“I’m forc­ing a squir­rel into a pipe us­ing a statue of Ron Jeremy as Pan”

Sell­ing soap and stuff­ing os­trich asses in the Ad­vent ures of Ber­tram Fi­dle Episode 2

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When I played the first Ber­tram Fid­dle episode for this col­umn, I got hor­ri­bly drunk on sherry and port, cho­sen tip­ples of the el­derly, fes­tive or des­per­ate. Now that the se­quel is here, things are go­ing to be dif­fer­ent. The fact you can play ad­ven­ture games while tipsy doesn’t mean you should. It’s a pleas­antly dull, ad­ven­ture-free start. Ber­tram is work­ing in a fac­tory mak­ing ‘ad­e­quate soap’. Be­fore I can do any­thing else, I need to fin­ish his work for the day by sell­ing three ship­ments of soap. It’s go­ing to take at least five min­utes, but I can last that with­out a drink.

By the time I’ve sold my third or­der, I’ve made a big dent in the ac­ci­den­tally-huge whisky I poured. The bleak, cob­webbed Vic­to­ri­ana is too much fun to play with­out a drink, and it’s cer­tain to im­prove my puz­zle­solv­ing skills—not be­cause al­co­hol sharp­ens the mind, but be­cause the puzzles in Ber­tram Fid­dle are so odd that any­thing which en­cour­ages me to think lat­er­ally is a bonus. I make a few prank calls be­fore leav­ing and the ad­ven­ture truly be­gins.

Play­ing Ber­tram Fid­dle is like a watch­ing a sin­is­ter an­i­ma­tion, but in a good way. I en­joy soak­ing up the ab­sur­di­ties. One mo­ment I’m forc­ing a squir­rel into a pipe us­ing a statue of Ron Jeremy as Pan—there’s a lot to un­pack there—the next I’m mix­ing paint made out of sink slime and crushed bee­tles. I of­ten don’t know why I’m do­ing the things I’m do­ing, but the weird­ness en­cour­ages me to ex­per­i­ment. It forces me to think dif­fer­ently. I just try ev­ery­thing and hope no­body is watch­ing.

Ber­tram is framed for mur­der, and it’s left to his cy­clo­pean manser­vant Gavin to res­cue him. This is where I get slightly stuck. At one point I’m try­ing to use an ice cream cone to drill Ber­tam out of prison, which strikes me as a per­fectly rea­son­able and not il­log­i­cal at all. The strange thing is I’m closer than I re­al­ize.

Get St uffed

The so­lu­tion is won­der­fully con­vo­luted. First, I steal a lad­der from a man clean­ing graf­fiti from a statue of Queen Vic­to­ria—one of the game’s many pop cul­ture ref­er­ences, ac­tu­ally based on the work of artist Vaj Graff. I re­tire to an ad­ven­ture club, and no­tice a uni­corn horn which would work well as a drill. To get it, I have to knock a guard into the gap­ing ass of a stuffed os­trich by forc­ing a man to fly off his steam­punk tread­mill. Then, us­ing the lad­der, I climb onto a bar to steal the horn, which I re­place with the ice cream cone. My tool is com­plete, Ber­tram is lib­er­ated, my whisky is fin­ished. We es­cape into the sewers, and that seems like the per­fect place to stop. There’s loads of ad­ven­ture to come— hope­fully with more al­co­hol and rec­tum-based co­nun­drums—but I need to go to bed and I’m ex­pect­ing a hang­over. Thanks, Ber­tram.

Play­ing Ber­tramFid­dle is like a watch­ing a sin­is­ter an­i­ma­tion

Tried to drill through a wall us­ing an ice cream cone. THIS MONTH ALSO PLAYED TheDark­sideDe­tec­tive, Bal­dur’sGate M AT T H E W E L L I O T T

“I still re­mem­ber my first Werther’s Orig­ina-” *gun­shot*

It’s like Oliver Twist, but soapier.

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