Meet Hector. He’s a smelly, grumpy and rude man who drinks too much beer and eats too much curry. Also, he’s the good guy, a detective charged with keeping the peace and the community safe. Its just a pity that he actually hates the community and is more interested in finding himself an inexpensive prostitute for the night.
For a country that’s been in the news for its varying degrees of attempts at political correctness and trying so hard to not offend its population, its amazing how something so distasteful could have been designed in the UK.
There’s a terrorist loose in the coastal town of Clapper’s Wreake, and he’s all ready killed most of the negotiation squad T.W.A.T. He’s barricaded himself and several hostages in a local building, and he’s taking potshots at the law, in an effort to have his demands met. And that’s where Hector comes in, as he’s the only man left qualified to fulfil these demands, in increasingly bizarre ways.
Where else would you find a game that presents players with the challenge of using an electrocuted chav to power a car, or to disguise a heroin addict as a lethal sex toy in order to blow up a porn store? Its crass and vulgar, yet its clearly got some highbrow humour, and that is what actually makes this game so brilliant in the end.
It doesn’t care how insulting you find the idea of using a condom and a shoestring to grab a key out of a filthy toilet. In fact, H:BOC revels in these uncomfortable moments, insulting players when they try and find a solution in the menus or try and exit the game. Its a guilty pleasure of epic proportions that is just plain fun.
As a point and click title, all the standard features are here. The environments are littered with objects that can be collected in order to solve puzzles, while the rest of these scraps will make Hector spin out a remark that will either amuse or disgust you. Some of the people you encounter will have items essential to solving a puzzle, and you’ll have to convince them to hand it over with a bit of rough talking.
Its these humorous anecdotes that make Hector so horribly endearing. Like the psychotic bunny Max or the well-meaning but generally useful Guybrush Threepwood, Hector is a character with great dialogue, most of which will stick with you once the game is finished. Characters are also voiced quite well, with different dialects and accents present, something that is impressive when you consider that one actor, Richard Morss, is doing all the work.
Everything has been designed with simple animation in mind, much like a cheap flash cartoon, but it seems to suit the game perfectly. Clappers Wreake, the town that took the great out of Britain lives up to its reputation, as the population seems to consist of ethnic and local stereotypes that are essential to solving the various challenges present.
Challenge wise, there are some pretty difficult puzzles present here. You’ll have to think outside the box to solve them, but had the game design made the items a little bit easier to spot, then it wouldn’t be so much of a problem to solve these issues. The puzzle-solving clues are hard to spot, sometimes being too perfectly integrated with the background to see at first, which mean you’re going to have to click on everything on a screen to find them.
Its tried and trusted point and click gameplay with an obnoxiously entertaining edge, although some clues are incredibly difficult to spot.
Design and Presentation: 8/10
Quirky animation that was made on the cheap but doesn’t affect the game at all. Characters are well designed and the voice acting is professional, while some of the dialogue will leave you in stitches.
Its only around 3 hours in length, but this is just part one of a planned trilogy. You’ll want to go back and revisit this game however, just to hear what other politically incorrect statements Hector has to say.
If you love point and click games, bad taste and genuine British humour, then download this from the Telltale Games website. You won’t be disappointed.
Last Updated: June 23, 2011