This game gets added to the small list of games I have managed to complete, so it enters the hallowed halls alongside Baldur’s Gate 2, Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich and Halo. It’s a short, horror/comedy game apparently based on a comic book from Penny Arcade, and is completely hilarious from the opening moment. The premise of the game is very simple – the character’s house was squished by a huge robot, and having nothing better to do I join up with two strange men from the Startling Developments Detective Agency to hunt down the robot and get revenge for the destruction of my home. Subsequent investigation reveals that the robot is part of some kind of war between the Gods, or an end-time prophecy of some sort, and I, of course, have to stop it. Fortunately, Tycho Brahe from the Startling Developments Detective Agency did a degree in Apocalyptics, so he can see what’s coming; and his dodgy niece Anne-Claire is a technical genius, who can help with the investigations, so all is well.
The game has an excellent, smutty adult sense of humour, with a lot of swearing and some distinctly adult themes. Pretty early on you run into a couple of perverted robots, which have a strange sexual fascination with oranges and attack you with a distinctly urinatory style; later on you advance your mission by doing tasks for a Professor of Urinology, whose dream is to piss on the town’s Ferris wheel. This is all made even cuter by the vaguely 1920s style of the gaming environment, and the decidedly suspicious interactions of the heroes, as well as their dodgy comic book representation. But the stand out qualities of the game for me came about a third of the way through, when I had to kill my first group of mimes. Because, you see, the mimes are attempting to call forth their dark mime god, whose silence will settle upon the earth like a velvet cloak. They must be stopped! You can see them in the picture below, which sadly doesn’t show the moment when one of the mimes attacks you by attempting to throw an invisible boulder at you. But it’s okay! Because I had my invisible boxes, which can be used to trap mimes while I prepare for battle…
The combat is handled in a turn-based system which runs very smoothly and cutely, but it also has some basic gaming interaction tools built in – you can block attacks by hitting the space bar at just the right moment (which varies depending on the attacker) and the heroes’ special attacks run on little keyboard games, with better performance producing more damage. There’s also a wide variety of items to use that act as buffs and are regularly replenished, and various helper characters you can call on (in the picture you can see a cat, whose specialty attack, “Grooming(or dooming?)” is to lick his own balls at your opponents, for 1 point of damage).
The game has only one significant side adventure that I could detect, and I couldn’t work out how to go on it so I’m not sure if it really existed or if the hints about it were waiting on episode 2 (it has four episodes). This means the story is essentially very linear, with the heroes going from clue to clue until the game finishes. Character creation, too, is very static – you basically choose your appearance and everything else proceeds without your input. However, the shortness of the game, freshness of the plot, and general all-around smuttiness more than made up for this. This game is an excellent little romp through a twisted and weird small town, and it involves killing mimes. My verdict: Excellent!