Saturday 27 January 2024

Sam & Max Hit the Road — The Sun is Settin' like Molasses in the Sky

Written by Michael
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter
When we last visited the carnivorous crimestopper and his bouncy buddy, Sam had just rescued Max from the hold of a dunk tank, and found a souvenir from another roadside attraction that might get us closer to solving the case.

For those just tuning in, we’re on the hunt of a missing bigfoot from the carnival. So far, it looks like an admirer helped rescue Bruno from his 9-to-5, and as we comb the country looking for him, it seems that other bigfoots have also been liberated as well. This is annoying our semi-nemesis, a county/western singer named Conroy Bumpus who has failed to treat us with the respect a suit-wearing puppy dog deserves. It seems he wants to purchase/hire/obtain these bigfoots for his own purposes. I can only suspect a music video featuring lots of large, obnoxious creatures, but I’m probably wrong about that.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Homeworld - Far from Home

By Reiko
I didn't show this last time, but we are now officially in the final quarter of the game!
Previously, we rode a Heechee escape pod and arrived at the Heechee homeworld, hidden for millennia inside a black hole along with its entire solar system and many other solar systems too. Very cool, but very impractical. The Heechee are alive and well, having been hiding from the Assassins all this time. But our presence is a major problem. We're a prisoner in all but name, assigned a "job" of giving lectures to the Heechee public about humans but not allowed to return to the outside universe and risk revealing where the Heechee are.
Functional but alien architecture.
We get some sleep in the quarters assigned to us, and now, after what was a very long cutscene, we finally get to move around again. From a gameplay perspective, this is exciting - we get to explore an alien planet! From a character perspective, this is depressing - we are stuck on another alien planet, not allowed to return home while terrorists are trying to destroy our entire race. At least we're being reasonably well-treated here, so we'd better make the best of it while we try to find a way out.

Monday 22 January 2024

Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! – Final Rating

By Alex
There is a business axiom I heard somewhere (please don’t ask me for a cite; I’m lazy) that goes something like this: when deciding what product you to give people, you can either give them a gourmet meal (i.e., something they have never seen before and, perhaps, didn’t even know they wanted), or you can give them the best damn hamburger they’ve ever had (i.e., something familiar, but done really, really well (no, that’s not a reference to how long it is cooked for)). Here in Burgerland, aka America, we use hamburger metaphors because that’s our language, bro.

Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! is a hamburger. It’s not the best damn hamburger on God’s green earth, but it’s certainly a cut above many offerings out there. It’s also an exceedingly stupid game, but that goes with the territory. Nobody plays a Leisure Suit Larry game for erudite conversation, thought-provoking dialogue, or weighty, meaningful themes.
For that, you play Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist.
What Leisure Suit Larry 6 is, is very well-designed. It’s a mite easy for veteran adventure gamers, but the puzzles are mostly logical and make sense. The areas I got frustrated with—the exercise machine belt used to fix the Cellulite Drainage machine and the stupid bottle of water puzzle—are not my fault because I’m borderline psychopathic and cannot accept personal responsibility for anything they are not particularly great puzzles for reasons we’ll get into later.

Friday 19 January 2024

Sam & Max Hit the Road — Leisure Suit Conroy

Written by Michael
A surprisingly okay game, considering it was just one big ad for pizza.
I would have been back sooner, but I ordered pizza delivery to the house and this joker in a red outfit kept trying to take it away from me. I just HAD to defend my dinner. Now that I’m fed, I’m in a better mood and I’m ready to stomp out crime (or at least bunny-kick it).

So, after carefully searching Trixie’s trailer with the assistance of a proper search warrant and a crack CSI team, it’s time for our intrepid investigators to head out. At the end of my last post, I made a plan. First, stop at Snuckey’s to get that jar opened, and then on to the World of Fish.

I decided to check out both the other locations of Snuckey’s, to see what was different.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Missed Classic: Beyond Zork - Rejected by Heaven

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back to Beyond Zork! After ten hours, I have to admit that I’m struggling a bit with the mix of RPG and text adventure elements: I’m never quite sure if I should be looking for a puzzle solution or just hitting whatever the obstacle is very hard. I’m having a lot of fun, but starting to get frustrated by the game never telling my character that she should be doing any of this, almost as if I missed some big “call to adventure”. Last time out, I explored pretty much the entire game world that I could, defeated a few monsters, was defeated by even more of them, and generally got the lay of the land. This week, I need to put two and two together to solve some puzzles and try to get someplace. 

When I left off, I had just made my first trip south of the crocodile-infested jungle to discover a strangely Christmas-themed village. It was appropriate for December, but the rampaging Christmas tree monsters there weren’t as easily dealt with as putting your discarded tree out on the street on trash day. Near the village, I also rescued an adorable “minx” from some abusive hunters. It looks like a fantasy version of a “mink” (best known for being popular in coats of the 1980s... shudder), but one that can dig up chocolate truffles. (In the real world, mushroom truffles can be found and dug up by some breeds of pigs and dogs.) With my new companion in tow, let’s explore!

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Sam & Max Hit the Road — Lluvia de Peces

Written by Michael
But wait, we just got here!
When we last met up, Sam had just finished grilling the couch potato, and amazingly, Max hasn’t yet threatened to turn him into home fries. You see, Doug has offered us a trade. If we bring him some pecan candies, he’ll give us the key to Trixie’s trailer. It’s the only place we haven’t been able to explore at the carnival so far.

Going back out to the disfigured swan car, it seems we need to turn the ride back on. Good thing there’s a big giant switch in Doug’s apartment to reset the power, so I can leave.

If I go back in, I now go directly to and from Doug’s apartment, without seeing the ride, so I think it’s safe to say there’s nothing else I needed in there. The broom on the wall, being held by the skeleton of probably a past custodial worker was just another artistic red herring.

Monday 1 January 2024

Sam & Max Hit the Road — Bruno and the Hendersons

Written by Michael
We almost missed it!
It might be changing into a new year for many of us now, but in Chinese culture, the new year isn’t until February. So we can rejoice that it is still the year of the rabbit for another month or so. (The water rabbit, specifically. Not the hyperkinetic one. But close enough.)

But that’s the future. Let’s talk about the past. In the last post, I started the first few minutes of the game. I did a cursory examination of the offices of metropolis’ finest, and then took a break for the holidays. So, back to the strip-search.
You’re hitting a little close to (my) home, Sam.
I keep looking around the room, which is easy with the look icon, the eyeball that, sadly, has the eyelid closed most of the time. But I notice the mouse hole across the room from the closet, reach in, and grab out a stack of loot that somewhat resembles Guybrush’s inventory at the start of his second adventure.