|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.6|
|Hector: Badge Of Carnage - Episode 1|
August 17, 2011 | Jon Carr
Requirements:Mac OS X: 10.6 | CPU: 2.3 Ghz Intel | RAM: 4 GB RAM | Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card | Not recommended for Mac Minis or early-generation MacBooks
Review:Point-and-click adventures are always interesting fare. They offer a particular style of play, everything must be clicked on, odd items combined, environments examined to overcome the next challenge. You might be in the future, or in space, or in a fantasy setting, or in the modern world. Telltale Games' new publishing foray into adult-orientated fare sticks to its roots while giving a refreshing, if crass, take on the genre.
Straandlooper's Hector: Badge of Carnage Episode I (appropriately subtitled "We negotiate with terrorists") has you controlling the washed up inspector Hector who will do most anything in the name of justice. Expect to sexually harass an old woman, steal a perp's pants, use a dirty syringe as a lockpick and more in this wacky tale.
Set in the decaying, filth-ridden town of Clapper's Wreake, the story gets rolling when a local crazy kills several police officers and takes hostages, demanding the city be cleaned up and restored to its former glory. Your quest to fulfill the terrorist's demands send you on 3 main quests: Close down a local porn shop, fix a broken clock tower guarded by a war-addled shotgun-toting drunk, and help a trinket-peddling local raise money to restore the city. A variety of colorful and odd characters await you in these locales, and you have to go through a lot of weird stuff to complete each of your goals.
But this is where Hector: Badge of Carnage stands out. Clever and inventive puzzles await you throughout, and the voice acting and outrageous dialogue will keep you entertained while you go about your tasks. Clicking on anything will result in Hector's commentary or thoughts, which are most amusing, though a few will make you groan. Completing your to-do list requires you to go back and forth between the 3 main locations, and you often have to collect a few items from a different area to solve in another. Mouthwash? Free lube? Empty blow-up-doll box? All useful somewhere. There's no useless items which is a nice touch, everything is needed somewhere, it's just a matter of figuring it out. Should you get stuck there's a scaling hint system to help you along, although it will berate you constantly for using it.
Hector himself is crude but oddly likable. His gruff, sarcastic character grows on you, no matter how disgusting something is you just did. The rest of the game's cast is equally insane, disgusting and racy by turns. The game's hand-drawn animated style does take the edge off some of the subject matter, and surprisingly well done voice acting keeps characters vibrant. Despite taking every opportunity to create a funky or crude situation, the game pushes the boundaries just the right amount. Fortunately, things are mostly about the gameplay rather than just shock value and it succeeds with crafting a unique and hilarious experience.
The material is obviously aimed at an adult audience and while gross and lewd situations abound, the creative and satisfying puzzles, stand-out characters and charming graphics make it worthwhile. For $10 you'll get about 4 hours out of the game, unless you rely heavily on the hint system. The first in a planned trilogy, Hector: Badge of Carnage starts with a bang, ends with suspense, and though you may at times feel dirty for liking it, leaves you wanting more. Check it out.
Pros:• Unique Adult Puzzler
• Unusual and clever puzzles
• Good voice work and dialogue
Cons:• Edgy material not for everyone