Look at the assorted items up there. A ghetto blaster. A baseball. Bog roll. A saw. Will any of these come in useful when it comes to removing a scorpion from a turtle enclosure without killing the creatures inside? This - like every week - is the question we must ask ourselves, and it's one that has particular resonance to witty adventure game The Scorpion Box. Also this week: tactical bullet management, fussy thievery, a punny take on a platforming classic, and a pretty darn terrifying text adventure. Enjoy!
If, like me, you're terrible with directions - and you're even worse with directions in a purely textual environment - the start of The Hunting Lodge might prove rather tricky, set as it is in a largeish...hunting lodge that seemed to send me round and round in circles. Stick with it. A giant, terrifying creature soon enters to keep you company - how thoughtful - stalking your every footstep and crushing you to a particularly fine paste if you happen to enter the same room. Staying alive is a matter of listening, waiting, waiting and listening, all while acquiring the necessary items to rid yourself of the beast for good. The Hunting Lodge is tense, inventive, tough and - dammit, I'm DEAD Dead dead again.
Sequel to 10 Bullets, the appropriately named 10 More Bullets is a tactical shoot-'em-up where every bullet counts. You can probably guess how many bits of ammo you're given at the start - it's less than 11 and more than 9 - but thankfully every exploded enemy spaceship kicks off a chain reaction that can envelop dozens more if you time your shots right. You can use any money gained to improve your combo power etc., although you can't use it to invest in additional bullets - that would just be silly.
OK, so it's a parody game of - you guessed it -
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing
Castlevania, and it's one that quickly runs out of steam when the super-difficult - and unforgivably checkpointless - platforming rears its ugly head. But the beginning
quite funny, boasting a surprising amount of voice acting and a couple of good jokes - it's just a shame about the difficulty...not to mention the unintuitive controls.
A clever take on the Slender formula, and one that differentiates itself from all those countless shoddy clones currently clogging up the internet. You play the part of a very organised thief, or perhaps an incredibly fussy one, who will only nick things off a randomly generated list. There's a bit of digging required, some light puzzling, and the eventual appearance of the homeowner himself, who – understandably – is a bit miffed that an intruder with a checklist is poking their nose around his cupboards.
While looking after your friend's pet turtle, you've somehow allowed a live scorpion to climb inside. (Don't ask me how you did it – you were hammered.) In this brief, room escapey adventure game, you're tasked with, well, getting it out, while avoiding killing the turtle or yourself in the process. There are several endings, and several hideous deaths, to discover, in an excellently illustrated, witty and clever adventure – and one with an unexpected nod to games like Typing of the Dead.