I was first introduced to the web comic Penny Arcade my senior year of college. Its acerbic and insightful commentary on the video gaming culture industry quickly made a subscriber of me. It was a timely introduction, as I was gestating my senior thesis on media representation of gaming and gamers. Gabe and Tycho allowed me to compile some of their relevant strips into an appendix, offering gamers' perception of media representation of gamers. (They later linked to my thesis from their blog) I appreciate their graciousness, though their cooperation was a small gesture compared to greater contributions to society and gamer image they've since instigated via their non-profit, Child's Play.
Now comes yet another venture for Penny Arcade. It's not unheard of for a popular video game to transition to a comic. But who expected Penny Arcade to go from comic to game?
But today marks the release of On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, the first in a four-chapter series of games based on Penny Arcade. Trailers have been available on YouTube for almost a year, though just as informative was a recent interview with Gabe abd Tycho conducted by Xbox Live's Major Nelson (also available via iTunes). It's a Lovecraftian affair set in the Roaring Twenties with plenty of adventure and RPG elements… exactly what you'd expect from Penny Arcade, no? (No.)
There's no more evaluative experience than hands-on gameplay, so check out these playable demos for your platform of choice:
The game is also available from the Xbox Live Arcade. Give it a go … but watch your step — and your fruit.