Ben There, Dan That! is another of those old-school adventure games that explodes the "fourth wall", like the recently-reviewed Inquisitive Dave. Also like Dave, Ben There, Dan That! features adorably naive retro artwork (Ben & Dan lean more to the tiki cocktail end of the retro spectrum, which I am sure you will enjoy despite the fact that they are clearly Real Ale drinkers). Unlike Dave, Ben & Dan features some fairly witty writing with that rather unique British self-deprecating sense of humour.
Having reanimated Dan after an unfortunate spell of zombification, you boys will no doubt want to kick back with a relaxing spot of quality television. Unfortunately, your TV has no aerial and you're about to miss Magnum, P.I. Being the innovative sort that you are, you quickly whip up a makeshift aerial and pop it out of your apartment window, thus enabling aliens to kidnap you and whisk you away to an alternate dimension.
Ben There, Dan That! is an adventure game. You know how this works. Right click to access the interactive menu. Interact with objects. Pick them up. Use them with other objects. In this game, you default to playing as Ben, but you can switch to being Dan when the occasion calls for it. Which isn't very often.
Analysis It's rare for me to giggle all the way through a game, but BTDT whacked my funnybone hard. Make sure you interact with everything — using the eyeball and the speech bubble on improbable objects reveals hidden genius. It does help if you are a bit juvenile — this game is not labeled kidsafe for a very good reason, as you'll see when you try using Dan on himself.
The puzzles are pretty good — even though they're a bit MacGyver, they make a bizarre kind of sense in the game context. For relatively inexperienced (or in my case, incompetent) adventure gamers, the puzzles should be satisfying without being too frustrating, whereas experienced adventure gamers would get more out of the gaming culture references and the premise of the game (I don't want to give too much away here). There is a complete walkthrough on the web, but if you don't want to ruin it, Ben and Dan helpfully provide a hint-through which is almost as entertaining as the game itself.
Note: This game contains both language and situations that aren't appropriate for kids. And if an extraordinarily crude sense of humor isn't your thing, you might want to pass on this game.
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