Shakes & Fidget
Shakes & Fidget Overview
Shakes & Fidget is a popular German web comic that parodies World of Warcraft and other fantasy MMORPGs. Now fans can explore a simple browser RPG based on the Shakes & Fidget concept. The game uses a pretty standard script found in games like Gladiatus and Tanoth where players complete quests and ‘work’ by waiting for timers to complete. The unique, humorous art style helps the game stand out, and competitive arena battles between players act as the main gameplay hook. There are three classes and eight races available, but players are free to change their race and appearance provided they pay a small fee.
Warrior - They are into heavy metal and carry the biggest weapons.
Scout - Prefer shooting pointy things from a safe distance.
Mage – Mumble incomprehensible, but quite destructive spells.
Human - Like you and me; known for dependable every-day heroism.
Orc - Brutal, violent and always forget about Mother’s Day.
Elf - Frolic around trees, have pointy ears and are pretty swift.
Dark Elf - Hate everybody because they are so sleep deprived.
Dwarf - Behind their gruff exterior, dwarves are sturdy and hard drinking.
Goblin - Little buggers who are also great scrapbookers.
Gnome - Small, pesky and have a tedious sense of humor.
Demon - Enjoy fine dining and long walks on the beach.
Shakes & Fidget Screenshots
Shakes & Fidget Featured Video
Shakes & Fidget Full Review
By, Jaime Skelton
World of Warcraft players may be familiar with Shakes & Fidget, a German web comic that Blizzard sent a cease-and-desist letter to in May 2010 because of similarities to the game and the fan-based comic. Though the web comic is currently offline, Shakes & Fidget The Game is still alive. Published by Playa Games GmbH, the browser-based game bears some strong similarities to Tanoth, but with some enhancements that make Shakes & Fidget a little more attractive.
Humor with a Pinch of Salt
It’s a safe bet that a game based off a web-comic, with a fan-base for a game known for infusing humor, will itself be humorous. Shakes & Fidget quickly proves that true in its character creation process, which offers eight races (Human, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs, Dark Elves, Trolls, and Demons) and three classes (Warrior, Mage, and Scout) – or, as you can derive from the character creation, whether your character likes heavy metal, mumbling incomprehensibly, or shooting “pointy things.”
Although, as a 2D comic-game, character customization is limited to a simple portrait, there’s dozens of options when selecting your character’s “look.” Several hair styles, colors, facial expressions, eyes, all can be selected in addition to race and gender. While you’ll never see your character touting that lucky thimble on their finger, you can create a character that sufficiently expresses your personality.
Get Ye Flask
Adventurers will inevitably make their first stop in the tavern. The tavern is where you can meet quest givers (who rotate and change each time you do a quest), as well as have a drink and gamble in a game of cups. A single quest giver will be available on each visit, but will offer the player three quest options. Each quest has a differing reward; while all will reward coin and experience, some reward more of one than another, and some will also offer items as rewards. Each quest also has a different time requirement on it; this is the time that an adventurer has to “wait” while the adventure takes place before entering combat. Once the timer expires, players will enter in a single fight with an enemy, and earn their reward (unless they fail, which is a problem I never came across). Dungeons are also available, with a new dungeon unlocking once every ten levels through a quest. These are far more difficult, but more rewarding to complete.
Like other browser-based games, Shakes & Fidget uses an energy system, called “Thirst for Adventure.” A little of this gets used each time you go on a quest, and can only be restored by waiting until the next day, or by paying a Mushroom (the cash-shop currency) to the tavern keep. A nice touch for the newbie, though: for the first few levels, your Thirst will restore itself quickly, allowing you to go on more adventures before hitting the recharge time.
Work and Play
So what is there to do besides quest? Shakes & Fidget offers two standard options: the arena and working. Players can fight each other once every ten minutes in the Arena, either by entering in a player’s name or accepting the random selection offered when entering. Combat is automatic, and you have no idea what you’re going up against. Unlike other PvP arenas in browser-based games, in which you gain honor and gold when you win but not when you lose, you will run the risk of losing several gold if you fail to defeat your opponent.
Players in guilds can also go on wars against other guilds, at their guild leader’s commands. Work, on the other hand, is a great way to fill up time while not playing and while waiting for your Thirst to recharge. You must select the hours you’ll work, and if you interrupt that work, you’ll gain nothing, even if you’ve worked several hours already.
A Little Flavor
One thing that Shakes & Fidget excels at is offering that kind of fun little “flavor” that can keep a game from being boring. A good part of this comes from the game’s graphics, drawn in the same style as the web-comics. The splash screens for quests are rotated, and show both a flair for the dramatic and a sometimes canny humor. Even the shop-keeps are not exempt from this, showing up in pajamas and looking exhausted and grumpy at late night.
Quest text, too, shows that kind of pun-filled, snarky flavor that World of Warcraft players are certainly familiar with. Although players will eventually run out of the random selections of quest names and catchy descriptions, it’s still good for a laugh or at least a smile from time to time. It’s also important to note that this is a translated version of the game for English players, and nothing is lost in the translation.
Final Verdict: Good
Shakes & Fidget follows a pretty traditional browser-based MMO formula, and that is its greatest weakness. Given the web comic’s history, capability for humor, and the game that encouraged its creation, there’s much more that could be done with the title than slap graphics and humor on the engine. Nonetheless, what appeal Shakes & Fidget does offer makes this one of the better of its kind, and definitely worth taking a day or two to try at the least – and possibly leaving you hooked for longer.