Avatar ‘Chicken Police: Paint it RED!’ – mini review

“The sun rolled over for the last time of that week. I checked my chagrin; it was sitting on a fence down by the side of the street that I daren’t walk on anymore. The air was crisp and clear, it kissed my cheeks and promised me more than it could ever give. I tipped my hat and headed on my way.

‘Chicken Police’ is exactly how it sounds; it is a video game where you play as Sonny Featherland who is both a policeman and a chicken. These are very important details. Sonny, like all of the characters, has a human body but an animal head. His hands do various non-chicken things like pointing and holding guns. He talks like a character from a detective novel from the 1940’s and looks like a modern day Humphrey Bogart would… if he was a chicken.

At the start of the game you are currently 120 days away from retirement and Sonny has been put on suspension by his hard-hitting police chief. Locked away in his hotel room of an office, he is visited by a mysterious femme fatale who wants him to work a case outside the law for her client. With curiosity gnawing at his mind and nothing much else to do, he recruits his old partner Marty to help him work out just what is happening on New Year’s Eve in the city of Clawville.

‘Chicken Police’ is a very simple point and click adventure game. You won’t find any absurd puzzles here (see ‘the moustache’ from ‘Gabriel Knight III’ or ‘the goat puzzle’ from the original ‘Broken Sword’) as everything is catered to the more casual gamer. You can look at things, pick things up, talk to / ask people questions and eventually interrogate them after a period of time (where you are graded on how quickly and effectively you obtained the information you needed to progress the story). You travel between key locations on the map around the city trying to piece the puzzle together. There is the main plot to follow but you can also visit other places to chat and procure achievements for doing certain things; you know, typical video game fodder.

The visuals are lovely, like a new summer’s morn. All of the locations and characters look almost real despite the aforementioned animal head looking back at you. This is coupled with a moody soundtrack and excellent voice acting by all the main cast. The story is interesting and varied and twists at the right points to lead your expectations into red alleys and dead herrings.

Where it falls down is that it is a little too easy. There are no penalties for failing to ask the right questions (you can even re-do the entire conversation if you want to get a higher rating), you cannot die and when you are trying to assemble the clues into a cohesive structure the game is all too happy to tell you where you are going wrong and nudge you in the right direction. The dialogue is a little clumsy too, where what is being said by the characters doesn’t match the written account at the bottom. There are also numerous instances of double spaces where there shouldn’t be (such an egregious error). Sometimes you’ll ask questions of someone and then press the talk button only to instigate a conversation that was leading up to you asking questions, as if you were supposed to talk first (perhaps even more than once) and then choose to question them. The game doesn’t want to move things along based on what you’ve already done making it a little disjointed.

These are only minor gripes though. For the 5 to 10 hours I spent playing it I enjoyed every moment. It’s more a visual novel with light puzzle sections than anything else. It’s also very funny and I do hope that the developers make a sequel.

‘Chicken Police: Paint it RED!’ is available on Steam, Playstation 4, X Box and Nintendo Switch.

Avatar ABOFB 27: Through the Grey Hemisphere

We talked about forming a supergroup formed only of newsreaders, in the process we discuss:

  • All the newsreaders we could remember
  • The “Grey Hemisphere”
  • It all goes pervy
  • Ian’s creative process
A Breath of Fresh Beans
A Breath of Fresh Beans
ABOFB 27: Through the Grey Hemisphere
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Avatar Pointless Purchase of the Month – update

What I say may cause shock and distress. Viewer discretion is advised.

It is common knowledge that I am known to not only own several copies of the same thing but also sometimes to never open said copies of things. This has been well documented through my own hands over the years. It is a habit that I can see the problems with but very rarely choose to do anything about because I’m an adult and also fuck you.

That said, times are changing. The ‘me’ from many years ago doesn’t exist anymore (the less said abut 2007 ‘me’ the better) and has been replaced with a more sleek, streamlined edition with lots of bells and whistles. I am the go-faster-stripes model of Ian Bonobo Cupcake Mango Ice “Multiple Copies” McIver and I expected to be replaced again within the next few years.

Take a look at this:

Delicious steelbook action

Eagle-eyed viewers (none of you) may remember a post I made in 2014 (see https://pouringbeans.com/pointless-purchase-of-the-month-july/) explaining my reasons for my pointless purchase. Nintendo have seen fit to release an HD version of this game for the Switch. It is no longer a Pointless Purchase (TM) for the following reasons:

  1. I started playing the game on my Wii Mini a few months back before the re-release on the Switch.
  2. I now have the Wii Motion Controller meaning that I can actually play it.
  3. I have a Switch, I have opened the game and I will be starting again from scratch. I can play the game multiple times on two different consoles.

Therapy is no longer needed. Time, as it turns out, is not only a healer but a way of fixing your brain to more acceptable methods in today’s modern society. It’s also a lot cheaper and doesn’t involve telling a stranger why you get movement in your trousers when browsing the fruit and veg aisle at Tesco.

I can see Kevin’s rage dissipating the more I type. It brings me great job knowing that his anger has been abated through my selfless actions.

You’re welcome, everyone. And I even cancelled the order for the amiibo. How’d you like them apples?

Avatar Newsboost – Blockbusters is back!

Sensational news today as it was revealed that 80’s stellar gameshow ‘Blockbusters’ is due to come back sometime in Autumn 2021.

A picture of the new set was unveiled on Twitter, Instagram, Faceplace and other social media sites for all to peruse with your various eyes, perusing or otherwise. Not a lot was disclosed but you can clearly see the memorable game board showing the letters in the background. There has been a change of colour, a lick of paint if you will, from the traditional yellow and blue colour scheme of the original.

The new set in all its glory

Yes, whilst follow-up versions were released with different presenters on different channels it was decided that nobody really cared about them. A poll last year showed that 87% of the viewers generally couldn’t give a fuck and so a massive two-fingered salute was erected in a warehouse in Coventry. You can read our article on this using the link below.

Sadly since the tragic loss of Bob Holness in 2012 it has meant that ITV Studios has had to recast and scout for a new presenter. The identity is still a closely guarded secret so we will all have to wait until September for the big big big reveal. It will be a big reveal.

Current odds show Gary Wilmot at 20/1, Sara Cox at 10/1 and our very own Smidge Manly at 100/1. I know where my money is going.

Stay tuned for more information.

Avatar Changing the past

No, don’t look at me like that. I am not retconning anything so you can put your tut books away and save them for something else on the internet.

Now look at me a different way, in a more pleasing manner. There, that’s much better.

‘Innerspace’ is a 1987 film by Joe Dante, the guy who directed Gremlins. It starred Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and Martin Short. In it, Dennis Quaid gets shrunk down (“shranken”) for scientific reasons and accidentally injected into Martin Short. This then continues for approximately two hours with gleeful comic elements a-plenty. I even believe that this is one of my sister-in-law’s favourite films. I have fond memories of watching this as a child and believe it still holds up today (it also includes everyone’s fondest actor’s actor – Robert Picardo a.k.a the doctor from Star Trek: Voyager).

So what’s going on then? What am I trying to change? A friend recently told me that he had never seen it so I decided to treat him to the blu-ray. That said, when it arrived in the post there was something amiss. The title didn’t quite fit with me so after a few modifications using paper and glue I believe I have fixed it.

I’m not asking for every single copy to be changed only that sometimes it should be referred to by its “correct” name.

Avatar Culture in the workplace

Flushed with success at my recent foray into workplace safety, I decided to take more steps to improve the lives of my colleagues.

I noticed a long time ago that one of the bathrooms I regularly use at work has a small A5-sized frame with a glass front that faces you as you enter. I assume it was out there to hold notices from our facilities department – maybe a sign saying “we clean these toilets regularly” or “if you’re unhappy with the state of this bathroom you should see some of the others on this floor”. But as far as I know, it’s always been empty, possibly for years.

What this frame needs is a picture, and I have just the thing. I printed one out and stuck it in the frame. Now, instead of a joyless beige bathroom, toilet-bound staff members are greeted with the sight of one of the world’s finest artworks, placed there by me to lift their soul.

I don’t know how many of them have noticed it yet, but they are very welcome.

Avatar ‘Void Bastards’ – mini review

When it comes to video games I am equally attracted to both the box art and the title itself. ‘Void Bastards’ immediately jumped on my radar when I was reading about it last year and recently I managed to pick it up in the sale for the reasonable cost of twenty sheets.

It’s available on Nintendo Switch (where I’ve been playing it), XBox One, PS4 and Steam so just about anyone can get their sweaty paws on it.

You play as one of an infinite supply of dehydrated prisoners who is brought back to life because the spaceship is on the fritz, stranded and floating in space. Your task is to use your widdle wocket to fly to derelict vessels in the area, steal everything that isn’t nailed down, hopefully find some useful item that you can use to smush together with something else to make a better item and, eventually, fly the fuck out of there.

Played from a first-person perspective, as you infiltrate the various spaceships you encounter enemies and other environmental hazards such as radiation, fire and oil which makes you slip everywhere. Sometimes the generator is down so you have to turn the electricity back on before you can start sniffing around for junk. Sometimes the lights are off and you have to peer through the darkness hoping not to trip any alarms. Each vessel is randomly generated, using the same series of rooms mixed up each time, so whilst it can be repetitive you can never guarantee what you will get every time.

Movement is responsive and fluid. The graphics are cartoony, cell-shaded and fits the feel of the game perfectly. Progression is measured by certain milestones broken down into smaller achievements such as making weapons, armour and other items. You need to keep your supplies of fuel and food topped up otherwise you’ll be stranded for good or die from starvation. Your time on each ship is limited due to the small supply of oxygen (usually less than ten minutes) granted so you have to be fast and you have to be precise.

The only real downside, other than the aforementioned repetition, is the humour. The game sadly isn’t as funny as it thinks it is. There’s an enemy called a ‘Janitor’ who walks around and when he hears you approaching he shouts, “Gary! Is that you?”. Smaller enemies called ‘Juves’ call you names such as twatface and dickwad in their nasal almost Mancunian accent. The AI on your spaceship tries desperately to ape the peerless deadpan narration of ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ with not great success. If you can get past this, you’ll find lots to enjoy. It’s a shame though because ‘Journey to the Savage Planet’, a similar game in structure and tone, is a lot funnier.

8 voids out of 10