Isn't it such a turn-off when a game takes itself too seriously? Well, you won't have to worry about that when you play Chilly Beach Beach Hunt from the guys at ilaugh.com, the self-proclaimed "second sweetest comedy portal on earth." (Right after ZomboCom, I bet.)
You are a detective for the Canadian government, trying to discover the whereabouts of a stolen hockey trophy. Chilly Beach is a tiny backwater town with all the usual characters: the liquor store owner, the hippie, the policeman, the guy who runs the diner, and oh yeah, a polar bear who likes tea. When you start questioning people, you'll quickly discover that something much more sinister is going on. At each location, you have three options: look, talk, and take. Select one of these options and click on various items and people around the screen. It's OK to try to do everything to every possible item; you can't screw up. In fact, you can get some pretty entertaining responses by clicking on different things. Use and trade objects to get new objects, and to discover clues to what is really going on in Chilly Beach. When looking through your inventory, you can zoom in on each item to find out more about it—you'll get most of your clues this way.
Analysis: Chilly Beach Beach Hunt is very reminiscent, and probably inspired by, the Monkey Island series of games. Like Monkey Island, its strength is the humorous dialogue, not only between characters, but the responses you get when, say, you try to take the police constable. However, CBBH (if I may call it that) goes a step farther by poking fun at games like itself. For example, when you try to take an object you don't need, you get responses like "You're surprised to find that it's really just a hologram. Yeah, that's it. 'Hologram'."
Writing aside, the gameplay is nothing novel. You collect items, you use items. It's usually painfully obvious where to use the items you receive, so the game goes by pretty quickly - a half-hour seems about right. Also, even though I usually turn the music off on games that allow it, there desperately needs to be some sound—either effects when you click on things, or a little intro music when you enter someplace new; just something!
Nevertheless, the art is well-done and the characters are, well, colorful to say the least. All-in-all a decent way to spend a half-hour.
Note that while the game itself is pretty kid-safe (PG), the rest of ilaugh.com is not.
Cheers to Mike and Esmond for submitting this one. =)