“Ben there Dan That!” is free a point and click adventure game in the old LucasArts tradition that loosely explores the theme of “the death of the adventure game”.
It chronicles the adventures of Ben and Dan, the digital versions of the two developers of the game, as they solve puzzles and engage in clever and amusing dialogue containing numerous humorous references to old 90’s adventure games.
This is a point and click adventure game that’s designed to challenge you with some interesting (and mostly logical) puzzles and to put a smile on your face.
The latter it accomplishes through humorous tongue in cheek references to classic adventure games (the Space Quest series, Escape from Monkey Island, etc.), but also by poking fun at the adventure game genre itself. The following exchange is a case in point:
(In the context of examining a note stuck on a door)
Dan: What about the extra-sticky BluTak on the back? … that might prove useful
Ben: Stop questioning my authority, quisling. We leave the note and the sticky-sticky BluTak right here, ok?. It’s not going to help make an aerial, is it?
Dan: No, but we might be able to use it with something else. You know… later on.
Ben: Oh, I see. So I’m supposed to just start carting junk around with me all day …on the off chance we need it for something later? Dan: Um.. yeah.
Ben: Well, in the unlikely event that happens, I shall make a mental note of the BluTak being here… and simply return to collect it should the unthinkable happen, and we find ourselves BluTak-less in a BluTak crisis situation ok?
Dan: Yay! Thanks Pal.
Of course, carting junk around for no apparent reason is exactly what you will need to do in point and click adventure games, and this one is no exception 😉 . Here are more notes on this game:
- Actions: right click to switch across the different possible actions then point to the object you would like to perform the action on.
- Inventory: mouse over to the upper left corner to see your inventory.Selecting an object makes it appear as an action in the above-mentioned right click menu. You can use objects on other objects.
- Talking: you can experiment with different things to say to different people (from a set of choices) in order to get clues.
- Production qualities: the game environment is loosely drawn in a scribbled cartoonish style that looks great (and, moreover, fits in perfectly with the humorous theme of the game). The sound is very well executed as well, with very well put together background sounds and nifty musical interludes at times.
This is a free yet very well put together game that delivers a very well drawn 2D environment, interesting puzzles that are not immediately obvious (and yet are mostly not off the wall and illogical), humorous dialogue throughout, and a rather well written storyline which is the real strength of this game). Highly recommended.
[Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun]
The program page no longer exists, but you can download of the program here.