Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Fantastic story, genuinely funny, great comic feel.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. For fans of Penny Arcade, purchasing this game will be a no brainer.
  10. 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.
  11. All in all, the first episode of Penny Arcade Adventures does its best to satisfy a variety of gamers, though hardcore fans of either genre may be left wanting more.
  12. 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.
  13. Check out the demo if you're on the fence, but episodic gaming is here to stay, and there's little doubt Penny Arcade Adventures will be one of the best of the bunch.
  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. 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!
  16. If you're a Penny Arcade fan then Episode One is an enjoyable if overpriced and short-lived experience.
  17. 80
    Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a great intro into the episodic gaming world.
  18. 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.
  19. This is definitely a quality title for the arcade, however it's hard to recommend to gamers unless they are familiar with the Penny Arcade comics.
  20. 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.
  21. 80
    While the adventure elements are weak, the writing and combat make up for it nicely.
  22. This game just cannot be recommended to everyone for that price, but your decision should be based entirely on the demo itself.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 75
    Well, yeah. I think it's pretty darn fun.
  26. Penny Arcade Adventures may be the most expensive game on the Xbox Live Arcade service, but that shouldn't keep you from discovering a wonderful adventure full of snappy dialog and addictive combat.
  27. 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.
  28. Even if you’re not familiar with the comic, as long as you don’t mind a little vulgarity, and one or two urine soaked weapons, the game offers a fun, light-hearted romp filled with breezy combat controls, dozens of filthy hobos to beat up on and one positively useless cat.
  29. Future episodes will likely have to introduce deeper gameplay, since it's easy to master Episode One. But on its own, Penny Arcade Adventures is a very solid game with a unique and refined take on role-playing gameplay that would stand on its own even without the Penny Arcade brand of humor.
  30. Fun for what it is, but definitely a niche game if ever there was one.
  31. 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.
  32. While the stylish production value of the title is utterly fantastic, I can’t recommend a $20 game with an obnoxiously easy difficulty level that lasts about 4 to 5 hours.
  33. 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.
  34. Nevertheless, like any good ride, Precipice of Darkness is fun while it lasts.
  35. If you are a fan of the Penny Arcade comics you should definitely enjoy your time in New Arcadia.
  36. X-ONE Magazine UK
    The humour is as good as anything you'll see on their website. [Issue#35, p.115]
  37. netjak
    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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. This is an odd combination of point and click gameplay with RPG-style battles. Even though the story and the dialogue is fun and true to the series, the developers have gone overboard with the amount of reading that has to be done to progress in the game, which ultimately makes the overall experience a bit tedious.
  41. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    An obscene, atmospheric and silly adventure, marred by a lot of lackustre combat. [Aug 2008, p.98]
  42. games(TM)
    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]
  43. A streamlined but only fitfully entertaining role-playing game that requires deeper gameplay and story to justify doubling the standard XBLA price.
  44. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 4 out of 26
  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 »