Point and click adventure games died when LucasArts decided that instead of doing Full Throttle 2 they'd spend a decade making Star Wars cash-ins and milking Luke Skywalker's legacy for all it was worth. Thankfully, some of the generation raised on such classics as The Secret of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango decided to go into indie game development. Adventure-fan Dan Marshall set up Zombie-Cow Studios and made two very funny, very rude adventure games: Ben There, Dan That! and its sequel Time Gentlemen, Please!
If you fancy getting in on some gloriously nostalgic mouse-based adventuring action, then you might be pleased to know that these two games will only set you back £2.99 from Steam. That's a good six or so hours of wacky goodness for the price of a London pint.
The point-and-click adventure game is a wee bit dated, but there's still a lot of love for the genre out there, and the advent of browser-based 'casual' gaming has helped a good number of old-school genres make a welcome comeback.
These two games, will feel instantly familiar to anyone who's ever played a LucasArts or Sierra adventure title: click your way through a ludicrously farfetched and wonderfully imaginative story, picking up various items along the way, and combining them into weird and wonderful artifacts to solve puzzles. You essentially take control of Mr. Marshall himself and his talkative buddy Ben, as they stumble around mucking up timelines and trying to sort out the mess they keep making after being abducted by a pair of time-bandit aliens.
As with most adventure games, there's a lot of talking and text to read, but this is where much of the humour comes from. The two leads have some wonderful banter, the situations they find themselves in are frequently hilarious, and I had an absolute blast with both games. But they're not for everyone. Rude, crude and often downright lewd, there's quite a bit that Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells might find offensive in here. But as a yardstick, if our hot-headed office compatriots over at Bitterwallet fail to ruffle your PC feathers, I think you'll be fine here.
These games aren't as polished as the predecessors to which they pay homage - although the cartoonish animations are wonderfully endearing - and they're not as clever, but they are a lot of fun and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. You sure as hell won't find Tom Selleck, Nazi robot dinosaurs and a dead transvestite mouse all in one place anywhere else. It’s as if Withnail and I got genetically spliced with Guybrush Threepwood and all of the guys who worked on Superbad. If you find yourself snowed in this week and fancy laughing yourself warm with some classic-style adventuring, you should definitely give these two a go for £3.
If you don't believe me, check out the Metacritic reviews (av. 84) here.