Host Master and the Conquest of Humor
Host Master and the Conquest of Humor is a retro point-and-click adventure game in the style of early LucasArts adventures, brought to us by Double Fine, the gently twisted studio responsible for Tasha's Game. And when I say "in the style of", I mean "constantly making jokes about". Even the very first screen is a reference to the days of DOS, and the user interface is a deliberately clunky riff on classic adventure game awkwardness. In fact, the whole game is a tribute to Double Fine president Tim Schafer, who helped set the standard for game humor in 1990 with The Secret of Monkey Island, and kept the streak going over the years with cult favorites Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and Psychonauts.
You take the role of Schafer, backstage at the 2009 Game Developers Conference, completely unprepared to host the event. (In the real world, the real Tim Schafer is in fact hosting at this year's GDC. Host Master and the Conquest of Humor has so many layers of self-reference, it threatens to collapse in on itself, taking the whole conference and possibly the universe with it.) Your goal is to scour the area, collecting as many jokes as possible before you finally walk on stage. The more jokes you find, the better the evening goes.
Control your character with the mouse. A list of possible actions, more than you'd think you'd need, rests in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. Click on one of those, and then on an object in the scene, in order to get something done. It's definitely an awkward system compared with modern adventure games such as The Several Journeys of Reemus or Emerald City Confidential, but this game is paying homage to the classics, and besides, it gives you plenty of room to experiment and find hilarious easter eggs.
There are a surprising number of jokes squirreled away in every nook and cranny of the greenroom. On my first play-through, I thought I was doing pretty well with 5 jokes, but it turns out you can find more than four times that number. As with Tim Schafer's own games though, the true reward is in the countless humorous asides in the dialogue, earned whenever you interact with practically anything. It's all very sharp and clever, tying the history of games to the present day with a deft hand.
If you have even the slightest nostalgia for early graphic adventure games, Host Master and the Conquest of Humor is made for you.
Play Host Master and the Conquest of Humor
Thanks for sending this one in, Jakkar and Alex!
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Here's a little walkthrough hope it helps.
Look at the magazines to your left, you should get a key.
Pick up the newspaper that is lying on the floor to the right of Tim. Go ahead and look at it once you have it in your inventory. There's a half joke and a text solicitation neither of which we can do much with now.
Pick up picture of Tim mounted on the wall to the right of the red curtain. Not much we can do with the wall safe right now but on the back of the picture there is a ripped note. Go ahead, pick it up, and look at it. Another half joke, but since it doesn't match the first half we picked up, let's move on.
Open the cigar box then look at it, you'll get a pair of tiny scissors.
Now look at the cigar box again. Use the strange key you got out of the magazines earlier on the cigar box and look inside one more time to get the empty book of matches. There are two totally separate hints here, but we'll come back to both of them in a little bit.
Push the barstool. After you have proven your dominance pick up the yellow piece of paper.
If you look at the yellow note, you'll see it matches one of the half jokes we already picked up. Use the yellow note on the newspaper to get your first joke.
Pick up the bear rug. You'll only fold over one of the bear's paws revealing a mobile phone device. Pick it up.
If you look at your newspaper, right under the joke it says, "Text joke to 032084". So, use the mobile phone device and click on the TXT icon. In the to box enter in the number 032084. Click on the TXT box and key in JOKE. Now click on the send icon. You'll get a couple of prompts you'll need to click okay on before getting your second joke.
Remember that book of matches? Look at it again. At top is a series of numbers, and at the bottom there is a diagram of something. In truth, the diagram is a bear head meaning this book of matches is upside. So the number at top is really 186891. This is the combination to the wall safe so look at the wall safe to bring up the key pad and punch in this number.
Pick up the old book and odd remote. Look at the book once in your inventory (bathroom reader) to get a whopping five jokes bringing us to seven!
Back to the matchbook, if you look at the bottom diagram upside, it shows an x over the bear's left eye. This requires a little bit of pixel hunting but what we need to do is push the eye of the bear. When you find and push the hotspot, the bear will vomit something. Pick it up, There's not much we can do with this right now.
Open the big red curtains.
Pick up the sugary cereal (yellow box on the left atop the shelf behind the curtain).
Open sugary cereal.
Use the cigar cutters on the cereal prize. Open the cereal prize (cheap trinket thing now). Now you can look at it to get our eighth joke.
Now look at the Italian dinner jacket hanging up (the one furthest to the right). You'll get a joke card. Look at the card to get our ninth joke.
Open the mini fridge. On the door is a blue note, pick it up. Use this with the other blue torn note in our inventory to combine them and make up the tenth joke.
Now look towards the top of the open mini fridge. You're looking specifically for the frozen box hot spot. Look at it to get the box of popsicles. Open the box to get a mushroom flavored popsicle (ew) and use that popsicle on Tim. Look at the popsicle stick to get your eleventh joke.
Use the cigar cutters to cut the table cloth that hangs over the table (might take you a couple of tries). Pick up both the shredded table cloth and the scrap of card (the scrap of card is the first part of the final half joke set we have to find in the game).
Turn on the strange remote we got from the safe earlier revealing the executive bathroom.
Open the mirror and pick up the shred of card. Combine this shred of card with the one we got from under the table to make our twelfth joke.
Now use the shredded cloth with the sink and then turn on the sink (note: you MUST use the turn on command as opposed to the use command for the sink. If you try to use the sink, Tim will talk about how he refuses to wash his hands). If you did it right, the sink will start to overflow.
Use the executive bathroom remote and a strange new compartment will be made available. There's only one thing that can be picked up here, an odd thing that is lying on a pedestal. Go ahead and pick up the odd thing.
Use the strange artifact we got from the bear's mouth with the odd artifact we got from the new compartment behind the curtain.
Turn off the light switch next to the door. The rubber chicken you just made will start flashing. Look at it. Click on the flashing eye to get an ancient scroll.
Open the scroll then look at it to get ten more jokes completing all 22 jokes that can be found.
Go ahead and open the door, and when asked if you want to leave the room with 22 jokes, say yes.
Posted by: Kyle E. Moore | March 25, 2009 7:31 AM