Some time ago I found out about a point-and-click adventure game called Ben There, Dan That which was released by independent game developer Zombie Cow Studios. I downloaded it a couple months ago but it just now made it to the top of my to-play list. I wish I had bumped it up earlier.
Get this game. It’s free. Go get it right now.
I can’t really explain the plot of Ben There, Dan That. It definitely starts off very strangely but any old-timer adventure game fan will find it hilarious. Throughout the game are many references to classic LucasArts games and often the characters make fun of the video game genre itself. Many of adventure games’ norms, including the collection of random objects, are teasingly ridiculed but in the end are acknowledged as being the pillars of the genre. Even with the inside jokes, anyone will find Ben There, Dan That very funny.
What amazed me the most about the game was its sheer amount of interactivity from start to finish. Every object in the game elicits a quip (or two!) from the main duo. In most adventure games when you try to do something that isn’t possible you get a generic message like “That isn’t possible”. In Ben There, Dan That even those messages are comically tailored for what you’re doing. It makes it fun to try and solve puzzles with solutions that you know are wrong just to see what the response will be. Such depth is rare in most games and definitely not usually seen in indie releases.
The game is pretty challenging but not frustratingly so. The graphics are charmingly simple and often self-deprecating. It also was surprisingly long for a freeware game. Zombie Cow Studios has released a sequel for sale, Time Gentlemen, Please!, which I will definitely be buying.