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Saturday Crapshoot: Animal

Richard Cobbett at

Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, SIT BACK AND PREPARE FOR MARKETING.

For thousands of years, humanity has strived to conquer the world, to raise itself above the other animals, and to set foot in an endless galaxy of wonder and amazement and sexy green people of any gender - for these are modern, enlightened times! Sadly, unless you're a billionaire who wants to see if he really can see his house from space, it appears we can now but sit back and take solace in the fact that, while conquering space seems to have been put on hold, our mighty technology did successfully manage to bring us a point and click adventure based on a salami mascot.

Swings and roundabouts, eh? Meet the Peperami Animal.

Crap Shoot: Darkened Skye

Richard Cobbett at

Richard Cobbett heads down to the sweet shop to dig up an infamous story of revolution, rebellion and sticking it to the man. Oh, not this rubbish little fantasy game. We're talking about its developers...

Advertising in games is nothing particularly new, whether it's a dedicated license like Cool Spot or M.C. Kids, or simple product placement, like Space Quest V's callouts to US Sprint, Robocod's levels made of Penguin bars or Zool's obsession with Chupa-Chups. Darkened Skye wasn't the first. It won't be the last. It is however unquestionably the sneakiest. There isn't so much as an extra logo on the box to warn you, nor anything in the blurb that hints at the truth behind this forgotten action adventure. Even when you start up the game, while the clues are there if you know what you're looking for, it's about ten minutes into the story before the game finally admits that the mysterious 'orange artifact' that gives less-than-humble shephard girl Skye her first magic powers and looks amusingly like a Skittle... actually is a Skittle. Or rather, a Skittles™.

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