|Publisher: DreamingMedia Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: Not Supported CPU: 601 @ 90 MHz RAM: 16 MB 8x CD-ROM Graphics: 800x600 @ 16-bit|
On their Web site, the folks at Dreaming Media describe Bad Milk as "a work of video/performance art in the form of a CD-ROM game. It is a surprising new take on the wander-and-wonder game genre."
It's a simple premise: You unwittingly pour some seriously outdated milk in your coffee, and before you know it, you're transported to a strange world where your guide speaks to you through a variety of telephones. You have to solve a number of audio-visual puzzles featuring full-motion video and stereo sound if you are to get out of the entire Bad Milk continuum. The puzzles are moderately interesting; some even keep you on your toes. Keep a pad of paper handy though — you'll need it. Some of the clues tend to conflict a bit. Writing the answers down will reduce the confusion.
You will be confused. You've probably never seen an interface quite like Bad Milk's before. It's designed to disorient you, constantly spinning, always providing a moving target — at times this does not work in the game's favor. Voices are distorted, and the visuals are surreal. There are even two sequences where you have to bump your way around in the dark, using aural cues to figure out where you are and the path you're taking. These aural cues are surprising and interesting. I found myself closing my eyes and clicking away just to hear the sounds, trying to figure out the environment the game was leading me through.
If you miss hearing a clue the first time, however, you'll have to jump through all of the hoops that got you to the clue in the first place. This quickly became annoying, as I didn't always catch the important bit of information the first time, and the hoops, while sometimes intricate, are usually just plain long. I was never really challenged by the game. Frustrated, yes, but not challenged.
The voice acting is pretty good — not exceptional, but not horrible — though some of the voice work is filtered to sound like a phone stalker or something and comes off as a little silly. The visuals Dreaming Media produced for Bad Milk are sometimes quite interesting, though the acting as a whole is not terribly compelling. The scripting is pretty good overall (though a little obtuse in places), and it provides adequately clear information for you to solve the riddle of the Bad Milk. One little suggestion, though: One shouldn't exert a great deal of effort attempting to be witty. I didn't find most of the scripted humor very humorous, which led to parts of the game being funny, but funny for the wrong reasons. For instance, I enjoyed running into the walls in the dark only to hear the sound effect, and the effects on the voices in the dark sounded like things I used to do with SoundEdit back when I was 15.