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Her Majesty's SPIFFING Review

Her Majesty's SPIFFING Review

I’ll admit to loving the concept of Her Majesty’s SPIFFING as soon as I heard it. A quintessentially British point & click adventure with the basic plot of -- Brexit caused Queen Elizabeth II to take direct control of the United Kingdom from Parliament, and launch a spaceship to start a new galactic empire. It manages to remain pretty neutral about Brexit, in case you were worried one way or the other. Oh, SPIFFING is an acronym for Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies, because this is that sort of game.

The spaceship in question, the Imperialise 2, is where the action picks up with players assuming control of Captain Frank Lee English, who is accompanied by Sub-Lieutenant Aled Jones. Yes, the ship is in the shape of a Mini Cooper strapped to a Harrier Jump Jet -- I will not keep going into how British this game is.

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To be fair, he was pretty much spot-on...

Captain English is a stereotypical Londoner, even going as far as to consider anything higher than Enfield (North London) is “The North”. I realise that not everyone will get that joke, and so did the developers. In case you’re not finding the game very funny, or feel you’re missing some of the very dry British humour, Billy Goat Entertainment have put in a second language option. By default it’s set to English, but switching it over to American will add in a helpful laugh track.

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*Canned laughter* *Cheering* *Clapping*

As you progress through the game you will see parodies of every genre. There’s even a jump-scare about halfway through the game in a nod to horror… Wasn’t a fan of that, but at least there was only one of them. It also breaks the fourth wall any number of times, going so far as to letting English see out through your monitor on one occasion… If you do enough exercise, English even talks about his ‘gains’, accompanied by his being visibly drained for about a minute as you wander around.

As a fan of point & clicks since the days of the Amiga (unfortunately the Imperialise is equipped with a Windows 95 PC not an Amiga), I have to say that I enjoyed SPIFFING more than I’ve enjoyed the latest couple of Telltale games. It’s very well polished, created with chunky Wallace & Gromit-esque graphics and has superb (often hilarious) writing. The only downside is how long it takes to complete.

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Why yes, it is attached to a floppy disc drive

Weighing in at about two hours, Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is definitely on the short side of things especially at this price point (about £15). The length mainly depends on how tough you’re finding the puzzles as there are precious few hints to be given, though all of the puzzles are pretty straightforward.

As well as the usual point & click (playable with keyboard and mouse, or controller), there are a couple of sections where you control other things. One is the remote controlled Beagle Two Too, though that section is very short. It’s still a very nice break from walking around the ship.

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Walking around/being attacked

I’d love nothing more than to point out all of the moments that made me laugh, chuckle or just smile, but then you wouldn’t get the same kick out of them that I did. However, as I was sorting through my screenshots I realised that I’ll definitely have to play this through again. I missed loads of easter eggs during my first play, and that’s only counting the ones I accidentally took a screenshot of, whilst trying to catch something else.

If you’ve lived through Brexit and love a good stereotype, then I can only recommend Her Majesty's SPIFFING. If you hate references to pop culture or have no idea what a floppy disc is, then you will want to give it a miss.

8.00/10 8

Her Majesty's SPIFFING (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

You would never know that this is the first game from Billy Goat Entertainment, from how well polished and written it is. Very funny and filled with pop culture references, it makes you hopeful for the post-Brexit future.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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