Tag Archives: references to british telly americans won’t get

Games Only You Played

Hello readers! I just had an idea to write this quick blog post and thought I would throw it up now for you guys to have a ponder over!

The title, of course, is an exaggeration – unless you wrote something yourself and never even let your mother play it so she could smile and tell you how great it is, I doubt there’s anything out there that has only been played by one person EVER. But still, there seem to be games around which are almost unheard of among our peers. I thought I would ask you all to name any examples of such games, be they hidden gems that deserved far greater fame, or terrible affronts to gaming that fully merit their lack of renown *coughcough*VersaillesagameofIntrigue*coughcough*!

I’ll kick off by highlighting a game called Marko’s Magic Football, released on the Mega Drive and made by Domark. It wasn’t an astounding game by any means, but I did have fun with it as a kid, and the gimmick – that you had to use said football (a spherical one, that is. Bloody colonials and their handegg!) to defeat enemies and get around the levels – was a nice change from the more standard platformers of the era.

More importantly for this post, of course, is the fact that in my life I have not met one other person who has played it.

And who doesn’t want to commit assault with a deadly weapon on the peelers?

Of course as soon as you mention a game “only I played” some wiseguy comes along and has also played it! Nonetheless I now open the comments to you folks


When you settle down for a nice long session of gaming, is there anything in particular you like to have to eat or drink along with it? Myself I love a drink of Dr. Pepper to go with my videogames (And it is starting to show on my waistline, sigh) whilst our dear Pike can’t do without her Mt. Dew. I love Mt. Dew myself but good luck finding it over here in England! When I was a kid it was 7-Up all the way, I even played that Cool Spot game, which was surprisingly good!

I tend to actually prefer fruit like satsumas and bananas to anything candy-esque these days, but still a bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps (Potato chops for you rebel types) is always welcome as well! A Crunchie bar, or a bag of Cheese & Onion. Tasty way to fill up without needing to turn away from the game!

Oh, thanks AJ! Apples are delicious!

What about you, readers? Do you guys have any particular things you like to eat or drink while gaming? Tell us in the comments!

Bored Receptionists and Smelling Faintly Of Cabbage

It bears mentioning that Theme Hospital has very recently become available on Gog.com and I urge you all to purchase it at your earliest convenience. I did and have barely been able to put it down since, it is if anything even better than I remembered it being.

Theme Hospital is the sequel – after a fashion – to Theme Park, two of the games Bullfrog put out in the 1990s during their golden era, a short but incredible catalog that I’m not convinced any other developer has ever matched; Populous, Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper; it’s a truly illustrious list of games that are not only classics, but that in some cases defined and defied genre. In Theme Park your job was, as the title suggests, to construct a profitable Theme Park. Theme Hospital is obviously a preposterous notion, but that gives a good indicator of the humor at the game’s core. Your job as manager-god is to design, staff, and run a profitable hospital, dealing with such absurd conditions as Bloaty Head and Uncommon Cold, keeping your staff and patients happy (And alive), and coping with the sometimes rather restrictive layouts you are given.

The gentleman dressed as Elvis will die ON THE SPOT if his shrink gets it wrong.

It’s a management game of the kind that became so widespread in the years after Theme Park/Hospital and Railroad Tycoon were successful, but make no mistake, this is the genuine article. We are not talking about Waste Management Facility Tycoon here (though you do need to build toilets), we are talking about an exceedingly clever, enjoyable game that gets challenging fast, all with a strong streak of humor running through it, from the perfectly bored tannoy announcements to the amusing descriptions of staff.

SteamQuest 2: Ben There, Dan That!

SteamQuest is a series based around Pike’s quest to play all the games she has on Steam. Which is a lot. Her definition of “play”, here, is at least one hour for smaller games and at least three hours for more substantial ones. Feel free to follow along!

Ben There, Dan That!
Developer: Size Five Games
Genres: Indie, Point-And-Click Adventure
Website: http://www.sizefivegames.com/games/ben-there-dan-that/ – and the Steam Link
Time Spent by Pike: 62 minutes – unfinished

Today’s SteamQuest entry was actually going to be about Alpha Protocol, but as it turns out my computer doesn’t want to run it. So for the time being I’m stuck running games that take much lower system requirements. Hopefully I can patch up my computer eventually and then I can go back and play the newer, fancier stuff, but until then I’m plucking random indie and/or older games off of my list. Ben There, Dan That! is one of them.

I’ll come right out and admit it: I’m not a big Point & Click Adventure game player. This isn’t because I have something against them, but I just have very, very little experience with them. It’s one of those genres that I don’t know very much about just because I’m so inexperienced with the games in said genre.

This is a quintessential adventure game, though. You click stuff. You pick stuff up. You solve puzzles by combining stuff. That’s basically how the game works. It’s not a difficult mechanic, but in this game it’s well-executed. Once you get the hang of how things work it’s very intuitive, and some of the puzzles will leave you feeling very clever indeed.

The devs are clearly fond of Sam & Max and Monkey Island (in-jokes and homages abound) and so this is an adventure in a bizarre world and off-the-wall humor abounds. Should you choose to examine a light switch in the bathroom, one of the characters goes into a very detailed monologue about said light switch, for example. The characters also poke unabashed fun at themselves (they’re based off of the devs) and at prior games they’ve made. Not gonna lie, the humor had me laughing to myself on more than one occasion. The game is also super-British, so one of my early quests was to rig up an “aerial for a knackered telly”. Yeah, it took almost as long for me to figure out what they wanted me to do as it did to solve the puzzle itself. Fortunately I can always use Mister Adequate as a translator if things get dire.

Pic related.

There’s not really much else to say about this game except that it was considerably more interesting than I initially thought it would be and it’s probably worth a look for point-and-click fans, especially since you can get both this game and its sequel in a package for $5. I think I’ll be diving back into this at some point in the future when I’m not in a rush to get a blog post out before work. Supposedly the storyline involves Nazi dinosaurs or something, and that’s clearly worth a closer look.

Moments later I was abducted by the aliens outside the window and taken aboard their spaceship. ...no, really. That's in the game.


Just noticed that we topped 20K page views a very short while ago, which is convenient because neither Pike nor I have the first freaking clue for a blog topic today so I’ll just take this opportunity to profusely thank all our readers and commenters! You guys are quite wonderful and it is altogether too satisfying to watch those little numbers of page views and subscribers rise, and to get emails notifying me of comments made on my posts etc.

So yes, thank you very much, from both of us!

I didn't know what image to use so I used Pinkie Pie as a human not knowing what to do about my not knowing what to do and oh no I've gone cross-eyed

I suppose it is expected that I at least mention videogames on our My Little Pony image blog, yes? Well, I’ve been playing a ton of SimCity 4 the last few days and I had an interesting experience. Last night when I was finishing it up I looked around what I had wrought and thought “Yeah, that’s okay.” This morning when I went back to it, I thought “Oh wow, I am some sort of urban designing genius, this looks great!” I wonder what caused this discrepancy? Do you guys find you can feel differently about stuff like that if you give it some time, or are you more likely to feel it’s worse than you originally thought, as I generally am? Also if anyone’s interested I might provide a few screenshots as I go along! Not now though. Because I have none to hand and the game takes forever to load when your mod folder is three times the size of the game itself.

Also playing through Human Revolution, which is brilliant, and waiting for Dead Island, which sadly doesn’t look like it’s going to be the horrorfest I originally hoped for but does nevertheless have the potential, I think, to be an enjoyable zombie-slaying romp. And there’s always Project Zomboid for real zombie survival stuff!


Some of you may be familiar with QWOP, an utterly ridiculous game where you are more likely to shuffle over the finish line on your knees rather than run.

Well, they’ve put out a new game now – GIRP. It’s as ridiculous, but a bit more playable than QWOP was on account of things actually being visible in terms of what should be pressed.

In the words of Father Jack Hackett… FECKIN’ BIRDS AGAIN! I’ve not finished it yet but I’m highly compelled by it. I recommend you go give it a try! Once your brain figures out how it works you might end up doing some fun crazy things. I kicked the bird up the arse.