There can be a time when you just want an innocent and beautiful adventure game, just to spend a few hours playing. Something with modern graphics, wonderful music and heartwarming story. Well, according to Ben and Dan, adventures games are dead as a genre. So how about something to remind you of the good ol’ days?
United, this dynamic duo is going to go on an epic journey where the fourth wall is hanging by a thread, and the protagonists know they live in a game they write and create themselves. Sort of.
Sarcasm, innuendos, juvenile insults and humor are all there and make a great combination. So without further ado, let’s start with the first game of this collection.
Ben there, Dan that!
You are stranded in Peru. Your best friend is dead and you have to take him to a doctor to bring him back from the dead. The problem? There is a giant ravine standing in your way. The solution? But of course, stretching a rope from the doctor’s cabin to a big statue, tying your friend on that rope with a duck and launching him across by… shoving a rocket where the sun does not shine, and then lighting it up!
And that is how the story of Ben and Dan begins in this game. A simple point and click adventure game which loves to satirize Lucas Arts games, the adventure genre and a little bit of pop culture, history, society (and many more).
Countless puns, a few insults, no respect for any kind of life, even human, is how our heroes are going to face the challenges ahead. Travelling from one parallel dimension to the next in a weird quest to find the key they need in order they get back home, you are going to need some ingenuity, imagination — and maybe a little bit of Googling for a quick tip.
Or you could simply ask Ben for advice. Apart from him giving you a hint on what to do, Dan also has a few interesting remarks to give about nearly anything you click on. Satire and their ability to comment on nearly anything will keep you good company for a few hours.
And now for the not so good parts of the game. The graphics look old and classic. However, changing the resolution to fit your screen or preference can be a nightmare. Personally, I found that keeping it 640×480 and full screen was the best option. Although it looked very old-school, at least it did not mess up the cursor.
The soundtracks are pretty decent and they kinda reminded me of Sam and Max, along with the various sound effects. Unfortunately, though, you will find no voice-over here.
All in all, I would not recommend this game to anyone who is looking for a next-gen game, or a blockbuster. But if you enjoy adventure games - especially some of the older Lucas Arts titles — and looking for something to pass the time, then this game is worth your attention. Fun, surreal and entertaining, it is worth more than its price. Which you can get for free if you get it with its sequel…
Time gentlemen, please!
As if travelling through different dimensions was not enough, in this game our heroes are going to be travelling across time as well. The story picks up two weeks after the events of the previous game. And well… Everything in this franchise is happening “Two Weeks Later”. Even if it “later” is but a few decades in the past.
Anyway, back to the story.
Two weeks have passed since Ben and Dan defeated the aliens in the previous game, taking control of the entire planet. However, they also managed to get every human killed. To fix that, they have decided to use future technology and travel to the past to prevent the events of the first game from ever happening. And of course, they will manage to make things even worse.
Since a coat hanger played a major role, they have decided that preventing coat hangers from ever being invented is the best course of action. If you ever fail, you have to keep trying until you succeed. That is their strategy and the reason why they will end up facing Hitler in 1945. Only this time Hitler wins the war, since he has an army of intelligent, cloned dinosaurs looking for the holy, golden coat hanger. And that is where the game starts and the player has to clear up the mess Ben and Dan made.
Of course, just as in the previous game, there are countless of puns, insults, silly jokes and even sillier puzzles. Nazi dinosaurs, prehistoric nerds, robots and the upcoming end of the universe are only a few of the things which will keep you busy for about seven hours. (Although if I didn’t end up going online and looking for a walkthrough, I might had still be trying to find a way to solve a couple of puzzles — especially the one with Hitler’s minigame).
Some puzzles were so weird that they reminded me of the infamous mustache in Gabriel Knight 3 or Broken Sword and its sometimes Broken Logic. The phrase “But of course, THAT was the easiest and most straightforward way to do it!” was going through my mind more often than not, along with a smug smile on my face.
Even more than in the previous game, there will be times when logic and reason have no place here. At least the creators of the game already know that, which is probably why they offer more than enough commentary through their dialogues. Yeap, that fourth wall is totally going down.
Nevertheless, the above are not the only surprising things in this game. In the end there is even a boss fight. Yes… A brutal, violent, boss fight in a point and click adventure game. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that there will be lasers of death and the duo will have to take cover, using their ingenuity, as well as their superior, and irrational, intelligence in order to get out alive.
Now as for the graphics, we certainly see a major upgrade since the last game - yet nothing which will remind you of this decade. Nonetheless, they manage to stay good looking, while creating a unique feeling.
The good thing is that the devs have fixed a few interaction and environment issues you may have encountered in the previous title. Although you may still miss a couple of items and bang your head at a wall. I swear I didn’t even notice that one of the four pins, on a certain wall, in a specific location and timeline, was clickable. (Well, at least they also added more sound effects. That’s something).
In the end, the pros and cons of this bundle are pretty straightforward. If you are looking for something with next-gen graphics and easy gameplay, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a facepalm inducing, fun adventure game which will remind you of old classics, then this is one of the best indie adventure games you can get.
And since you can get both of the games for the price of a takeout coffee, you definitely don’t have anything to lose!
Processor: Pretty much anything post-millennial, anything that runs DirectX 9.0c for particle effects.
Memory: Anything over 256MB should do, anything that runs DirectX 9.0c for particle effects.
Graphics:Any DirectDraw compatible. PixelShader 1.4/ DirectX 9.0c capable card required for particle effects.
DirectX®: 9.0c required for particle effects
Hard Drive: 150 MB
Sound: Any Windows-compatible soundcard
22 Jun, 2009
Great and fun story
Tricky resolution options