The world is a dangerous place. One minute you’re out in your fields, farming to provide food for yourself and your wife, and the next you’re being accosted by a gang of monster girls who are dead set on stealing you away for themselves. That’s the fate of poor Fernando, who gets himself snatched away from his bed in the middle of the night. It is up to his loyal and incredibly protective wife, Mia, to rescue him.
She is his wife, and this is her quest, hence the name of the game. Wife Quest doesn't want you to take its premise seriously. Ignore the fact that Fernando appears to be the only man in the entire nation. Don’t worry about the death and destruction that Mia leaves in her wake as she attempts to rescue him, despite being repeatedly assured that he is in no real danger. Wife Quest is not trying to be serious, and it makes that clear from the start.
Unlike her husband, Mia seems to be perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Starting with just a sword and a long list of insults for the various monster girls that she finds with Fernando, she gains powers and abilities to help her either traverse the world or kill monsters more effectively. In classic Metroidvania style, many areas of early levels are closed off until you get the power-ups and abilities gained from later bosses, giving completionists plenty to come back for once the game is finished. Or players can go ahead and complete the game to unlock Magic Mode, which offers a second playthrough with all of Mia’s abilities and unlimited magic.
Developed by Pippin Games and published for the Switch by eastasiasoft, Wife Quest is a fun game with a lot going for it. The pixel art feels both retro and modern, with bright colours whether you play in docked or handheld mode. Each enemy is immediately recognisable and unique, with a lot of character and variety in their sprites. Even though many of them feel like palette swaps of earlier monsters at first glance, there is just enough difference in how they play to keep them from becoming repetitive.
There are lots of little touches that breathe extra life into the character of Mia as she rampages across the small continent where the game takes place. Like how her portrait in the corner changes when she attacks or takes damage or how her sword changes colour with each new power-up purchased for it. These little touches elevate the game and make playing through it a charming experience.
Though the game bills itself as “humorous and often naughty”, this is not the lewdest game in the eastasiasoft catalogue by a long shot. While the monsters have a healthy amount of jiggle physics on display and there is the implication of something unseemly happening between them and Fernando, the pixelated art feels more like a Saturday morning cartoon than anything that would make players blush. It certainly leans more toward the humorous than the naughty, much to its credit.
The gameplay is deceptively simple at times, with the bulk of it being a 2D platformer with enemies scattered around to complicate things in Mia’s journey. The trick here is how well-balanced each level feels. Many of the sections feel difficult but never impossible. A path to victory is always within sight and it just takes a bit more practice or slightly better timing to make it across that pit or that river of lava. Mia will die often and in a variety of painful ways as she makes her way through the level, but the punishment for failure is neither so unfair that it becomes frustrating nor so light that it is hardly a punishment at all. It is a well-put-together game; save for a few visual glitches during the final boss fight (which were more annoying than hindering), we didn’t run into any problems while playing it.
When Mia does manage to make it through to the end of each level, she is confronted with the sight of the resident monster girl making the moves on her man. Fernando, for his part, doesn’t seem to be resisting quite as much as he should be, but he also makes it very clear that he only has eyes for his wife. While it is clear that Mia is the brawn in the relationship, it is a bit worrying that he spends one boss fight sitting in a hot tub watching the action take place.
After a bit of banter back and forth, usually with the boss monster making light of Mia’s figure and Mia resorting to name-calling, the boss fight of the dungeon commences. These fights always feel more difficult than they really are. Once we learned their pattern and, more importantly, came to grips with the fact that Mia gets stuck in her animation cycle for a bit longer than we would have liked, none of the bosses are insurmountable. Again, there is a beauty in the balance of these fights. They never feel impossible, merely difficult.
After each level, Mia gains a new power. For example, her gliding ability makes it much easier to get around and avoid the various traps in an area, and she unlocks this ability by literally ripping the wings off the first boss’ back and wearing them herself. It is a brutal display, even in the gore-free art style of the game. Mia is clearly not a woman to be trifled with, and we respect that.
That same brutality is extended to the regular enemies in the game; after defeating them, players have the option to dispatch them quickly and permanently as they lie on the ground. Doing so has little mechanical benefit, but it does unlock a unique animation for each type of enemy that can be viewed later. These animations are accompanied by slightly questionable sound effects and movements that might make someone passing by the room raise an eyebrow, but the game doesn’t linger on these moments for long. This is the closest the game gets to “naughty”, until some more fan-service heavy moments in the closing cutscene.
It took us around 10 hours to complete our first playthrough of Wife Quest, which is not a bad run considering the low entry price. There is a lot of personality and style on display here, and players who want to go for all the trophies in the game will have plenty to come back to. Save for a few small visual hiccups and the fact that the game's humour is often an acquired taste, there isn’t really a lot to pick fault with here; it's fun, short, and well-balanced enough to keep it from ever becoming overwhelmingly difficult. While it's not quite in the same league as the likes of Hollow Knight and Axiom Verge, if you're a fan of Metroidvania titles, then Wife Quest is yet another title worth checking out on Switch.
The premise is very nice, and the use of bloom lighting in a pixel art game is a lovely touch.
But here we have another pixel art Metroidvania on an eShop nearly littered with them. Great for people who haven't played a lot of games like this, but still feels like nothing we haven't seen before.
@CharlieGirl To be fair, some people love to guzzle the same genre over and over again and cant get enough of them
Genuinely looks decent considering. A game that actually uses bawdy humour as a supplement to an actual game, instead of the ones which seem to only offer lewdness as the one selling point. More of this please, less of the booby shovelware.
Haha, love the premise.
I wouldn't have minded if the game maintained its play quality and pushed the envelope a bit more with the naughtiness factor, but at any rate it sounds like a fun time. If a Metroidvania is well made and offers a reasonable length, I'm for it. Never stop making them, devs.
The art style looks good and the story seems funny, I think I'll get this since I just loved metroidvania games 😃
Not a fan of the artstyle of the artwork, but the game looks decent so might check it out.
@nessisonett That "booby shovelware" as you put it, with a few rare exceptions tends to actually not be shovelware but enjoyable. No need to drag down a genre just because you don't like it yourself.
I really like the art quality, might grab it on sale.
I won't pretend I'm not a little tired of independently-developed pixel art Metroidvania platformers, but this one caught my attention when it was first revealed thanks to the fun humor and detailed pixel art style (not Iconoclasts/Owlboy-tier in that regard, but certainly a peg above most I've seen). The price is reasonable too. Heavily considering grabbing this.
@nessisonett Can we just start calling them boobyware?
@Tobiaku Well of course it’s a genre. It’s called kusoge.
This is on my to buy list. For now I'll be playing a certain game starring a certain guy called Chaos. That's right it's going to be one of my guilty pleasures of the year just like Shadow the Hedgehog was.
I do love the Metroidvania type games so may get this.
So the impression of the previous article was right, a very cute and good game with a title not even matching half of the quality of the product (my apology to the devs, but I really think this game deserve a title with a little more oomph and creativity).
Definitely in my wishlist and a future purchase. Lovely sprite art, and well done gameplay, worth a try to say the least!
@nessisonett No, not kusoge. I meant galge, or bishoujo games if you prefer. Bishoujo games are far too often unjustly tainted in a bad light despite a lot of them are actually good.
@CharlieGirl I'm making a metroidvania that is inspired by ghouls n' ghosts and demons crest/quest as well as a few others. It's 16/32 bit style. I'm hoping to be able to unveil it the people in the next like year or so.
@Jokerwolf Hm... 16/32 bits style graphics?... Maybe you wanted to say... 24 BITS STYLE GRAPHICS!? Like in Neo Geo games. The King of Fighters 97 is 24 bits game, The Last Blade 1 & 2 are 24 bits games, Sengoku 3, Blazing Star, and other Neo Geo games. Why 24? 'Cause you take base 16 bits, and adds to them 8 bits to make games look more detailed. So, it is what 24 bits graphics means.
This is smut. If you like it fine I guess, but it's still smut.
@Vyacheslav333 Yes it has that style of vibe, there's no real color depth limitation I am imposing on myself. I have one of the main characters already mostly sprited, I designed and a few enemies and bunch of abilities and sprited them already. About 9 months into development now.
Nice to see this game get a good review! I loved it on PC and I might get it again! It doesn't do much outside of the premise, but I found it to be a very enjoyable experience. Plus it's cheap, can't beat that lol
This sounds right up my alley. Count me in!
Nice twist on the "damsel in distress" trope. Mansel in mistress? I'll see myself out.
@Jokerwolf O, wow. Sounds cool.
@Tobiaku Care to give some examples from Steam or the Switch Eshop itself? As someone who tends to dismiss the bawdy games myself despite my like of bawdy humor...
In short: Don't just make claims, show your cards.
@shadowii that's actually me. I can never have enough quality Metroidvanias. I never tire of the genre
@Vyacheslav333 It's the funnest thing I've ever done and I hope to make it my career. It is a lot of work though, lots of late nights lol.
@RubyCarbuncle are you talking about sonic forces?
@MegaVel91 Gladly, here are some examples of good bishoujo games
The Senran Kagura games are super good. (Thought Reflexions is probably only good if one of the girls in that game is one of your waifus)
The Gal gun games are great, Gun gun pixies is good, SNK Heroines tag team frenzy and, Dead or alive xtreme 3 are also really good
Valkyrie drive Bhikkhuni is on Steam (I have the Vita version) is amazing!
@LUIGITORNADO “This is smut. If you like it fine I guess, but it's still smut.”
Link chops animals to pieces with swords and axes. Sometimes he lights them on fire or electrocutes them. Samus vaporizes indigenous wildlife with a laser cannon. Mario crushes harmless creatures with his feet. Bowser kidnaps a woman and forces her to marry him. If you like it fine I guess, but it’s still smut.
@CharlieGirl i love platformers but am so picky that I'm always excited for a new one to come along 😄.
@nessisonett Completely agree! These games always feel like "hey we got nothing to offer, so here's some big bobbo women". It's especially had when the game is good. Yk, JRPGs for example. While not for me, there's so many that people enjoy and that look high quality. But then they also got scantily clad women and it makes the impression actually worse because it makes me feel like "well what is this trying to make up for?".
@shadowii I'm one of those people, lol- a new pixel art Metroidvania? Sign me tf up
@Tobiaku I wonder If GalGun is any good on the Switch. I hate to play on-rails shooters with joysticks. I would also add Omega Labyrinth to the list. I have Omega Labyrinth Life on Switch and it's a quite fun and deep dungeon Crawler.
@NoctaireSombras I think they work well, but I abously can't 100% guarantee you like Gal gun's controls.
Yeah Omega labyrinth is also great, I just took some games and made a list, never ment that I feel those were the only good ones.
Played the demo of this on PC during the recent Next Fest and was quite enamoured with it.
I've been chewing through switch metroidvanias this year, so let's heap one more up on the pile. Sold. Edit: having completed the game, I can report this is not a metroidvania.
@Greatluigi No Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin. Couldn't stand STRAIGHT LINE THE GAME lol 😅
My only issue is, why have a guy at all?
@LUIGITORNADO Oh grow up. There's not enough here to label this as "smut".
This looks like a fun, well designed game.
It's a cheap action platformer for a cheap price with a good likeable female lead. A good time killer for play to kill some times until the more dominant female leading games like Bayonetta 3 or Metroid Prime 4 came out.
@Tobiaku Bishoujo VN's is the best gaming experiences I've had since 1989. Then again I just plopped $4000 down to get a full car wrap in May based on Chizuru and Rent-a-Girlfriend, lol .. Here's the design .. Paid $550 for it to be created ..
@The_BAAD_Man I don't classify it as smut until you start getting it on with your little sister or having a threesome with some catgirls that consider you their master, lol
@NoctaireSombras I have all the Gal*Gun games on Switch and they play and run great in handheld mode. I've never played in docked.
HELL YEAH MONSTER GIRLS
@JustMonika What scheme for control uses in handheld? Motion, sticks or the touch screen? I'm asking because I bough ZombiePanic in Wonderland for the Switch, and while it was great on Wii, it played great on the Nintendo 3DS and mobiles too, but they completely busted the controls on Switch somehow. So I'm kinda skeptical for how GalGun was ported. I don't wanna buy a game I may hate and never even look at just for the controls.
@nessisonett Look into Hakoniwa Explorer Plus on the eShop. Thoroughly convinced the Switch version is better than the PC original. Joined this site just so I could comment this.
Honestly, might buy it, and give it a look. Doesn't seem half bad, this kind of humor seems right up my alley.
Well, I bought and beat it last night. It's pretty alright. It's NOT really a metroidvania, though. It's very direct level progression. You can revisit previous stages to hunt for secrets and stuff, but that's all optional and overall the game is a very straightforward affair (which i don't mind at all). the gameplay is simple and feels good. some of the art and presentation are iffy (kinda rough MSPaint looking), and the music is very bland, but overall i had a positive experience. ymmv when it comes to the humor and dialogue — i didn't hate it, but it didn't really get any laughs out of me.
i'd DEFINITELY recommend Infernax, Aggelos, and Astalon first. then the Curse of the Moon games. then maybe this. I'd give it a B-. Certainly worth the under $10 i spent.
It's six bucks and I've brought much much worst games.
With Metroidvanias, they have to have closish quality to Metroid for me to be interested in and patience with. Not my top genre of interest, though I love most Metroid and SOME choice Castlevanias. This looks to have turned out well and "fair play", but not for me.....
Actually funny how they made such a decent quality game with such cringey, bawdy humour. LOL
@BeefSanta @Ralizah Aggelos and Iconoclasts don’t get mentioned often enough.
I'm honestly surprised at the score as it looks so average.
Bought the game, and this review is super generous. The game's performance on Switch is beyond unacceptable. The frame rate is literally never consistent, and even drops into the single digit frames at times. One of the worst performing games I've ever played on the Switch, and that's saying a lot.
@shadowii is right. For example, I can't get enough of rogue likes. Even though the market is saturated with them, I love them and could play the genre extensively, and forever.
I'm certain there are people who feel the same way about metroidvanias.
I think the name is kind of wrong since it makes it seem like you're hunting for a wife. Wouldn't husband quest make more sense in this case since she's hunting for her husband? Or were they worried that people would think it's an Otome game? Either way, it's a weird and yet also kinda generic name.
@MARl0 I really wish NintendoLife would seriously talk about the performance more. A lot of the games that get high reviews never once mention that there are sections that drop frames and chug like crazy and it's something I'd like to know before buying a game.
@ATaco Yeah, whenever you open a few chests, the frame rate absolutely tanks. And there was an auto scroller like section near the end of stage 2 that ran so poorly it seriously compromised the gameplay experience. Even beyond those parts, the game almost literally never hits 60fps. It makes Actraiser Renaissance look smooth in comparison.
When I try to skip the intro by holding B button the game just freezes on me. Anyone else have this problem?
After this review, I bought it on sale yesterday. Although the developer seems competent, the game was just 'meh' to me. Only made it through the first 'world' (14 'levels') I would rate it a 5, not an 8. Many other better metroidvanias out there, and comparably priced when on sale. To me perennial sale game Goblin Sword is better than this.
@NoctaireSombras I turn off gyro in handheld because it makes first person games unplayable for me. I just use sticks for all FPS type games.
@LUIGITORNADO lmao smut! I think you should say 5 hail Marys for just using the word smut.
I'm totally guilty of buying all these damn 2D metroidvania games... 🤦
@Tobiaku lmao telling people you're a pervert without actually saying it. News flash, women like games too and they like realistic depictions of themselves
@QueenofNerds I have no issue saying I like ecchi games.
I know women like games, and they can like whatever type of games and characters they want, but a game having fanservice does not make it bad or shovelware just because someone does not like them.
Just like games are not bad just because I don't like them.
@Jcdbengals it's really not a metroidvania, though. It's pretty straightforward. Sure, you can go back to previous stages but it's completely optional. That, a metroidvania, does not make.
@MARl0 did you encounter the nightmarish visual glitches and the game basically falling apart like I did during the final boss? I captured some footage: https://twitter.com/justin94611784/status/1504363804578050055?s=20&t=Ze6jpvTaMvy-dEnsbQaJsQ
@shonenjump86 It freezes for a few moments, but always loads up the title screen eventually. Still kind of irritating.
@PC2 yeah, I just waited a bit and it loaded up. But still irritating like you said.
Yo, 8/10 is a little too high of a score for this. More like a 5 (meaning just an average game)… maybe 7 at best. The sprite work is nice and the story is a little silly, but doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of presenting its silly story or sprite work. Definitely feels more like a mobile game style design in terms of progression, level simplicity, and no map. I wouldn’t put it in the Metroidvania camp at all. If you’ve played Devious Dungeon and Goblin Sword, you’ve played this game. Pickup a Shantae game instead.
@Greenmanalishi Really? I think 8 is good. Level design is fun, gameplay is solid, the story is goofy, and the sprite work looks nice. Only problem is the frame rate on Switch. I'd personally recommend it over any of those games you've mentioned
Tap here to load 70 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...