Anything with zombie cows somehow involved is
guaranteed to spark my interest. If it has dino Nazi robots, time travel
and coat hangers as well, itís got to be worth the $5 entry fee. Throw in
Captain Binky, and what more could you want?
Ben There, Dan That!
was a short freeware adventure game that garnered some enthusiastic
comments at various websites dedicated to such games. Time Gentlemen,
Please! is a much longer sequel and, on that basis, it costs $5 and is
no longer freeware, but an Indie game. At least, that is what we told
ourselves at GameBoomers when deciding whether to review it or not.
I have to say, there is a lot to like about this
game. I also have to say that if crude humour, written by boys for boys
(by which you know that genitalia is going to get a look-in) is not for
you, keep your $5 in your wallet.
It is crude. It is rude. It is on occasion vulgar
and offensive, depending upon your sensibilities. Depending on your sense
of humour, it is also funny, certainly fun, and reverential to the
adventure game genre and LucasArts in particular. It pokes fun at itself,
and enjoys doing it.
It can also be quite clever, especially in its
puzzle creation. Moving things back and forth in time adds a dimension
(literally) to the solutions. Sure, many are somewhat far-fetched, but I
already mentioned dino Nazi robots so what did you expect? And it wouldnít
be the first adventure game where putting out a fire involved a far more
convoluted solution than simply using water. I confess to being stuck, and
to trying things simply because I had things in my inventory, however
weird it seemed.
I did feel, though, that the solution was never too
far away Ė well, most of the time. The banter between Ben and Dan, our two
protagonists, is often revealing in terms of what to do next, and Dan (or
was it Ben) could always ask Ben (or was it Dan) whether he had any
suggestions. Often he did, not in terms of a solution but an objective.
Which didnít always lead to a solution, but at least pointed the way.
Some solutions were beyond me, and the internet on
those occasions was my friend. The game isnít for novice players. But
aficionados with a hankering for olde worlde type adventure conundrums,
and lots of them, will probably be well pleased. Is that a pig in your
pocket? Or a cleverly disguised bottle opener?
There is no spoken dialogue in Time Gentlemen,
Please, but there is a lot which you read. Most of the crudeness comes
through the dialogue, but so too does much of the silly fun, and adventure
genre fun-poking. Plus you donít have to worry about bad voice acting.
The other part of the silly fun is the animation
itself. I loved the look, and the way in which Dan and Ben scuttled almost
crab-like around the gaming environment. It has simple and effective
crayola appeal and, despite the fact that it wouldnít play full screen,
was a high point for me.
So too the musical score. Different locations have
their own score, and again itís simple, melodic and effective. Some scenes
just have background sound effects, in keeping with the scene in question.
I mentioned tinkering with time and if you like
flirting with time conundrums, deep and not so deep, the storyline will
likely appeal. It would spoil it to say too much. Suffice to say that it
involves stopping Dan and Ben from stopping Dan and Ben stopping the
invention of the coat hanger to stop the population of the world from
dying because of Dan and Ben (and Matlock).
Time Gentleman, Please!
was clearly made with affection, by and for adventure fans. True, crude
and rude donít usually feature in adventure games. And some (or many)
adventure fans wonít respond favourably. I, however, cranked up the boy
inside, had another red wine, and giggled (and groaned) inappropriately
through the escapades.