“Your strength will be found when you stop struggling with yourself … every obstacle in life is a lesson that teaches us.” – Shannon Adler
Pants Quest is a classic point-and-click adventure with a retro feel to it and is a game about finding one’s way in life. Wearing nothing but their underwear, players must puzzle their way through a disastrous morning and of course, find their pants!
Developer: Ghost Cat Games
Released: 2nd March 2022
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Available on: Steam
This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.
Narrative and Gameplay
Pants Quest begins with the protagonist waking up for yet another day at work but soon realises he cannot find his pants (trousers)! The game is set entirely within the apartment and there is a small to-do list with things such as having coffee and breakfast, feeding the cat and now, finding the pants! However, things are not as straightforward as they seem because everything that could possibly go wrong does.
The problems faced by the protagonist are simple in nature, such as a broken coffee mug, a blown fuse and a missing can opener but the relentless frequency at which they occur means that they soon begin to overwhelm him. The conundrums faced by the player are largely inventory-based or hidden object types, but there are some logic-based puzzles and mini-games too creating a nice level of variety in the tasks that must be carried out. They can get tricky at times but are generally quite manageable and very satisfying.
The everyday struggle of this particularly bad morning is emphasised through the character’s monologuing. The problems are relatable, as is the accompanying frustration but the defeatist nature of the protagonist’s outburst and the tendency to give up allude to deeper issues and discussions of mental health. Overall though it is a great reflection of the human condition and how even the simple things can really get to someone under the wrong circumstances.
Despite the game not being as silly as the title might suggest, there is a nice dose of dark comedy in Pants Quest, both in the dialogue and situational humour that really blends well with the slapstick nature of the constant problems as well as the themes and styling of the game.
Pants Quest is made up of detailed pixel art in a muted colour palette that matches both the stormy weather and the bad experience the protagonist is having. There is no music in the game but the ambient sound effects such as the rain and thunder are quite immersive. There are also some peculiar beeps to indicate dialogue but this felt unnecessary and even a little irritating.
Pants Quest will take around 1.5 – 2 hours to play and is an experience unlike any other. It is simple but powerful and certainly belies the silliness implied by its title. The gameplay is engaging and the puzzles satisfying, the emotive narrative is littered with dark comedy and the retro styling matches it all perfectly. Overall, this is a very interesting game based on the seemingly mundane everyday struggle – I highly recommend it!
Courtesy of Ghost Cat Games we have a Steam key for Pants Quest to giveaway on our Discord server. Come join us there for your chance to win, or just to stay up to date with Indie Hive content and chat about indie games! We’d love you to join our buzzing community!
For more point and click adventures, why not take a look at:
The Darkside Detective – 9 Point-and-Click Mysteries with a Spooky Twist! – New Point-and-Click Adventure, Mira – Shindig: A Wholesome New Point-and-Click Adventure