Ryan Thomason

Is There Any Place for Comedy in Video Games?

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When you think about the top video games or even your personal favorites, you surely envision fun game-play, action and adventure, a compelling storyline, and perhaps some explosions. What probably doesn’t come to mind, however, is comedy. Sure, there may be a few moments of levity here and there, but comedy isn’t usually something game creators take very seriously (pun intended.) But perhaps that is starting to change a little.

An article on Vice discusses why it’s difficult to make funny video games, but it offers up some recent examples of games that aren’t just good, but also funny. You can’t talk about comedy these days without mentioning South Park, and The Stick of Truth encompasses a lot of the same humor from the show and is just a blast to play. Fans will be happy to know that a sequel of sorts, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, is in the works.

Shovel Knight is another funny and goofy video game, which if the title didn’t give it away, features a knight who uses a shovel as a weapon. And then there’s Jazzpunk, where there are hundreds of jokes, some in your face and others so subtle that they’ll only be revealed after playing it multiple times.

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One major name brand in comedy is Monty Python, and the troupe has also delved into the world of video games. If seeing John Cleese do his silly walk makes you giggle every time, then you’ll be happy to know about a recent mobile game. In The Ministry of Silly Walks, players control Cleese’s character as he makes his way around London trying to collect coins and other things. But be warned: Once you start playing, it will be hard to put down. Gambling.com notes that there’s another Monty Python game out there, though this one based on their Spamalot show. Everything you enjoy about their Holy Grail movie (and subsequent musical spinoff) can be found in this game, including cows as projectiles, killer rabbits, and of course the Knights Who Say “Ni!”

If you’re looking for even more comedy in video games, head over to Make Use Of. There are a few funny gems mentioned there that you may not know about, such as Sam & Max, which is about a detective dog whose sidekick is a wise-mouthed, hyperactive rabbit. Or how about Amateur Surgeon? Just the name alone is funny. If you like Adult Swim humor, then this is the game for you. The star is Alan Probe, a pizza delivery guy by day and a surgeon by night. There’s also Octodad: Dadliest Catch, where players are introduced to an octopus who wears a suit to hide the fact that he’s an octopus and tries to act like any normal dad raising a family in the suburbs.

While humor isn’t usually a big consideration when it comes to video games, it is always appreciated by players. Perhaps the success of these games will spur developers into creating more that are fun and funny.

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