|Casa del Beamish|
Where we last left the young Mr. Beamish, he had just returned from a final round of after-school detention. Through trial and error, we were able to find a way to sneak out early so that we could get home before any of his parents or siblings grabbed the mail and saw his report card. With the report card in hard, including its terrible “C” grade in “Music Appreciation”, we can cross the threshold into the Beamish household.
Immediately on entering, Willy’s dog, “Duffy” approaches and asks to be taken out for a walk, giving Willy his first choice of this play session: to take the dog for a walk, or not. Since I am never one to leave an animal to suffer, I decide that walking is our best course of action. Perhaps all that extra time I managed to snag in the last session is helping here? I honestly have no idea. Certainly better than cleaning up dog pee.
|The commercial this is making fun of was already a decade old.|
With that out of the way, I do not find anything else in the foyer to do and I have three choices: doorway straight ahead, the doorway on the right, and the stairs. I pick straight ahead.
|I’ve always wanted a kitchen with an island like this.|
|Jackie Wilson, eat your heart out.|
I restore my game, but decide to do a bit more exploring before I help mom and Brianna in the kitchen. At the top of the stairs is a landing with several other doors, plus a hole in the ceiling leading to an attic. One door is clearly labeled as Willy’s room, but there are no clear labels on the others. I’ll just work the doors clockwise, starting at the top.
|There is less potty humor in here than you would expect.|
On my way out, I hear mom calling to ask for help in the kitchen. The game clock says it’s 5:00 PM, so I bet that’s a timed event. Do I have to go help her now or can I explore some more? Since the worst thing that can happen is that I need to reload, I opt to keep exploring.
|A teenage girl’s room: where angels fear to tread.|
|Prepare for trouble. / Make it double.|
|Willy’s dad might be a bit obsessed.|
But before I can do much about that, Mom runs out of patience. I never came down for dinner and before I know it, I’m being packed off to military school again. The end. The punishment seems a bit severe for doing a bit of exploring, but no problem. I restore back and resume my trek around the house.
|I spy, with my eye, something that begins with “USS-1701”.|
Before I leave, I find one more item that I missed: a jar of flies. There’s also a note that says that they are just the thing for a hungry frog, so I am positive they will come in handy later. And even though it seems like I just got started, Mom has me sent off to military school again for not being helpful. The end. Can’t a guy catch a break and do some exploring?
|I’m sensing a motif. And a hidden cat.|
|It’s actually a pretty nice house.|
|Does the fish sing?|
This time around, I don’t volunteer to take Brianna outside and pick the vegetables instead. Willy complains about the sharpness of the knives and that leads quickly to the knife slipping and injury. Mom doesn’t seem all that concerns and just sends us upstairs so that we don’t get blood on the food. In retrospect, maybe playing with Brianna was the better option.
After cleaning myself up, I head back downstairs and there is nothing there to do that’s new and mom doesn’t seem to need any more help. So I explore outside instead. Leaving the house gives me a view of the neighborhood, but the only place I can find to click on is a treehouse down the street. No sooner do I arrive at the treehouse than I am told that I have to return for dinner. I’ll have to head back there later.
The dinner scene is probably the most important part of the game so far. It’s well-written with a lot of neat character moments. I’ve capped the whole thing:
|Oh, the joys of a family dinner together.|
But then it gets worse: Dad asks if anyone has seen the mail. Grandpa’s ghost shows up and reminds me that I need to be honest, but is that the right call here? I never found a way to change my grade, so I lie and say that it hasn’t come in yet. That will buy me some time to figure out how to make it a better grade. Unfortunately, Brianna rats me out and Dad is very mad. Despite our tremendous financial hardships, it’s time for military school. The End!
I restore back to the beginning of the play session and put to use some of those lessons I learned playing “Mission: Asteroid” and “Questprobe Featuring the Human Torch and the Thing”: time to optimize my route. All in one go, I listen to the messages, tamper with Tiffany’s scale, collect her diary, and get the flies from my bedroom. I skip the trains and any obviously “bad” decisions, this time opting to push Brianna… but not that hard. At the end of playtime, she is unhappy but unbroken so I consider that a win. Mom still asks me to cut carrots and I let that scene play out exactly as before.
|I tried to do better, but bribery didn’t work!|
Our dinner is interrupted by a special news bulletin: the Plumbers Union is striking! Why do I care about that? I have no idea. The newscast is led by “Stan Lather”; for our international friends, this is a reference to veteran newscaster Dan Rather who was the anchor on the CBS Evening News from 1981 through 2005. The newscast is followed by a commercial for Slam Dunk Cola.
|They call him Stan “The Exposition” Lather.|
As I exit the room, we have a cut scene!
|The least attractive hot tub in an adventure game?|
This seems like a good transition point to end this post. Most of this effort was exploring, but I have no idea what I’m going to need later and what I won’t. At least this time, I do not feel like I am “brute forcing” the game, trying every dialog option for the one I need to accomplish a goal.
I failed in my prediction about the report card, but let’s come up with something new:
- Leona’s and Louis’s plot involves something bathroom related. The fact that “Tootsweet” is in all of the town’s food can’t be a coincidence! (And if that prediction is correct, the “toot” part of the name will have a whole new meaning…)
|Words cannot describe my feelings about this joke.|
Total time: 3 hr 45 min
Inventory: dog tag chain, yo-yo, diary, jar of flies, Gamebuddy, Horny
Deaths / Reloads:
4 “game overs” (8 total)
1 restart to try different dialog options (17 total)
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no CAPs will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one.