Monday 18 December 2017

Digital Life: It happened one knight...

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Death Spank



You may be unfamiliar with the name Ron Gilbert but you should know his work. Shame on you if you don't because his hilarious Monkey Island adventure games remain a rib-tickling treat 20 years on.

His latest outing is filled with the same absurd humour, right down to the main character, DeathSpank, a knight whose swaggering vanity is exceeded only by his appetite for monster-slaying.

Essentially a giant spoof of World of Warcraft and Diablo, DeathSpank looks and plays like a simplified, cartoonish version of the RPG classics. Besides simple fetch quests and tons of loot to collect, the combat consists of little more than mashing the buttons.

But your interest is sustained by the knowledge you're never more than a few moments from the next wisecrack or visual gag.

A word of warning: Don't play on the default difficulty setting of "easy" or you'll blast through the game in a handful of hours, and don't bother with the multiplayer option, which enables another player to act as a healer and removes any semblance of challenge.

Only available as an online download, DeathSpank crowbars some much-needed laughs into a po-faced genre.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior



Wisely choosing to avoid that overcrowded space dominated by Call of Duty, SGW retreats to the shadows where painstaking planning and dead-eyed aim count.

It's an intriguing idea that one man with a sniper rifle could stem a military coup on a tropical island. But SGW blows it as it becomes clear that much of the gameplay consists of close-quarters fighting that can never match the intensity of CoD.

With truly awful enemy AI, copious bugs and some crude graphics, it's no wonder SGW misses its target by a mile.

Club Penguin: Herbert's Revenge



With a membership topping 12 million kids, the online world of Club Penguin rivals the popularity of World of Warcraft -- so much so that Disney paid a reported $700m to acquire it in 2007.

Herbert's Revenge is the second DS spin-off aimed at 6-12 years who can't get enough of the playful penguins. As befits the target audience, gameplay consists of simple mini-games and gentle puzzles.

However, it's not always clear what to do next and the clean lines of the graphics become drab after a while. But for fans of the online community, Herbert's Revenge hits the spot.

Irish Independent

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