Her Majesty’s Spiffing review for Xbox One, PS4

Platform: Xbox One
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: BillyGoat Entertainment
Developer: BillyGoat Entertainment
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Fun fact about Her Majesty’s Spiffing: I probably spent more time thinking about what I was going to say in this review and writing it than I actually spent playing the game.

This is not, unfortunately, because I only played the game for a few brief moments and then dashed this review off. Rather, it’s because Her Majesty’s Spiffing is unbelievably short.

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that I believe that game length is the be-all and end-all of a game’s value. Of course quality counts for at least as much as quantity, and of course how much fun you had playing a game should count for more than how much time you spent playing it.

Moreover, I don’t want to give the impression that what’s on offer in Her Majesty’s Spiffing is bad by any means. It’s got a pretty decent sense of humour, and seems like the kind of thing that Tim Schafer would come up with if he’d been born on the other side of the Atlantic. On top of that, it has a fun premise: a post-Brexit UK, tired of living on a post-British Empire Earth, decides to set off into space to find planets to colonize. Combine the humour and the premise, and it should come as no surprise that the story — while it lasts — is pretty enjoyable.

The gameplay isn’t too bad either. True, it’s your pretty standard point & click adventure, but the combinations and demands generally make sense, and because the action is mostly confined to a few rooms in a small spaceship, you’re not wandering around aimlessly and clicking on everything you come across. Everything in Her Majesty’s Spiffing is perfectly logical, which seems like one of the highest compliments you can pay an adventure game.

Despite all this, though, I have to go back to the game’s one giant, glaring flaw: it’s ridiculously short. Buying the game at full price on either Xbox One or PS4 will set you back about $20 (the PC version, as of this writing, is about half that), and in return you’ll be getting a game that you can completely finish in an hour. Even if you’re like me, and you’re of an age where you appreciate games that don’t require a massive time investment, I’d say that’s a little on the short side.

Does that mean you shouldn’t even think about buying Her Majesty’s Spiffing? Of course not: it may not last long, but it is fun while it lasts. But if you’re going in expecting anything substantial — or even anything you can play for longer than a lunch hour — you should know that your hopes are going to be dashed in a pretty extreme manner.

Grade: B