Review – Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate

Dangeresque The Roomisode Triungulate Dangeresque and Renaldo fleeing an exploding Gremlin.

I’m old enough that I’ve had too many influences on my writing. That’s when you have your own style; when there’s so much sloshing around in the brain bucket that you can’t tell your inspirations apart. That’s a joke. It’s what you might call an attempt at dry humour, which I’m told is a common element of my writing.

I’ve wanted to tell stories all my life, but I only chose writing as a way of expression in my teen years after a series of bad teachers killed my art aspirations. In those formative years, it was Douglas Adams, Seanbaby, and Homestar Runner that shaped my sense of humour. And while years of depression have darkened my mood, there’s still some of that absurdism mixed in there.

I’m still a devoted fan of Homestar Runner (and Seanbaby), even if the website isn’t updated as much these days. I’ve got Trogdor the Board Game, I love the Disk 4 of 12 videos, and I recently landed my dream interview and got to ask The Brothers Chaps (the creators) some questions. They say never meet your heroes, but I survived, so I don’t know what they’re talking about.

Anyway, this is a review of Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate, which is part of the Homestar Cinematic Universe.

Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate, Strong Bad says this room is Saferesque.
Saferesque is my middle name.

HE FIGHTS THE LAW, BUT HE ALSO FIGHTS THE CRIME.

Uh, let’s see. If you’re uninitiated, we have a lot of ground to cover. The Brothers Chaps describe Homestar Runner as their “dumb animal characters,” which they’re mostly not. It was a web cartoon back when web cartoons were popular. You can still watch most of the cartoons today, as they’ve been preserved. The episodes revolve around a whole herd of abstract characters who exist in this familiar but abstract world called Free Country, USA. They make reference to real-world places and events, but their locale seems just to be this isolated pocket.

Dangereque is the action movie alter ego of Strong Bad, who, in some ways, is Homestar Runner’s foil. Dangeresque is usually presented in this sort of home movie series that, on the surface, seems like a spoof of action cop movies. However, more often, it’s just a product of the characters’ endless misunderstanding of what is considered cool.

The Dangeresque Roomisode was one of The Brothers Chaps’ Flash games that was created around the time of Telltale’s Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, which was made in the fashion of LucasArts’-esque point-and-click adventure games. Dangeresque would actually be the subject of an episode of SBCG4AP. The Brothers did some teasing on a possible Dangeresque Roomisode sequel, but it never materialized.

Updates on the website became shaky until, in 2010, the Brother Chaps took a long hiatus from the site. It was a few years until they popped back up, but since then, they’ve been putting out new stuff for fans rather sporadically. Last year, this started taking the form of actual money-cost (as the vernacular goes) video games. Homestar Runner Halloween Hide & Seek was first, followed by Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate, a ported, expanded, and I lost my train of thought. I had a third thing for that list, and now I can’t remember what it was.

Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate Strong Bad holding a file labelled "Actual Tacos" that has attached actual tacos.
I too keep my actual tacos safely filed away.

THE MIGHT OAK HAS FALLEN

A “roomisode” is an episodic point-and-click adventure confined into a single room. A triungulate is a grouping of three things. It’s very technical term, I can understand if you’ve never heard it before. So we have three roomisodes packaged here. The original roomisode was simultaneously making fun of Telltale’s episodic game format and itself, suggesting that it was too small to really call itself a game or even an episode, that’s how meagre it was.

The first Roomisode is something of a remake of the original Flash game. However, the next two are completely new.

Now, consider this for a moment. Dangeresque makes fun of itself for consisting of a single room, but do you know how difficult it is to tell a story in a single room, let alone base an entire game there? Inadvertently, it’s a flex. This is some concise-ass game design.

Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate a racoon is weighing down a traffic scale.
I don’t know how to describe H*R humour. Word desecrating-y?

HE’S A PRIVATE EYE, A CROOKED COP

The first room has the eponymous Dangeresque (a private eye, a crooked cop, a secret agent, and celebrity pharmacist), as he tries to escape his office. His superior won’t let him leave until he’s cracked a lingering case, which would normally be hard to do when confined to a single room. So Dangeresque needs to forge evidence to convince his boss that he can leave.

The second has him traveling with his sometimes/all-the-time partner Renaldo (played by Coach Z). They discover a bomb planted in the car, and Dangeresque has to disarm it and save his partner without leaving the confines of the intersection.

The third Roomisode is my favourite. Dangeresque antagonist, Perducci (played by the King of Town), is under threat of assassination. In order to leave, Dangeresque must thwart the assassins, otherwise Killingyouguy (played by Strong Mad) will kill him, guy.

The whole thing takes under two hours, and then we can just move on with our lives.

Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate the cover art for Rigrug
#4 Hit?

A SECRET AGENT, AND A CELEBRITY PHARMACIST

It’s hard/impossible for me to really comment on the writing/humour of Dangeresque, since I’m already heavily indoctrinated. There are still tangents of jokes that the cartoon embarks on sometimes that I find tiring, but the bulk of it is so absorbed into my own sense of humour, that I don’t really have good perspective on it. However, I can compare.

In comparison to most Homestar Runner fair, I’d say it rates pretty high. The Roomisode Triungulate got some good chuckles out of me. In particular, the third Roomisode goes into some darker cartoonishness than the webisodes normally attempt, and it tickled my ribs.

Really, it’s the puzzle design that is the real star here. It manages to hit that sweet spot where the solutions are kind of bizarre, but they somehow still make sense. It’s like Monkey Island 2 in being very unconventional about overcoming problems. There’s no monkey on valve puzzle; I was able to complete the game without stooping to using a guide, but there is dipping a stamp into sweet and sour sauce to use as ink.

And, again, these Roomisodes all take place in isolated spots. The second ‘isode technically doesn’t take place in a room and technically has a second room, but they’re still very small areas to base a cluster of puzzles. It’s impressive.

Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate Strong Bad in a dark room saying he never backs down from a bad and gross idea.
Me neither, guy.

COOL, COOL GLASSES

I’m about as biased as you can get toward Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate. So, I mean, take this as you want it. Homestarrunner dot com was a good friend to me as I went through the mind-rending horrors of high school and into college. And like my friends from those days, I don’t really hear from it much anymore. But when I do, it’s like old times.

If you’re not into ‘90s point-and-click adventures, this probably isn’t going to change that. If you’re not into Homestar humour, this isn’t going to change that. If you’ve never even heard of Homestar Runner, this would be a very confusing way of entry, I think.

No, scratch that. If you’re completely unfamiliar with or not into those things, you should definitely play Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate. Videlectrix (The Brothers Chaps) shows an inexplicable competence for adventure game design with this. Scary good. The Roomisode Triungulate suggests that if Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People had actually been entirely directed by them, it would be completely indispensable for more people than just fans like myself.

As for the humour, it’s my recommendation that if you don’t love it already, you should just pretend that you do. You should never admit that you can’t handle this style.

7/10

This review was conducted using a digital PC version of the game. It was paid for by the author.

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About Zoey Handley 243 Articles
Zoey made up for her mundane childhood by playing video games. Now she won't shut up about them. Her eclectic tastes have led them across a vast assortment of consoles and both the best and worst games they have to offer. A lover of discovery, she can often be found scouring through retro and indie games. She currently works as a Staff Writer at Destructoid.

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