: 12/09/04

They say it is the definitive game for the lazy people, I digress.

Progress Quest - They say it is the definitive game for the lazy people, I digress.

I was put off a little when I noticed that this so-called 'game' had only a size of 300 odd kilobytes when I downloaded it. As any gamer would know, what kind of phenomenal goody could you pack in a puny size of 300kb? Regardless of that fact, I proceeded to give it a shot and unzipped this small download to see two swords crossing each other in an 'X' fashion icon popping out on my desktop. Intrigued, I opened the program to see a rather shabby main menu that listed the familiar categories you would note in any game. I clicked on the multiplayer new game button, and I was shifted to the server selection screen. So far, everything still seems reasonable. That's until you reach the character selection screen and you see the large variety of races and classes that really suggest the wittiness of the game producers.

While the variety seems extreme, they actually pose no alarming factor to your gaming capability. Some races are definitely worth a mention - Talking Pony, Panda Man, Enchanted Motorcycle - and same it goes for the classes - Robot Monk, Puma Burglar, Tongueblade - that are available for your selection. I decided to go with the sanest combination I can derive upon - a Crested Dwarf having the class of Ur-Paladin. Next came the stats rolling section where - as the name suggests - you roll your stat points. After registering my character Ravex into the server of Oobag, I was off to the killing fields.

I was brought to this screen that would be the screen you will be staring at for the rest of your Progress Quest life. After the prologue ended, which took nearly 15 seconds, the status bar at the bottom started to indicate that I was killing stuffs. Equipped with my only weapon in my arsenal, the sharp stick, my character proceeded to slaughter the likes of enemies such as gnomes, ghouls and the occasional teenage bugboar. Alternatively, he could also be killing the zombies prowling around with his level I Cone of Paste whilst simultaneously buffing himself up with his level I Hastiness. The possibility is endless. While it sounds very engrossing and interesting, it is actually only you and a bar that slowly increases with each passing second, literally. And it will stay that way for the rest of your Progress Quest life.

Anyone who has a brain and stays with this screen for a minute or two will slowly realize that this is what Progress Quest is all about. To put it bluntly, it is an automatic MMORPG, something that you will never have a control with. It embodies all the familiar aspects of text RPGs, just that it is really never-ending. Your character will slay monsters after monsters, collect the spoils and when his limit is up, he will proceed to the nearest town that is always of such close proximity to him to sell his booty and negotiate for the purchase of newer and better equipment. This is the never-ending cycle of this game. Along the way, your character will level up. The first level will take roughly half an hour or so, but after hitting to level 50 odd, one level could take nearly a few days of computer usage. It is really the ultimate test of endurance at best. But nobody is expecting you to stare at this screen for the whole journey. Instead, you can minimize the screen to your taskbar and it will dutifully perform the tasks for you. It's as if it doesn't even exist. There is no sign of slowdowns at all, so why not just let it run? With a game like this, you would expect to have a really dull and low-populated community. And it is no surprise, really. The community that plays Progress Quest is large, ranging to a few hundred thousand characters but most of them are left at level 1. It is a pity to see people disregard this game as the 'worst game ever' but technically, it isn't supposed to be played but rather to be just allowed running in the background.

All in all, Progress Quest is a game that requires your imagination to go completely wild. It is impossible to just stare at the moving boxes and have fun. It is really up to you to picture what your character is doing. Progress Quest leaves you in a state of mind that requires you to just simply think wild. Your imagination would really be the critical factor that decides your fate in this game. Alternatively, you can just let it run in the background and not give two hoots about it. The best of all things in PQ is that your character will never be slaughtered. In fact, there isn't even a HP bar or a MP bar. The next closest thing to it would be the HP Max and MP Max category. PQ overrides the meaningless and taxing task of respawning and bringing your character to the killing fields and start training again. The program itself does everything automatically for you.

The team behind it is also continually developing Progress Quest. New monsters, equipment and spells are being added once in a while and they prove to be hilarity to most. Your character can execute a passing undernourished Brontosaurus in under mere seconds using spells such as Roger's Grand Illusion, Rabbit Punch that are continually being upgraded from I to II and so on. The game also features on-going quests that your character will undertake every time he completes one. And if he completes the quest, rewards such as experience, money or new and rare equipment would ensue. Effectively, they do not affect your character capability much but is just there to add a little flavor to this text game. The Plot Development section of the game also depicts how far you are into the game. The ranking system on Progress Quest's main website shows the highest leveled character in each and every server. Not only that, it ranks each and every character in descending order as well that can be viewed comfortably by anyone. There is also a handy search function available that cuts out the taxing task of searching your character among the thousands of over who would be at the same level as you are. At this point of writing, the highest leveled character in my server is at a shocking level of 87. That will take approximately one year of average computer usage time.

So yes, if you spend a few hours on the Internet everyday, give Progress Quest a shot. It is only a minute or so download and it runs on its own. It does not take up any noticeable memory at all, and you still have a chance to earn those bragging rights. Executing four Triceratopses with a blasting spell of Vitreous Humor while fending off its attacks with your +44 Cambric Banded Propugner before sending the lot to make their maker with a thrust of your +32 Vorpal Steely Poleax has never been this satisfying and Progress Quest has it all.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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