Reviews: Problem Sleuth

Hussy's actual masterpiece

A friend of mine was recommending I check out Homestuck, but suggested I read "Problem Sleuth" first to get a feel for the style in something shorter. I'm so glad she suggested it, because...look, "Homestuck" is wild, creative, etc. etc. but it's also rambling, overlong, and stuffed with way too many characters. "Problem Sleuth," on the other hand, is brilliantly paced, consistently hilarious, and in its own way as massive in scope as the larger "Homestuck." I like "Homestuck." I absolutely love "Problem Sleuth."

The story manages to perfectly balance randomness with a set of rules to make it feel like you are actually playing a bizarre (and badly broken) computer game. The story itself keeps getting stranger and stranger but never becomes incoherent. The characters, though little more than a few tropes strung together, are consistent and charming. The world it builds is creative and original. It ended exactly where it should have ended without ever jumping the shark.

Above all, it's just funny. Delightfully, giddily absurd - no matter how many times I read it I crack up over "Problem Sleuth." And yes, I've read it multiple times.

Look, words fail me on this series. It's just the perfect mix of comedy, action, and fantasy. And it beats the pants off "Homestuck."

Go ahead, read it, and come back to try to tell me I'm wrong.

Weird Puzzle Shit has never been so much fun

Problem Sleuth starts off as a relatively straightforward parody of classic adventure games. However, as the story progresses, the seemingly-mundane layers of reality on the world of the characters is continually stripped away, leaving such a bizarre game universe that the suggestions given can only become more bizarre as well. Eventually, this culminates in a Final Boss battle that utilizes so many Crowning Moments and ludicrous gameplay mechanics that it collapses in on itself like some super-dense-post-modernist singularity of sheer epic.

All these new additions, despite their strange names and over-exaggerations should be familiar to any troper, or any person familiar with classic adventure games or RP Gs in general, as they are all the core foundations of what we expect in those mediums today , but turned Up To Eleven as to even further highlight the fundamental absurdity of a world that runs on these tropes.

The entire thing essentially functions as a positive-feedback-loop of strange hilarity, without ever reaching a point where I found it to be intolerable or stale. Instead, it only made the series that more engrossing, and I found myself checking back every day to see what new direction the plot was going to fling itself in, and cheering for the heroes, no matter how convoluted or weird their actions or challenges became.

In short, Problem Sleuth is all the off-the-rails fun you wanted to have with an adventure game, but weren’t allowed to, until now.