Wife Quest

Year: 2021
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: Pippin Games
Genre: Action/adventure
Review Date: 2/23/23
Rating: ***

Mia and Fernando are a happily married couple, but all of the monster girls on the island have a crush on the dopey and kind-hearted Fernando. One night, Morganna kidnaps Fernando so that all the monster girls can have some fun with him, which enrages Mia and forces her to pick up a sword and punish everyone who stands between her and her husband.

It's a cute role-reversal game that's playfully innocent, full of heart, and also just a little naughty. The sexy and voluptuous monster girls constantly tease Mia for being short, scrawny, and flat-chested, which speaks to the game's anime inspired themes and aesthetics. The 2D pixel art is gorgeous and the game has a wonderfully nostalgic 16-bit era vibe. As Mia progresses through each level and boss character, she has the option to increase her strength and stamina with the coins that she's collected. A generous checkpoint system ensures that you never have to rewind too far when you die, and you don't have to wait for any loading screens when you retry. The only caveat is that checkpoints aren't saved if you decide to leave the level or quit the game, which encourages you to complete each level in one sitting.

The game is difficult, but fair, and the boss battles can be very challenging. Unfortunately, the final level is so ridiculously hard that I gave up after only a few minutes, leaving poor Fernando trapped in Morganna's castle and desperately trying to deflect her amorous advances. The controls are tight and responsive, with the exception of the dash move, which is loose, inconsistent, and difficult to control. On top of that, the game's biggest failure is that it doesn't tell you how to use the dash, which left me stranded for about twenty minutes before I had to ask the Internet for help. The music and sound effects are delightful and the writing is very clever and funny. The main theme revolves around Mia being overly jealous and irrationally angry, and that she just needs to chill out and share her husband with everyone. The monster girls don't want to hurt Fernando, but Mia still sees them as a threat and punishes them with extreme prejudice. You actually feel sorry for the monster girls at times. Even so, Fernando and a reluctant Mia ultimately end up apologizing to the monster girls for Mia's jealous rampage, which wraps up the game on a surprisingly sweet note.

The game encourages replay as more areas open up with Mia's extra abilities, and there are numerous treasures and unlockables to find in each level. You can also replay levels to gain more money, which is necessary to increase your skills at Ymir's shop. I enjoyed "Wife Quest" a lot and in many ways it reminded me of the equally fun "Shantae" games. However, its difficulty was a constant pain point for me, and the UI isn't overly intuitive.