Progress Quest is a parody of RPGs. No actual user input is required once the game is started. Combat takes a set length of time and the rest of the game is based around this. It takes X fights to complete a quest. You need to complete Y quests to gain Z experience to reach the next level. Quests, loot, monsters and spells are randomly generated from set lists.
Players can form guilds and set a motto. Along with a few aesthetic selections for the player character, that is all the customization available.
All players and guilds are ranked on the Web site.
This features examples of:
- Alternative Calendar: Described here. Of course, it never appears in-game and its structure is just as silly as everything else.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Dragons are distinguished by their colors, which go from standard (red, green, black, white...) to metallic (gold, silver, brass, tin...) to unusual (beige, plaid).
- Author Vocabulary Calendar: Many of the equipment names, particulary weapons. Rather than just generic swords, maces and the like, the characters wield things like culverins, poleaxes, spontoons and whinyards.
- Automatic Level: It's an entire automatic game.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The introduction in the "manual" is peppered liberally with nonsense words, a few of which can be tied to real world concepts.Though scarce a tuft of mansefur had yet made its appearance on the boy's manssach, a number of visiting Roilwachhs have begun to exhibit a discreet and seemingly inexplicable interest in the boy. Strange indeed, as he would not reach his krouchensterm for another harvest or more.
- Cool Bike: One of the races is "Enchanted Motorcycle".
- Deconstruction Game: Basically a deconstruction of the whole MMO genre.
- Elemental Embodiment: Some monsters are elemental embodiments. They include some... non-standard elements along the more common ones, such as bacon, cheese or porn.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Some of the monsters are dinosaurs or other prehistoric animals — some of which can be relatively obscure (such as Akylosaurus or Baluchiterium).
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: the 3-D version, which is exactly the same as the regular version except with 3-D dialog bevels.
- Exact Progress Bar: Justified, as the progress bars are all just glorified timers anyway.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Completing a quest such as "Exterminate the wologs" doesn't stop you from encountering wologs during future quests.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: When doing an "Exterminate the X" quest, you'll tend to fight said X a bit more often.
- Gameplay Automation: The entire point.
- Idle Game: One of, if not the first.
- Impossible Item Drop: You get the weirdest loot from slain monsters.
- Level Grinding: The entire "point" of the game. "My Progress Quest character is of level such-and-such" is only a different way to say "I've run this Progress Quest file for such-and-such many hours".
- Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: Every single quest is of the mass slaughter type.
- Money Spider: Averted, enemies never drop actual gold.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The slight overlap between race and class (one class is "Robot Monk") allows some weird stuff, and some race/classes are weird on their own. With this you can build an Enchanted Motorcycle Voodoo Princess...
- One Stat to Rule Them All: Kinda. Strength is the only stat that affects gameplay at all, namely, how much loot you can carry (STR + 10): greater strength means bigger backpacks, means less trips to the city, means faster grinding. Wisdom has some effect on what spells you learn, but your spell list is never actually used for anything.
- Organ Drops: Most if not nearly all of the available drops are in the form of a body part.
- Plunder: Pretty much what the whole game is about, other than leaving it on. It even gives the progress bar the status of "Heading to the killing fields" after you get better equipment.
- Running Gag: Everyone in the community pretends that the Progress Quest you can download is a shareware version, and that there's a variety of paid versions (Silver, Gold, Platinum, Carbon Nanotube, etc.). Paid Progress Quest is apparently the best game of all time.
- Sentient Vehicle: The "Enchanted Motorcycle" race is this.
- So Bad, It's Good: One of the few instances where it's successfully intentionally invoked.
- Spell Book: While absolutely useless, one exists and it sports a healthy variety of both believable and highly unorthodox spells.
- Spiritual Successor: Godville
- Unit Confusion: Your encumbrance is measured in cubits.
- Would Hurt a Child: The RNG will often throw an adjective in the description of your current adversary, and it's not uncommon to find yourself fighting "teenage", "preadolescent", "baby" or even "foetal" whatevers. This makes no difference at all to your character.