This is not a joke trailer. As of this writing this game does exist!
For those of you who don’t remember or have never heard of this game, the original Chex Quest was a kid-friendly clone of Doom, a popular game to clone and ID Software rarely seemed to have a problem with it. You play an unnamed member of Chex Squadron, in a world of anthropomorphic cereal and other breakfast foods, whose nutritional research station is overrun by Flemoids, snot-like creatures from another dimension. To get past the usual “shoot monsters with guns” gameplay weapons called Zorchers (which frankly resemble remote controls a lot of the time) are used to send the Flemoids back to their dimension. For 1996 this was a fun DOS game and one of the very very rare occasions Chex cereals came with anything besides the bag that keeps the cereal fresh.
The game was followed up with a downloadable sequel on the official website and in I think 2008 they finally made a third one. Meanwhile fan mods abounded as the game was a nostalgic favorite. If you liked the actual Doom here’s a strange mod that was still fun. If you’re like me and aren’t into the dark themes and imagery, it makes for a great alternative. Somewhere along the line our mystery hero got the name “Chex Man” and later “Chex Warrior” according to the Angry Video Game Nerd in his review. Since then the retro PC gaming community has been all over this forgotten gem. Here’s another review by Lazy Game Reviews that I add only because there’s no swearing like the AVGN’s video and I want to drive some traffic to his channel. It’s fascinating if you’re into old computers and old computer games.
So last week I felt this urge to look up the game again and to my surprise learned that a remake of the original game has been produced, this time through Chex MIX, the ready-made snack version of the party favorite. (Although I don’t remember being at a party that had them even as homemade. Granted I don’t get out much.) It’s not a total remake. I’ve played maybe a level and a half before getting slimed and after getting a handle on the controls. Our hero is now named Fred Chexter and is a lot more chatty. The cereal based lifeforms are now snack based. The layout is both familiar to what I remember and different enough to feel like a fresh game. I’m enjoying so far and I haven’t even tried the rest of Chex Mix Squadron, who are unlocked with codes on the official website and through the Chex Mix bags. My only complaint is that you have to play it through Steam. It is not downloadable on its own and unlike the other three official free games in the franchise I see a day where this will not be playable. That makes me sad
Also included on the website is a downloadable comic, Untold Tales of Chex Quest Anthology. It’s done in both .pdf for the average reader and .cbz for the die-hard e-comic reader. These 50 pages include a forward by James Rolfe discussing how he learned about the game and a series of short stories introducing us to Fred and his new team. That’s what I’m reviewing today. Here’s a direct link to the comic download page…wait, where is it? I don’t see the link anymore. Where it was is now a Spotify link for the soundtrack. Well, I can link you to the .pdf version which you can also read online and maybe this link to the .cbz version still works? Try them while they still work.
The forward, as mentioned, is by James Rolfe and he talks about doing the review of the original games. I’m not sure why he was given the forward. Granted when it comes to retro games, especially bad ones, the Nerd is probably one of if not the biggest name and his review may have alerted more people to it, but as he noted in both the review and the forward it’s not like the game was unknown. There was a huge cult following, leading to many mods as well as the 2008 official sequel. It’s a nice bit of trivia but if you don’t follow his show you may not get why he’s there. Then we get into the comics.
“Stowaway” by Morgan Been
This story featured Fred Chexter, the hero of the original games, in a losing battle with the Flemoids aboard a starship. The only way to stop them is to use giant Zorch cannons on his ship but it blasts the other ship as well. It’s a story where the hero loses and the art style doesn’t work for me. However those are all personal thoughts. Critically it’s a bit short but actually a good story and I wouldn’t call the art bad, just not in my taste. I will say there is a good shot of a Flemoid mass about to engulf Fred that was set up very well. You’ll see it when you read it.
“The Good, The Bad, And The Slimy” by Alec Kozak
Shane “The Dread” McBread is based on the little breadsticks that some version of the bagged Chex Mix. All the new characters are. In this story Shane is on his way back from the events in the game when a stowaway (the name for the last story would actually work here but I think Kozak was playing on the cowboy personality of Shane) who is shifting between the snackverse and the Flemoid universe. It’s a good action piece and the artwork resembles the official art, which is always a nice touch for me personally.
“Wanderlust” by Maria Capelle Frantz
Wheatney Chexworth appears to be based on Wheat Chex while Fred is either Rice or Corn Chex. I’m not sure which. This one is more of a character moment as Wheatney wants to avoid some war but the story ends with her headed to Bazoik, the planet the game takes place on, which feels like it’s at the start of the game and she shouldn’t know about Flemoids because unlike Fred she wasn’t at the briefing. He could have told her when she and the rest of the team arrived, but who are they at war against then? Otherwise it’s a nice moment and I do like the artwork. As far as art not matching the game this may be my favorite one in the book.
“P.R.E.T.Z.L. To The Rescue” by Nicholas Straight
I don’t know what the name stands for. Again, I’m only a level and a half into the game while the website’s description is simply “A combination of titanium, steel, flour and salt.” and I’m pretty sure the LEGO universe makes more sense in construction. This story has the robot saving a group of kids who already seem to be fans. The Flemoids are planning to teleport them (I’m guessing) to their home dimension. I don’t know if that works in the game lore but it’s a fun little adventure.
“Doctor O’Reyn” by Tom Scioli
Here’s a name I actually recognize. I’m also not a fan, but again it’s all personal taste. That’s an unintended pun. O’Reyn seems be similar to Doctor Strange not only in wardrobe but she appears to have some kind of magical powers. Chex Command (who seem to be based on Starfleet according to these outfits) sends her to the Flemoid dimension where she sees different kinds of Flemoids and learns about their lives. This includes one evolution (think Pokemon or the Regis’s experiments) that resembles humans, and of course the usual shot at humans are taken. They also eat Chex Mix, which convinces her that they must be stopped, possibly through mass genocide. Question: if the Flemoids are able to obtain or even make their own Chex Mix, why invade the snack universe and kidnap intelligent food life? There are some interesting ideas here but ultimately Scioli and I never see eye to eye and this is no different. Some of you out there might enjoy it more than I did.
“Chex Jest” by Joe Bevil
NACL96, who I think is…if this were still breakfast-based I’d say donut but this is where my Chex Mix knowledge completely lacks. NaCl is the short form of sodium and that’s all I’ve got. I think he’s a cyborg. This story is about him trying to get a laugh out of the team and just screwing them up during a fight. I was annoyed as they were, but since P.R.E.T.Z.L.’s words are only understood by the characters (it’s just a lot of beeping to us, that’s the joke) I don’t know what insult he gave, which is the only laugh here. I didn’t care for this one.
“The Origin Of The Flemoids” by Tyler Bence (colors by Bill Crabtree)
Dr. O’Reyn breaks the fourth wall for an occasionally silly origin story for the Flemoids. I’m not sure if it matches with the other story she’s in or even the actual game lore but it isn’t too bad a story. I like the art and the few jokes work okay.
“Even Odds” by David Stoll
It looks like Fred Chexter is going to be breakfast but now he has other playable characters to help him out. The Flembrane from the previous story is involved so there is a tie back to that tale at least. Wheatney appears to be the wrong color Chex (and also the wrong skin color, looking more like Fred’s Rice Chex than her proper Wheat Chex) but it’s a nice story of the heroes coming together and a good one to end on.
Afterwards is a series of pinups and a short write-up of the artists and comic makers on the comic.
Overall I really enjoyed it. It’s a fun set of stories based on a game with a strong cult following and a good introduction to the HD remix. If they’re still up get them while you can and if you have or are willing to get a Steam account try the game out. Otherwise hunt down the old DOS games and a DOS emulator and try them out too.