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Jerry McPartlin – Rebel With a Cause Review

Jerry McPartlin – Rebel With a Cause Review

Jerry McPartlin – Rebel With a Cause Review

A classic point-and-click scavenger hunting adventure game with almost as many Easter Egg references to other games as there are plot holes and bugs.


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Developed by

Published by


Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure
Release date: September 30, 2015

Jerry McPartlin – Rebel With a Cause is a classic scavenger hunt-style point-and-click adventure game. You play the title role of Jerry McPartlin, a rock star wannabe who returns to his small home town in Louisiana when he hears that his childhood sweetheart may be in danger. Four people have been murdered and an FBI agent is investigating. Jerry’s sweetheart’s father, a Hopi shaman, is convinced it is the work of an evil spirit released from an ancient Hopi curse. Only Jerry can save the day.

You can see the problems already. The Hopi is a Southwestern tribe. What are their artifacts, curses and shaman doing in Louisiana? And why is the FBI, a federal agency, investigating a local crime? This is just the beginning. The entire game plays like this – one non sequitur situation after another.

Scavenger hunt games can be a lot of fun. You must collect all of the ingredients for the recipe, but one ingredient is held by the first person who will only give it to you if you give him the item held by a second person who will only give that to you if you give him the item held by a third person, etc. Because this collecting is such an integral part of the game, it’s usually crafted into the story line. But not here.

As just one example, you need to acquire “the heart of the Phoenix.” After much searching, you determine that this means the ignition keys to a sea plane at the local dock (wtf?). But you can’t take them because they’re being guarded by the Great Bat Spirit (WTF?). And The Great Bat Spirit will only let you pass if you give him a rhubarb pie (WTF!?!). What does all of this have to do with the storyline? It gets worse from there.

The compound requests get so ridiculous that the characters occasionally comment on them. Could this game be a parody? Possibly, but if so it’s badly done. There needs to be more humor and eye winking for a parody to work. As it is, these comments come across as “Yeah, we admit it. This sucks.”

Add to this the fact that much of the game mechanics are just plain sloppy. Click on the hot spot on the church’s front door and your character responds by walking past the church and up the road next to it. Put a coin in the jukebox and your hand goes eight inches into the machine nowhere close to the coin slot. Click on the cabinet and you character removes an item without opening the door (you then have to check inventory to see what was actually taken). I could go on and on.

This sloppy implementation makes it hard to believe that the plot discrepancies are cleverly crafted on purpose. It’s easier to believe that the script writing is just sloppy as well.

The game is also filled with Easter Egg references to other games, movies and TV shows.  The title itself is a clear reference to “Rebel Without a Cause” starring James Dean  (who looks a lot like Jerry). But that’s the end of the similarity and the joke. At one point a dog starts barking “RUFF! LeChuck. RUFF! Ooops, sorry, wrong game. RUFF! RUFF!” Far from being clever, this comes across as just being cute.

Oh, I almost forgot about the sound. Surprisingly, the voice acting is quite good. The actors do their lines, such as they are, quite well. The sound effects are also quite good. The only disconnect is that Jerry’s a rock musician, but there’s no rock music in the game. In fact, the only music in the game is the one looping song in the jukebox by Jerry’s childhood rival. 


So, what do we have here? If this game is intended to be a parody, then it’s a very amateurish attempt and worthy of a C. But what if the developers are serious? In that case, the game is so god-awful that it’s funny. A game to mock. A game to bring out at parties and use as a drinking game (a shot of whiskey for each plot hole found. A swig of beer for each bug. First person to barf in his neighbor’s lap wins!). A game which can only be given that rarest of grades – F.

Grade: C (if a parody) / F (if serious)
Good voice acting
Still a playable game as long as you don’t try to make sense of it
It’s so bad that you could actually have fun mocking it
– Badly written storyline 
– Nonsensical puzzles
– Sloppy animation

System Requirements
OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD X2 CPU 2.2 GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Geforce GTX275 / ATI 4670HD
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 4 GB available space

OS: Mac OSX 10.7+
Processor: Intel Core i5 2,6 GHz (Mac mini)
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: VCard with Shader Model 3.0
Hard Drive: 4 GB available space

Bob Washburne

Bob Washburne

I have been playing adventure games since 1979 when I played "Adventure" on the DEC PDP minicomputer at work. The first adventure game I ever purchased was "Zork 1" for CP/M. I can remember the introduction of the IBM PC. I remember the invention of the microcomputer (actually, it was discovered rather than invented). I remember the invention of the minicomputer. Yes, I am an old fart. I have written 80 reviews and articles for JustAdventure starting with my review of "Bioscopia" in February of 2004. I currently own more adventure games than I will ever be able to play, let alone review. And I want more!

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