paj89's HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (iPhone) review

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Look out, Hector's about

Welcome to Clappers Wreake, a crime-infested dump located in the cistern of the Midlands. This is a place where neer-do-well youths hang on street corners like bad smells and graffiti stains the walls like a night you'd rather forget. The only place you'll find with a bit of class and community is the Exotico, the local sex shop. It all got a bit too much for one local who couldn't bear to see the town plummet into the murky depths any further, so he took a building full of hostages and demanded things change. The Clappers Wreake police force are largely incompetent, despite the presence of the 'Tactical Weapons And Tactics' unit (draw your own conclusions from the acronym). There's only one man for the job.  

Some of the rabble you'll have to deal with.
That's how things stand at the outset: your goal is to reach the crisis and complete the terrorist's demands, which you achieve in a pretty standard adventure game format. Touch the screen to look at and examine objects, collect and combine objects to pass obstacles, pretty standard fare. As you might have guessed already, the real draw in Hector is the crass and crude title character and his vulgar sense of humour.

Detective Inspector Hector: a real charming man
Hector's character is a bit like Gene Hunt's (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes): politically-uncorrect barbs and put-downs aplenty, but a bit more of the pessimism and self-deprecation that can colour modern British life in a less than desirable location. And given some of the situations he finds himself in, you'll forgive him for being a bit pessimistic. The trappings of the adventure genre contrive against Hector on numerous occassions, paperclip fishing with a condom and investigating the Exotico returns box spring instantly to mind. The supporting cast of police officers and loiterers you'll need to interact with aren't memorable or vibrant enough to overshadow their stereotypes like Hector does, but the blind pervert and thrill-seeking chavs will give you a couple of cheap laughs. The voice actor frequently hits the mark of depraved, delinquent or deranged as required, but you read "actor" right as singular so some of the characters sound a bit samey.

The faint-of-heart or those without a penchant for British-tinged black humor might find the script a bit blue, but if you can bear the vulgarities and want some laughs it'll do just fine. It isn't some brilliant subversive comentary on modern British life, but it is funny. And it looky very good too; the clean art style and animations are a nice contrast to all the bad stuff going down on-screen, and if you've got a newer device with a Retina display, you're in for a treat. It's a short-and-sweet kind of treat though that won't take you more than an hour or so (Straandlooper have announced Episodes 2 and 3 are coming soon, which will pad out both the length and price). You'll have to decide whether the length-for-comedy trade-off is worth your £2.39 (or more if you invest in the later episodes), but the iPod/iPhone is by far the cheapest version and plays just fine on a smaller screen.    
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