Ben There, Dan That

Genre: Adventure/Puzzle/Indie
Platform(s): PC
Allegiance: Zombie Cow Studios
Vintage: 2008
Rating: M
Intelligence Agency Report by: Drake
Ben and Dan are ordinary roommates who live in a small London apartment. However what isn’t ordinary about them is the myriad adventures they get into, such as going to Peru to revive Dan, or running around the house in search of items to repair their television. Then, even all that changes one day when aliens abduct them into their spaceship. Now it’s up to Ben and Dan to get through an adventure of new heights. BEWARE: Zombies and dinosaurs are on the prowl. Can this seemingly idiotic pair of heroes get through the spaceship and save the world?

Weapons Expert Report by: Drake 
Overall 8.00
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: PC 

While browsing the Steam catalogue for new pc games to buy, I happened across Ben There, Dan That.. After reading the summary, I knew instantly I had to buy this game and its sequel in the pack right away. You’re probably asking yourself “why?” Quite simple. For the lolz! Reading the summary, I knew this game series would be full of comedy and outrageousness. 

I figured this game would have some pretty poor graphics and animation, and I would only be playing it for the story and gameplay. Surprisingly, I wasn’t entirely put off by this game’s comic strip style animation.. It was a game of nostalgia, calling back to the old Classic Adventure games of the ‘90s, where one must solve puzzles to continue (think LucasArts Classic Pack) both with animation and soundtrack. 

As for the story, I was unexpectedly surprised. It seemed to be random levels that fit together in a nonsensical way, so I was taken aback when certain minor events were actually vital to the progress of the game. This was totally beyond what I anticipated, even after considering that I bought the game only for the lolz. Players must be very observant and thorough in their gameplay, as this game requires a lot of out-of-the-box thinking; EVERY item in sight must be examined for usefulness in a scenario. Items picked up near the start of the game will crop up with a use later on. Most surprising of all is that there is an actual plot to the game, no matter how bonkers it seems. The developers did a good job making a decently involved plot, even if it can be summarized in a sentence. (Sorry, won’t reveal the plot, as you’ll most likely kill me if I do.) The characters were also pretty top-notch and definitely made the game all the more fun with their wit, humor, and constant references to Star Wars, Sam and Max, and LucasArt products in general. It brought a smile to my face each time I caught the references. Be warned, though: the characters at times can be a little vulgar with their language or get caught up in adult themed situations, so this game is not for small children or people who dislike adult themes. 

I admit that when I first began playing this game, I had difficulty playing it because the gameplay style is something I haven’t played a while. Essentially, the right mouse button toggles between different options and items, and clicking one item with another leads to solving the puzzle. But once I eased into the point-and-click controls, the game became fun. However, if you don’t have patience for solving puzzles and are seeking instant gratification, then you will most likely dislike this game. 

In the end, this was definitely worth one afternoon of playing (took me about four hours of on-and-off playing to complete the game). The best part about this game is that it can be played absolutely free on the Zombie Cow Studios website, so you have very little to lose by going online and trying it out. However, the sequel (Time Gentlemen, Please!) will cost you five dollars on The Steam online store. So if you’re hankering for a game that doesn’t require you to run around maps killing everything in sight (or in some cases being killed by others) try this game out. No gamer skills or powerful gamer rigs required; just the ability to point and click a mouse and have an open mind for any outrageous comments Dan and Ben may make. So give it a try!