Maxed out on AAA games and next-gen chatter? Rezzed had an antidote for all that, presenting a showcase for PC and indie games down in beautiful Birmingham. Chris O'Regan was down there for SPOnG, walking the floor and sampling what was on offer. Here's his second batch of words on what he saw...
Humour in games is a tough nut to crack and doesn't always translate. There are few games that do it well with the Monkey Island
and Sam & Max
series being the stand-outs. Positech's Redshirt
makes the brave move of being both humorous and satirical as it takes on the popular memes of science fiction along with the rise and rise of social networking.
Have you ever wondered who cleans the Transporter Room after yet another accident involving a giant alien squid, a vat of ravioli and a small passing comet? Well wonder no more as Redshirt
puts you in the role of one of the lonely dogs-bodies who are normally only seen on sci-fi TV shows when they are about to be vaporised. This is especially true if they make any reference to loved ones they are missing back home, for that is a surefire way to get killed. Pro-tip: if you're ever going on a space ship try not to wear a red shirt or indeed make any mention of people you are close to. Ever.
Redshirt is presented as a series of menus and rolling text feeds that imitate social network applications like Twitter and Facebook. The latter being a huge influence as the game features a social network called 'Spacebook'. This is the main conduit through which the player interacts with the game as they communicate with fellow shipmates using this application.
It mirrors so closely the actual Facebook that what occurs in it made me squirm as I recognised all too well the little memes and quirks of the service that do indeed make you feel better or worse, depending on how you use it.
The game is split into two events, those when you are working and those when you're at rest. When you're at rest is when the player interacts with the game, as Redshirt
is about how the player climbs the social ladder within a starship while it is engaged in a war of attrition with a yet-to-be-identified alien race.
When at rest action points are distributed to the player that limit the choices they have in what they can do. Organising a poker night takes three actions while playing zero-G Tennis takes only two, for example.
The former, however, does allow the player to socialise with more people while the latter improves health but only allows you to interact with one other. This can result in you ostracising others in your social circle, which could cost you more than a mere action point in the long run.
is a very bright and colourfully presented game that is riddled with sci-fi and social networking jokes that brought a smile to my face.
Sir, You're Being Hunted
It's not often you find yourself being shot at by pipe smoking, tweed wearing, monocle peering robots, I grant you. But that's exactly what happens when you start playing Big Robot's Sir, You're Being Hunted
. A rogue-like FPS, Sir, You're Being Hunted
places the player on an island where their very survival is dependent upon their ability to outwit the psychotic robots as they hunt humans for fun. Clearly none of them have been programmed with the Laws of Robotics
, otherwise this wouldn't have even happened!
Sir, You're Being Hunted
Sir, You Are Being Hunted
starts with the player near a stone circle where a transportation device has placed them. They're then promptly exploded into 25 pieces. These pieces are scattered throughout the island and neighbouring ones, and the player must retrieve them in order to get back from whence they came.
Sadly this isn't Myst
, where one simply had to solve a bunch of almost unfathomable puzzles. No sir. Sir, You're Being Hunted
is all about the player trying not to die a horrible death at the hands of robots who think that the only way to hunt is to regress back to 1800's England and pretend you, the player, are no more than a pheasant, and therefore need to be shot dead.
Initially the player has no means to defend themselves, other than running and hiding. Thankfully the islands are littered with useful items such as food, bandages and weapons, all of which can and must be used to ensure the player's survival.