Yes, that is a ludicrously long title for a game, but Hector: Badge of Carnage just doesn’t sound as epic. Is this old school point-and-click adventure title originally developed for the iPhone make a smooth transition to the PC market? Yes, it does. It IS a point-and-click game, after all.
Players take upon the role of Detective Inspector Hector, a pot-bellied alcoholic who could care less about the town of Clappers Wreake if it stands between him and a bowl of shrimp curry. The premise? A terrorist has taken hostages and has a series of “demands” that must be met before the hostages are killed. A large number of negotiators weren’t up to the task and the police finally call upon the “talents” of Hector to defuse the situation.
Hector is a very traditional adventure game. The player goes to various locations, talks to NPCs, and gathers items to be used to solve puzzles needed to progress the story. Hector has an inventory used to host collected various items and combine them to solve puzzles or to bring an item to a character that needs one.
The puzzles aren’t inhumanly hard, but do require a bit of thinking. If even the most menial puzzle is too much work for your brain, Hector does come with a hint system that will give you clues to solve them with no penalty. However, using the hints will also provide you with an insult to your intelligence, adding even more comedy.
The game doesn’t lose any kind gameplay or graphical quality when it makes the transition from the iPhone. However, with a game like Hector, graphics aren’t going to be a major concern.
The artwork is very well done. Characters and locales take on a cartoon-ish style and everything embodies an inherently entertaining look about them on the first glance. Most importantly, they are memorable, and not just faceless NPCs that you need to interact with to further yourself in the game. In a game as short as this one, especially an adventure game, NPCs need to actually be worth interacting with and not just people you have to talk to to further the story.
When it comes to the actual dialogue of Hector, it’s where the game really shines. When Hector is first introduced to the player, it’s obvious that he’s not exactly the most shining example of the police force, but when compared to the rest of his co-workers, the player might start thinking Hector might really be the only competent officer. Or he could just be the funniest one.
The writing is a mixture between being raucous, excessive, and witty. As a result, interaction with every object in a particular scene is rewarded with an appropriate or, as is mostly the case, an inappropriate comment from Hector. Some conversations will come with several options that Hector can choose and the options can be relevant or straight out of left field. Don’t be afraid to pick the funniest option, whether or not it’s going to be the correct one is an entirely different matter.
Hector: Badge of Carnage is a fun, albeit short, adventure game. It is the first in a series of three with the second installment coming in Fall 2011. For gamers who opt to purchase the game for a mobile platform, they will have an entertaining time-waster on the go. Those who purchase it on the PC can expect a good little chunk of the day gone.
It was not my intention to play the game through to the end, but I felt the writing was so strong that I had to continue and see what would happen next as Detective Inspector Hector tried to save the town of Clappers Wreake from a terrorist threat. For the low price of $9.99, it wouldn’t hurt for you to check out his antics for yourself.
Hector: Badge of Carnage Episode 1: We Negotiate With Terrorists is available now for iPhone, iPad, and PC for $9.99.
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