We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness RPG game review

$19.95 (£10) inc VAT

Manufacturer: Penny Arcade

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

A mainstay of online gaming culture since its debut, Penny Arcade is now putting its money where its mouth is.

Almost since its debut, the website comic Penny Arcade has been a mainstay of internet gaming culture. Now the webcomic is putting its money where its mouth is with a RPG adventure game called On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. And we're happy to report that the game is every bit as ribald, rude, and laugh out loud funny as the Penny Arcade comic.

Precipice of Darkness starts out by having you create your character in the game. You configure your name, gender and appearance. You can be tall or short, thin or stout, with or without eyeglasses, clean-shaven or with a beard. You can also choose from various hairstyles and clothes.

Tycho and Gabe - the alter egos of Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik - figure centrally to Precipice of Darkness, which is in a fictional early 20th century-era city, where the local populace is being terrorised by a giant robot, mimes, masses of smaller robots, and other nefarious foes.

In Precipice of Darkness, your house at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac has just been destroyed. By what, you're not sure, but it appears to be a giant robot. You find that your once-tranquil neighborhood is besieged by smaller versions of the mechanical leviathan, tiny perversions of technology that appear to do lustful and obscene things to fruit in order to juice them (yes, Penny Arcade fans, that infamous Fruit... um... Juicer figures centrally). Armed with naught but a rake you were using to clean up your yard at the time of an attack, you go on a quest for vengeance. You soon join Tycho and Gabe as they seek to uncover the dark nemesis behind these nefarious goings-on.

Precipice of Darkness combines the look and feel of the Penny Arcade comic strip with a 3D environment. You explore different parts of the city, collecting clues, picking up various power ups such as bandages, armour potions and defensive weapons, for instance liquids that cause your enemy's defences to fall.

When you encounter the bad guys, Precipice of Darkness utilises a turn-based combat system that's not unlike a classic Final Fantasy game; you have a limited amount of time to either stage an attack or defence. In a nod to Penny Arcade's geek gamer Dungeons and Dragons roots, you "roll for initiative" with a 20-sided die at the start of each combat sequence to see whether your party or the enemy gets to attack first. Others, like Tycho and Gabe, for example, will join your party. Plus you can occasionally call in additional help from other friends.

There is a fair amount of exposition and storytelling that goes on in Precipice of Darkness, as well. It unfolds in cartoon-style panels complete with dialogue bubbles - yes, the idea of Gabe and Tycho as real characters (in your head) is maintained, as there are no voice actors to ruin the illusion.

Penny Arcade is known for being irreverent, with occasional ribaldry and obscenity thrown in for good measure, so don't let Precipice of Darkness' cartoon look fool you. It's worth pointing out that the game is rated M from the ESRB. The aforementioned mechanised... um... violators of fruit are a fine example of what to expect.

Precipice of Darkness is planned as the first in a series of games that will be released in episodic form, similar to what Telltale Games has done for the resurrected Sam & Max franchise. The game is being released simultaneously for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

>> NEXT PAGE: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - in pictures

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Expert Verdict »
1GHz Pentium III processor or equivalent
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
512MB RAM
350MB hard-disk space
internet connection
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

All told, Precipice of Darkness is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the twisted and hilarious recesses of Holkins and Krahulik's demented and creative minds, and a good setup for further installments.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Poker Night at the Inventory review

    Poker Night at the Inventory

    Poker Night at the Inventory is a crossover game of Texas Hold 'Em poker, starring characters from various other video games.

  • Daytona USA review

    Daytona USA

    Sega's timeless racer has held up surprisingly well over the years, despite a lack of vehicular variety.

  • Arno The Hunter review

    Arno The Hunter

    Though Arno the Hunter is very simple, it has a pretty slick presentation that makes it worth checking out.

  • Sega Rally Online Arcade review

    Sega Rally Online Arcade

    This downloadable racer is slick and accessible, but it never quite differentiates itself from previous entries in the Sega Rally series.

  • Microsoft Xbox 360 review

    Microsoft Xbox 360

    It was way back in November 2001 that Microsoft put its money where its mouth was and launched the big black Xbox into the world. Spin on four years and the firm is gearing up for round two with the Xbox 360.


IDG UK Sites

Where to buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the UK: Launch day price, deals and contracts

IDG UK Sites

Is Apple losing confidence in itself?

IDG UK Sites

Professional photo and video techniques for perfect colours

IDG UK Sites

How (and where) to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the UK. Plus: What to do if you pre-ordered...