If you’ve ever watched Ciggy Butt Brain or South Park and gotten a laugh, then Repella Fella is definitely a game for you. It’s a point-and-click, choose your own adventure game from solo Melbourne-based developer Misadventurous. Billed as a spiritual successor to the Flash series Ray (the developer’s previous work), it’s unapologetically Australian and full of personality and style, but there’s no denying it’s an acquired taste – one that I was more than happy to drink up.
Repella Fella’s timeline begins in the 1960s, with a war-veteran turned pest exterminator called out after hours to deal with a rampaging pig on the loose. But that wasn’t the only threat on the cards, with sirens ringing out across the town. In the midst of the chaos, before our exterminator knew what was going on, he somehow manages to enter and activate a survival capsule.
Finding himself trapped underwater for what he believes is 15 years, our protagonist remerges to find the country covered in snow and occupied by what appears to be a Russian military force. Turns out that on that fateful night (which was actually more than 100 years ago), Russians nuked Australia in order to take it over, but they weren’t the only ones to set up shop Down Under, with Americans also snagging a piece of the Australian landscape to call their own. With your character on the run and searching for answers, you’ll need to make friends and take out those in your way if you are to make it to the end alive. You’ll see the story from three different characters, each of whom play an integral part in Repella Fella’s narrative.
The Aussie outback special
As an adventure game, the gameplay mechanics are familiar but limited. Players will explore areas for items and characters to interact with, as well as solve puzzles, make decisions and complete tasks to move the narrative forward. There are a couple of times in the middle of the game where it does feel a little bogged down by fetch quests, but more often than not the game is well paced.
Rather than require players to use items with objects and other characters, once you’ve acquired an item the game will automatically use it where needed, meaning you’re not getting slowed down by having to guess which items get used where and with what. In saying that, lockpicking is a bit dull, with the game simply requiring you to hit the lock pieces in the correct order, but with no method to figure out the order, it merely becomes nothing more than a guessing game. Thankfully, lockpicks are never in short supply, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll run out.
Dialogue is a large part of Repella Fella and players will need to make choices throughout the game that impact the outcome of the narrative. Some choices will be locked until you have a specific item or have completed a task, while others will be more conversational. Perhaps the most enjoyable choices are the ones where you get to decide what course of (violent) action you’ll take. For example, one situation tasked me with making an example of a citizen, so I chose to cut his knob off after luring him to a private area with the help of a sex worker. Another time, I decided to deal with a noise complaint by hacking a lady’s sound system to crank it up loud enough to make her ears bleed before violently murdering an entire Russian stronghold.
A pie is a great choice, day or not
Whether it’s the medieval town with a church dedicated to pavlovas, the town housing a giant killer wombat, or the American city known as Sepporo, Misadventurous has done an incredible job building this world
As it’s a choice-driven game, there are several ways to get things done, and the game encourages multiple playthroughs to see all the different outcomes your choices can have. Your first playthrough can take between 6–10 hours, while subsequent attempts will be completed quicker. The game doesn’t punish you for choosing the incorrect option and instead will put you right back at the decision to try again.
Disappointingly, the ending is a bit of a stitch-up, offering nothing more than sequel bait. I’ve got nothing against developers ending on a cliffhanger, but there needs to be some form of closure for the chapter you’re playing, especially for a game that is no guarantee to get a second entry. Instead, after the credits roll, players are asked to vote for the decision they would have made.
Humour is hard to get right at the best of times, but especially so in an interactive experience. Repella Fella’s Aussie larrikin approach is certainly not going to be for everyone – you’re either going to jive with it or not, but thankfully this type of comedy is up my alley. Call it my bloke energy.
Authentically Australian, Repella Fella’s writing is sure to bring a smile to many people familiar with Australian slang, while others may be confused or even appalled, especially with C-bombs dropping frequently. But what brings it all together is some sublime voice acting that brings the characters and world to life. Misadventurous has absolutely nailed the tone it was going for.
Well, there’s only one logical answer
Utilising a clever adult cartoon art style (almost South Park-esque), the post-apocalyptic-cum-futuristic depiction of Australia is brilliant and full of detail. Whether it’s the medieval town with a church dedicated to pavlovas, the town housing a giant killer wombat, or the American city known as Sepporo, Misadventurous has done an incredible job building this world. The level of quality in the animations is something that must be praised, it honestly does look like an animated TV show at times.
If there’s one thing about the art style that was a minor grievance, it was the majority of the characters looked the same, and there were times when I wasn’t sure who was who. Most of the time the accents gave it away, but it wasn’t always instantly obvious.
Misadventurous has leaned heavily into Australian culture and the results are a resounding success. It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, but if you resonate with Repella Fella’s vibe (and a lot of Australians will), you’ll find a game full of personality and humour, and one that is a fair dinkum good time – even if the ending doesn’t quite stick the landing. Hopefully, the game is successful enough to greenlight a sequel, as this is definitely a world I’d love to come back to.
Reviewed on PC // Review code supplied by publisher
- 2 Left Thumbs
- June 6, 2023