Available on: iPad; Publisher: Telltale Games; Developer: Telltale Games; Players: 1; Released: May 12, 2011; ESRB: NA; Official Website
Hector: Badge of Carnage is the newest installment of episodic games released by Telltale Games. You play as the incompetent Detective Inspector Hector fighting crime and cleaning up the streets in the not-so-fair city of Clappers Wreake as a terrorist decides to take over. It is now up to Hector to save the city in this “point-and-click” game, solving various puzzles along the way. This may seem to sound like an innocent game but be warned: you must be 17 years or older to download this game and it is only fitting that the same disclaimer should apply for this review. So reader be warned it’s about to get… raunchy.
Now that the kids have moved on to a recent casual Friday post, let’s dive right in. As soon as you begin, you are immersed in a grand cinematic that is quite impressive on the iPad. Great soundtrack, dialogue and animation shows that a lot of work has gone into the game. However, you quickly learn that this isn’t your typical storyline. Within seconds, you are exposed to the off color comedy that is associated with British comedy. When the gameplay begins, you are introduced to Hector, who is sleeping with no pants on and is awoken in a drunken stupor. You wander his room with simple point and go controls. If you want to interact with any objects, you simply double tap. Within about the first two minutes of wandering his room, you’ll do everything from making him take a wiz to picking up a used condom and figuring out how to use it to escape. No need to reread that last sentence; you have to figure out how to escape the room with the help of a used condom.
After finally escaping his room, wandering around the police station, greeting a couple of prostitutes, and harassing an elderly woman, you should eventually end up at the crime scene that was introduced in the opening cinematic. Out of all the police officers in the city, Hector is the one that must save the day and help stop the terrorist. You must then attempt to appease the terrorist to stop him from killing everyone in the city. In doing so, Hector must visit the local park, clock tower and, of course, the porn shop.
The gameplay is actually a lot of fun and has an immense amount of depth when it comes to the attention to detail that has been implemented in everything from the voice acting and dialogue to the animation of every scene. There is enough content to have you playing for days. What becomes difficult to manage is the raunchiness. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about the dirty jokes and lack of political correctness that the game has to offer but it doesn’t take long for it to get pretty old. It feels like the dumb jokes begin to drive the gameplay versus the storyline doing that for you, which would have been enough if I were 13. Not to mention the shear nature of the point and click adventure genre that gets redundant at times; Hector is no exception to that. In fact Hector is especially bad at this because it gets to the point where it turns in to a guessing game and has nothing to do with skill or critical thinking at all.
Hector‘s biggest flaw is that it limits its audience. The redundant nature of point and click adventure games has little replay rate, unless it has something to set it apart and to keep it entertaining. The game tries to accomplish this by being very raunchy, but limits its audience even more by doing so. Think of Leisure Suit Larry: even though I’m sure most of you don’t know what game I’m talking about, Leisure Suit Larry did the raunchy genre right and Hector pales in comparison. I’m sure that there will be people that disagree with me and think this game is pure genius. But for the majority of us, this game isn’t worth our time. With that being said, however, this is probably one of the highest quality games I’ve seen for $2.99 out there. So if you are on the fence, feel free to download the free version that is in the app store and, if it’s your kind of game, then go ahead and upgrade to the full version.