This is a bad game, and you’d be better off spending your $5 on a different game, or spending just another $5-$10 to get a good game (Hollow Knight’s $15, though if you’re looking here, you probably already played it).
2 poor graphics, game-breaking glitches, weird tone, stiff controls, monotonous music, confusing item descriptions; this game does literally everything it possibly can wrong.
… I really don’t want to talk more about this game. Like, I thought Carrion was bad, or that Castlevania game which had zero new ideas (I’d argue it’s still technically worse, even if it plays better and is actually a metroidvania), but this feels like a new low. I feel like I got tricked into playing one of those shovel ware games (games designed solely to prey upon the clueless and make a few bucks).
Wife Quest is advertised as being a retro metroidvania game that has a “naughty side.” It is about half of that description. For starters: it’s not a metroidvania game. Even Flynn: Son of Crimson has more metroidvania elements than this. You do not have to go back to an area you’ve already explored. Oh, you certainly can, and the game encourages you to do so by presenting specific challenges to you, but there’s no real reason to do so. You’ll earn enough money to buy any upgrades you want, sans the stupid stuff like pictures, and there’s nothing more interesting to find. You’re only looking for money: there’s never a straight up upgrade tucked away.
oh, wait, you could also unlock a soundtrack. Because of course you’d want to listen to this mediocre music. I’ve said it before, but one of the most important parts of a Metroidvania game is the exploration. It should reward you for delving around and figuring something out, for looking into nooks and crannies. Ideally this should be a powerup, but currency or even lore are acceptable. Here it’s just money.
The story… the story is a trainwreck.
You play as Mia, who is married to Fernando, a simple farmer who for some reason is wanted by every monster girl in a land absolutely filled to the brim with them. He gets kidnapped regularly, so Mia taught herself to use a sword to chase them. That’s the entire story: you go to an area, fight a monster girl boss, mutilate them for no particular reason (the game expects you to laugh at this; you literally tear off a fairy’s wings because she flirted with Mia’s husband; the Bible has less severe punishments than that) and proceed to the next.
the dialogue is bad. Like, super, super bad. Mia comes off as a totally unlikeable jerk protagonist ripped from an unfunny 90’s anime. She constantly berates these monster girls, who apparently are just desperately lonely. Fernando never seems to mind that he’s kidnapped (comes off as almost polyamorous, really).
The jokes read as dated. Every monster girl calls Mia short and flat-chested. Every. Single. One. She’s not that short and the flat-chested thing was never funny. Period. It’s a harsh game with no likeable characters.
The gameplay is stiff and uninteresting. You control Mia, who starts with just the ability to swing a sword and jump. Various abilities are unlocked, mostly from being bodily ripped or stolen from various bosses. The controls are stiff and poorly done: you can often jump and it doesn’t quite feel like you’re landing where you should. Heaven forbid you get hid in mid-jump, as this will drop Mia like a stone and it will almost inevitably be over an instant death pit.
See, this game loves instant death pits. They show up in nearly every level, often with other fun things that gamers hate, like slick ice or lava. There are no original worlds here: it’s forest, lava world, ice world, dark castle, snooze. It even feels out of order: the lava world, with more instant death than anything, is the third level!
I cannot count the number of times I died and it felt like the game messing with me. Enemies will hit from off screen, causing Mia to drop like a stone into an instant death pit. This is precisely as much fun as it sounds. That first fairy boss was one of the hardest in the game: her sprite gives no indication of what attack she’s using, and she doesn’t attack following any set pattern to memorize, and you’re stuck on a stage where the ground constantly attacks you. I very nearly gave up the game entirely after that first boss fight: it is that frustrating.
As a reminder, I play a lot of games like this. I’ve played nearly every metroidvania on the Switch, including ones that are supposed to be incredibly hard, like Hollow Knight, Blasphemous, or Ori. I’ve even played Celeste, which is nothing but difficult platforming from start to finish. But those games always made it feel like I was failing them instead of the other way around. It wasn’t cheap mechanics that killed me or unseen enemies, but my own error.
Oh, and the game will glitch on you
Yes, that’s right, the screen glitched and blanked out on me in the middle of the final boss fight. It did this continually, making an already tricky and annoying fight (you have to constantly jump and hit her) absolutely impossible at times. I was literally fighting blind. A published game should at least have the decency to work all the way through. The middle school girls responsible for Shredded Secrets had better game design than this.
Item descriptions don’t tell you much either. There’s a shop you can buy items from (and the owner is a dwarf apparently? She also flirts with Ferdinando). One item is a swirl that reads “we dwarves also work with magic forges”
That item? Yeah, it adds a slight flaming projectile to your sword, more than doubling your reach. It is literally the strongest thing you could buy in the game, and its description tells you nothing.
This game is poorly made and will make you hate it for playing it.
Supposedly the game studio comes out of Brazil, which does explain some things. Traditionally the Sega Masters system has lasted longer in that country than anywhere else, with games still coming out for it to this day. Wife Quest feels like that: like a game made from another time for an out of date system.
It is objectively the worst game I have ever reviewed, quite possibly the worst game I’ve ever played on the Switch (Caligula Overdose may edge it out). It is not worth the money, nor the time it takes to complete (about four hours, I think?).
2 f**k this game and fire the creators who made it