The Needles: Find Your Own Way Home: The REO Speedwagon Game ReviewThe Needles - RSS 2.0
Ironically, the music is the one area where Find Your Own Way Home really stumbles. For an REO Speedwagon game, there's a very distinct lack of REO Speedwagon. I had visions of rocking out to classic tracks like "Take It On the Run" and "Keep The Fire Burnin'" while making my way through whatever the hell it is one does in a game based on a faded 80s rock giant. What I ended up with instead was a small handful of truncated audio clips that play repeatedly over the course of the game. It includes just five full songs: One from the band's 2009 Christmas release Not So Silent Night, a pair from the 2007 album Find Your Own Way Home and only two genuine hits, re-recordings of "Roll With the Changes" and "Keep On Loving You." Even more annoying, none of the tracks are available during regular gameplay, so if you want some Speedwagon with your Speedwagon, you're going to have to bust out the old vinyl. (Or at the very least, fire up Winamp.)
It's a relatively minor quibble, but also a surprising oversight in a game based on a rock band, particularly one with over 40 million records sold and 13 Top-40 hits to its credit. The odd result is a game that will probably be better received by casual gamers who neither know nor care about the band than it will be by hardcore REO Speedwagon fans looking for a new way to enjoy its music.
In the end, though, Find Your Own Way Home is too good to pass on just because it's a little light on the thirty-year-old album oriented rock. It's a testament to its overall quality that I didn't even think about the fact that I was playing an "advergame" until someone else pointed it out to me well after I'd finished. A marketing tool it may be, but it's also a very good game that will easily fill a couple solid afternoons of casual gameplay. For fans of the genre, this is definitely one to check out.
Andy Chalk did in fact head to Walmart to pick up an REO Speedwagon Greatest Hits CD soon after finishing this game.