Pip pip! Tip top! Absolutely, old boy. Bally tally ho!
After playing ‘Lord Winklebottom Investigates’ I can safely say that whilst I will never be a posho, I can talk like them if I need to. You may remember that back in May of last year I made a post here explaining how excited I was to play an adventure game featuring a Sherlock Holmes-esque giraffe detective. I have since purchased the game and played through it so here is my review in case you were still sitting on the fence.
It’s a great game. If you’ve ever played a point and click game then you will be very familiar with the user interface. You move the curser around the screen and it will show items of interest. You can look at the item and some you are able to pick up to place in your inventory, which appears at the bottom of the screen when the curser gets near it. Your job is to use the things around you to solve the puzzles you come across. Sometimes it’s a matter of putting two items together and sometimes it requires listening carefully to what the characters are telling you and using a bit of the ole’ imagination pipes.
The story, without spoiling too much, takes you away as Lord Winklebottom to a mysterious island to meet up with an old friend and along for the ride is his good colleague, Dr Frumple. When you arrive you unfortunately discover said friend has died under mysterious circumstances and it’s up to you to work out which of the colourful characters inhabiting his mansion were responsible. You’ll need to speak to everyone to make notes of their relationship to the deceased and their reasons for being there. There is a handy notebook which automatically records certain things that comes up in conversation so you can look back on them if needs be.
Everything about this game is ridiculous and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The dialogue is very funny at times, mainly due to Dr Frumple who is the best character in the entire thing. His innate Britishness seeps into every conversation and he never NEVER puts his cup of tea down. At one point I tried to take the toilet paper and he refused to do so on the grounds that it just wasn’t on. The graphics fit the narrative and atmosphere as you’d expect them to. You can’t half arse this kind of thing, it’s balls deep or nothing. The only part that was a little disatisfying was the music which lingered in the background not really doing much. Perhaps it was doing something however I can’t remember any of it.
It’s not the hardest game in the world. You won’t come across anything as difficult as the ‘goat puzzle’ from Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars or practically everything from Grim Fandango. There was only one part where I needed to soak up some grease from a pan (don’t ask, no spoilers) that took me a little longer than expected and even then the answer was staring me in the face the entire time. I managed to finish it in under five hours and what a five hours they were. I had to wait for a price reduction as thirty squids for a game this short wouldn’t sit well with me. If you can find it for anything under a tenner then I would say go for it, old bean!
My life is, it goes without saying, extremely glamorous and exciting. But one thing that has remained unchanged by the non-stop whirlwind of my existence is my desktop wallpaper at work. I have been looking at the same background for over a decade now, having chosen a picture on 8 October 2011.
An explanation is required. The temporary absence of Chris and the baffling disappearance of Kevin Hill (soon to be a hit West End musical) meant that up until recently I was facing the prospect of looking after the website on my own. Thankfully that didn’t end up being the case because with this much on the line (on the line!) there was a chance that 2007 Ian would come back from the pressure and nobody wants that. I was going to feed a bunch of Chris articles into AI and let them generate something to help post outside of my usual nonsense. Only one was fully finished so I present it to you as an indication of what could have happened…
I was wandering work thinking about the right temperature and colour of doilies when I decided that I needed a project. I needed something to get me back on trackingtons after several weeks on nightshifts with Lionel Ritchie. It was no use, nothing came to mind so I returned to France to ponder my future.
Then it hit me; build a wasp art gallery! Everyone loves bees and they’re coming back big like a big elephant so why not help the little guys and build a gallery? Bad press for wasps can only mean bad press for everyone. This was my greatest idea and I loved it so much I spent all night drinking tea and wondering why nobody had thought of it sooner. In the morning when the moon was dead Kate brought me some biscuits and I tossed them out the window at nobody (it’s a private joke we both have). I drove over to the roads museum and looked at maps with my eyes. I adore maps and roads and how they bring me joy. Their joy inspired me to draft a huge blueprint of my precious art gallery. I included bathrooms because (wheeeeeeey!) everyone needs to go at some point, even Wontons and Mike.
It was structurally sound after ten minutes. Not a boaster, never boastingtons ever, but look at me and how I work! Hard work too, the likes of which world push past IT BBC logical dreams are made of. Look, you don’t need to be me and don’t have jealous because my tools made something happen. I called up Gary Wilmot (who?) for some advice and he threw it at me like a puffin going after a kelp. Monstrous.
It only took seven years but I am proud of my efforts. Now the wasps can view the world in a different light and give them culture where it never was before. They can see tiny Cezanne and Van Gogh and other wonderful works of art. Will they stop stinging everyone? Probably not because give and take in the world of nature. I’ve given something back and they will appreciate me for doing so.
What would you think if I told you there was a video game called ‘Monkey Puncher’?
Would you think it was a simple game about twatting a monkey in the face over and over again? Perhaps it’s one of those free-to-play mobile games that you download, use once for a cheap laugh and then carry on with your life? Look at me now, neither of those options is correct.
‘Monkey Puncher’ is a game developed by Atelier Double and released for the Gameboy Color in the year 2000. I had never heard of this until a few days ago where it briefly appeared and then disappeared on the CEX website, no doubt snapped up by some lightning-fast robot desperate for his next gaming fix. The goal of the game is to train a monkey to fight in organised boxing matches in order to save the main character’s father and sibling. Then it gets stranger.
It sounds like a monster-collecting game but sprinkled with other elements. You train the monkey so he gets better at fighting then you *reads* send it out to the shops? It goes out and buys items for you. Huh. Then what happens?
“Sparring involves a normal match between the player’s monkey and a computer-controlled opponent, although without a clear winner or any reward beyond stat increases. All the monkey’s stats have a maximum limit. It is possible to date your monkeys either with each other or with a monkey from a friend or a dating shop within the game. After dating, the first monkey vanishes and is replaced with a new baby monkey.”
When I first read that paragraph I thought it said that you could date your own monkey which seems like a gross conflict of interest and not something that should be in a kid’s game. That said, none of what I’ve read should probably be in a kid’s game. You force the monkey to beat up other monkeys, you let it loose in the general public, you can whore it out to other monkeys to make better baby monkeys and this is all to save your family? I doubt Big Dave would approve of these methods to save his life.
There doesn’t appear to be a sequel, almost as if the world could not take and was not ready for an experience such as this. In a hundred years time when the alien overlords have taken over the world then possibly monkey punching will be a real thing. Given how prone the internet is to fads and everything extreme and extremist perhaps we may not have to wait so long before Twitch is chocked full of streams of trained monkeys beating up celebrities to raise money for charity. If I can make a prediction for the future within the next ten years, I would put money on that.
My job sometimes involves me being awake in the middle of the night and doing strange things.
One strange thing I’ve had to do lately is find ways of making phone calls to Australia on behalf of some people at the other end of the country. Normally, you see, OJ Borg does the overnight show on the wireless, and he has a mobile phone in Australia that he rings every day at 2.15am. He then has a chat with whoever answers it, and he asks them to give it to another random Australian in time for the next show. Lately, though, his phone system has not been allowing him to call Australia, which is a real disadvantage for a feature of this kind.
Our involvement in this madness – making phone calls to Australia in the middle of the night – has escalated steadily over the last month until it reached a point where they wanted to explain what was going on to their audience. So I was asked if I would mind explaining.
I didn’t mind, though I was very tired and not sure I was making much sense. That is why this happened.
Then, half an hour later, it was time to make the call. I didn’t say a lot because it wasn’t connecting and I was busy pressing buttons and checking things because I was very worried I’d done something wrong, but I hadn’t, it was just that the mobile phone in Australia had no signal.
My agent will handle all requests for signed photos. Also, I am now taking bookings for the panto season.
A little while ago, in the comments thread of another post, Ian and I were musing about how we could get more material from Kev on the Beans, and Ian suggested we use AI to churn out some generic Kev-like material for a new “Not Kev” account.
Unfortunately there just isn’t enough genuine Kev blog material to feed in to an AI to teach it what it should be writing, so I suggested padding it out with a load of Jilly Cooper novels.
Anyway, long story short, I got ChatGPT to write us some “Not Kev” blog posts and, while they have turned out with a fairly heavy Jilly Cooper influence, they’re still basically decent enough to be posted under Kev’s name without anyone noticing the difference.
I’ve actually got three of these ready to go, but I think this is the best one.
Back in November, I sent Ian his belated birthday present. Film yourself opening it, Kev and I said, so we can see the joy and wonder on your face as you open the tat you’ve been sent. Ian said he would do this.
It’s now been nearly three weeks since Ian told us he’d made the video but hadn’t yet got it onto YouTube. We are still waiting with baited breath to see him open his present. Kev, of course, hasn’t seen the present yet and doesn’t know what it is. I have seen the present, because it was me that bought and wrapped it, but so much time has elapsed since the video was promised that I’ve honestly forgotten what it was.
As a genuine YouTuber, I have decided to do what I can to help, and have dedicated my latest video to explaining how to get a video onto YouTube and then put it into a post on the Beans. Everything then got a bit meta because I uploaded the video, showing you how to upload a video to YouTube and post it to the Beans, to YouTube, and then after that I posted it to the Beans. Anyway… here it is.