Pesterquest by What Pumpkin Games
Pesterquest is an episodic visual novel set in the universe of the massively popular Homestuck comic, which ran from 2009 to 2016. The comic often revolved around parodies of point-and-click adventure games, becoming a big favorite amongst gamers internet-wide.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Homestuck has dipped its toes into real-life video games. 2017 saw the release of HIVESWAP: Act 1, which is set in the same universe. Also, perhaps more significantly, Homestuck music contributor Toby Fox made pretty significant waves two years prior with the release of a little indie game you might have heard of called Undertale.
Bleeding and Pestering
Suffice it to say, gaming runs in the DNA of the Homestuck franchise. It’s small surprise that, with creator Andrew Hussie having ended the project, others would continue to find new interactive ways to continue on this beloved universe. In this sense, Pesterquest is very obviously a labor of love, and that shines through with things like the game’s hyper-stylized artwork and interface.
Unfortunately, its devotion to its universe is also what will likely make the game a difficult sell for anybody not already interested.
Pestering in the Crypt
Pesterquest’s 14 chapters have you reading the adventures of a nameless Homestuck fan transported to another world. Using the combined powers of time travel and teleportation, this fan tries to befriend a number of characters from different periods in history and different unique worlds.
While a solid concept on paper, the game ultimately does little to differentiate itself from being just a standard visual novel. Occasionally, you’ll be given the choice between two reactions for your character to give in a particular situation. However, one of these decisions will always result in a “bad ending” that requires you to restart the chapter. It quickly gets tedious, even by visual novel standards.
This ultimately wouldn’t be a problem if the story were worth slogging through. Unfortunately, as someone completely foreign to the Homestuck universe, I found the story went almost completely over my head.
Not only that but the writing feels very targeted towards a specific audience only, being a medley of sarcasm, dated references and “LOL RANDOM” humor. In short, I would describe the experience as very “Internet gamer,” which I honestly probably would have loved when I was 13 but did nothing for me in my 30s.
A review of something like Pesterquest is ultimately going to miss a lot of people. If you’re an avid Homestuck fan who frequents the comic’s vast community, you probably bought this game when it first launched and have been waiting with bated breath for each new episode. In this case, sorry to rain on your parade, and I legitimately hope you loved the game.
For anyone just looking for a visual novel to sink their teeth into, it’s hard to recommend this if you’re not already sold on the universe, especially when this massive genre has plenty of amazing experiences like Analogue: A Hate Story or Doki Doki Literature Club to sink your teeth into.
Pesterquest is available via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for Pesterquest below: