Like Ian, I recently played a new game, and I wanted to tell you about it, but unlike Ian, I didn’t enjoy mine very much.
‘Shed Avengers’ is a highly lifelike simulation game in which you take on the role of a new homeowner who discovers that the felt covering the roof of his already poorly built garage is now being peeled away by the wind and causing items stored in the garage to become damp.
It has to be said that the graphics are incredibly good, as are the haptic feedback techniques used through the game controllers which really do make you feel like you’re climbing around on a flimsy wooden structure while alone on the premises. I really did feel like there was the potential to fall through the roof, sustain severe injuries and then lie there undiscovered for many hours.
The early part of the game is all about solving puzzles. It begins with the apparent aim of doing the job from the sides, safely standing on a ladder, but it quickly becomes apparent that this isn’t possible, and your hapless protagonist is forced instead to find a way to climb up onto the rickety roof using a ladder that’s a bit too short for the job. Once you figure that out, the first level, removing the tattered felt sheeting, is easily completed, but the game quickly becomes much harder. Level 2 involves painting a layer of wood preserver onto the roof while crawling around on it, but without the layer of felt to stabilise things, the unsecured timbers move around like the keys of a piano when your character’s weight is placed on them, and each must be painted all the way up to the apex of the roof before you can move on.
There then follow several more levels where the puzzles are less difficult and the gameplay less enjoyable, including lifting 20kg rolls of felt onto the roof without them either rolling off or falling through; hammering 400 clout nails into very flexible woodwork that bounces away when you try to strike it; painting a layer of bitumen adhesive under the felt joints while trying not to slide off the roof because it’s started raining; and finally, attempting to secure the last sheet of felt along the apex even though the flimsy stupid god damn roofline is like a rollercoaster so the stupid bloody thing won’t lie flat.
I will admit that my enjoyment of this already frustrating game was marred by my relatively low score on the final level, where I was unable to fully solve the puzzle and ended up completing the game with two wrinkles nailed in to the final felt sheet. If I were truly committed to the game, I’d go back and play it again to try and get a perfect score, but for me this was one to play once and then move on.
I’m not sure I want to play any more in the roofing and tiling series, and anyway my attention is now mostly taken up with the forthcoming release of Impossible Floating Shelf DIY Master, which is coming out in the next couple of months. When I’ve tried it I’ll let you know how I get on.