Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Unless you don't find Penny Arcade remotely funny, or if you demand that your action-RPGs be really deep and really challenging, then I'd highly recommend Episode One.
  2. This first game is a good start. For their first go at making their own game, I’m impressed. Does it have some flaws, sure. I might be called greedy for asking for more, but MORE!
  3. 80
    Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a great intro into the episodic gaming world.
  4. 70
    $20 might seem like a bit much for a little over five hours of gameplay, although there's a lot of content packed into this first installment: Four largish 3-D environments, a dozen or so main characters, and reams of funny dialogue.
  5. Fans of the comic strip can feel free to add as many points to the score below as will make them happy, since they're the ones most likely to make the effort needed to get past the flaws, but for everyone else there's little here to justify the hefty price.
  6. Those gamers who check out Penny Arcade daily will be playing to see the reappearance of iconic characters and to laugh at the in-jokes dotted throughout the game. But even they would have a hard time swallowing the 1,600 MP price tag (around £15) for five hours of gameplay - gameplay that isn't heavy on replayability.
  7. Fantastic story, genuinely funny, great comic feel.
  8. Finally, a reason to spend your Live points. Though take note that this is an 18+ rated title, but still a great game for your hard drive.
  9. It sets the bar for what is possible from an Arcade title. It is a fantastic, polished RPG that will leave you happily setting aside points for the sequel.
  10. If you don't mind shelling out about twice as much as most other XBLA games for a fairly short tale, you'll likely find the game to be well worth the price of admission.
  11. Twenty bucks is a perfectly reasonable sum when you consider how many retail Xbox 360 games offer the same quantity of content…and we'll bet you didn’t laugh half as much playing any of those as you will playing this.
  12. An entertaining, comical and sometimes downright ridiculous RPG adventure that will keep you entertained for many hours. One of the most substantial Xbox Live titles to date.
  13. The short-length and other minor nitpickings aside, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One is absolutely worth every cent of its $20 price tag.
  14. While there could have been more variety in the enemies, and the sound definitely should have been better, I was left thoroughly pleased with the game. It may seem a bit expensive at 1,600 Microsoft points ($20), but if you are looking for a few good laughs and an interesting story line packed into a five- to eight-hour package, you really won't find anything better than this.
  15. 78
    It's a smart, fun game that would have been truly great with a wider range of enemies and environments and a touch more depth to the gameplay.
  16. If PAA had been able to construct a great adventure game around the fantastic humor, this would be a must-buy for everyone. But in its current form, it will satisfy only the specific niche of people who find PA funny and no one else.
  17. 75
    It's the story that really makes this unique, and if you don't like the story, you should probably stay well away. On the other hand, if you do enjoy their unique sense of humour, this may just be the funniest game of the year.
  18. If there’s anything that sticks out the most in Penny Arcade Adventures’ presentation it’s the art, and rightfully so. Mike Krahulic’s trademark style looks great with the in-game portraits, and even better in motion thanks to the game’s bevy of gorgeous animated cutscenes that seamlessly work your avatar into the action.
  19. 69
    If you don't like Penny Arcade, or the humor that their strip usually relies upon, the odds are good that you won't find much here to justify the price tag; Precipice's story does little to bring the player's character into the universe as more than just an observer or someone along for the ride.
  20. 60
    Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness does a lot of things a little differently from the generic western RPG. Unfortunately, some things work better than others. No doubt the system will be refined with the sequels to come.
  21. 80
    The good news is even those who've never seen the comic strip can enjoy the fun combat system and great artwork. And if the storyline is only moderately interesting to those not familiar with the series' in-jokes, it's serviceable enough to hold the game together for its roughly six-hour play time.
  22. It took me a good five hours to play through, and it wraps up enough story threads to be satisfying, while leaving enough open to keep me eager for Episode Two. If the humor and the combat can retain this level of quality, this could be the start of something great.
  23. The game has crossover appeal between PA fans and RPG fans, but the most accurate litmus test will be to see if you like their humor in the first place.
  24. 75
    Well, yeah. I think it's pretty darn fun.
  25. A streamlined but only fitfully entertaining role-playing game that requires deeper gameplay and story to justify doubling the standard XBLA price.
  26. 90
    Most people will be reluctant to fork over that much coin for an XBLA title but considering the game's box feel and content both Penny Arcade and non-Penny Arcade fans will enjoy, you should get over that concern and play this game.
  27. The humour is as good as anything you'll see on their website. [Issue#35, p.115]
  28. Nevertheless, like any good ride, Precipice of Darkness is fun while it lasts.
  29. If you are a fan of the Penny Arcade comics you should definitely enjoy your time in New Arcadia.
  30. Unless Hothead Games can push the fighting mechanic while also ensuring that the comedy and adventuring take pride of place, this series could die out long before it’s ready to. [Aug 2008, p.114]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Travis
    Jul 3, 2008
    Five hours? Does anyone take their time and play video games for fun anymore? This isn't a long game by any means, but I would have had Five hours? Does anyone take their time and play video games for fun anymore? This isn't a long game by any means, but I would have had to skip through a lot of funny dialog to beat this game in five hours. Don't trust reviewers to take their time and enjoy everything; it's their job to finish it quickly to get the review out. Take your time and have some fun. Also, I've read probably 10 Penny Arcade comics in my life, and I still found this to be highly entertaining. I'm sure a joke or two went over my head, but overall, I highly recommend this game. It's an RPG for people like me who either don't like wizards and goblins or don't have 100 hours to pour into a game. $20 well spent. Enjoy! Full Review »