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The Chex Quest HD remake is coming to Steam, and will be free

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I never played Chex Quest, the promotional Doom total conversion released in 1996, so I will have to take Evan's word that it was—and this is a direct quote—"gaming's best cereal-based shooter (opens in new tab)." Because Chex Quest is indeed based on Chex, the breakfast cereal that's been in bowls since the mid-'30s: It's still a first-person game, but reflecting the sensitivities of its younger-skewing audience, it forgoes shotguns, rocket launchers, and demons for "zorching" devices used to send anthropomorphic boogers back to their own dimension. Family-friendly fun.

I'll be honest, I don't see the appeal, but back in the day it was many young PC gamers' free gateway into first-person shooters. Players legitimately enjoyed the game, and according to The Hub Magazine (via the Wayback Machine (opens in new tab)) sales of Chex skyrocketed as a direct result of the promotion. It actually earned a sequel, Chex Quest 2: Flemoids Take Chextropolis, and an unofficial third part for ZDoom that was released in 2008.

But wait, there's more: In 2016, Charles Jacobi, the lead artist on the original, revealed that Chex Quest HD (opens in new tab) was in the works. It was a sideline thing, and so "progress is slow," Jacobi said at the time. He wasn't kidding: Since that 2016 reveal, a whopping three teasers (opens in new tab) have been released, one of them a remaster of the Land Zone theme song. But that's all set to change in 2020, as Chex Quest HD has now appeared on Steam (opens in new tab), complete with a summer 2020 release window.

"The Intergalactic Federation of Snacks' outpost on the remote planet of Bazoik has been overrun by evil cereal-eating creatures from another dimension!" the listing says. "These slimy 'Flemoids; have taken the citizens of Bazoik captive and it is up to you and the Chex Mix Squadron to free them. Thankfully you have a handy array of 'zorching' devices which can send these invaders back to their home dimension so you can succeed in your mission."

The page describes Chex Quest HD as "a modern, multiplayer remake of the classic 1996 FPS advergame," but it sounds very deeply rooted in its past. Multiplayer is limited to split-screen, although it will work with Remote Play, and there's no indication that it will support achievements, cloud saves, or any other "modern" Steam features. But maybe that's how fans want it: This is a game that literally came out of a cereal box, after all.

Speaking of boxes and weird nostalgia, Limited Run Games has announced that physical editions (opens in new tab) of Chex Quest HD are in the works, as is a soundtrack on vinyl. Conversation has also resumed on the Chex Quest fan forums (opens in new tab)—and yes, it's still running—and while it's early days, there is also what you might call "palpable excitement" in the Steam discussion group.

(Image credit: MiG-21bis Fishbed-L (Steam))
Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.