Dan Marshall and Ben Ward are the masterminds behind Zombie Cow Studios, and their first project is a point-and-click adventure game aptly titled ‘Ben There, Dan That’.
You control the characters of Dan and Ben as they attempt to repair their TV aerial. As you can probably imagine, things don’t go as planned and it is not long after that they find themselves fighting aliens, zombies, and a whole lot more in an adventure that transcends multiple universes, all in an effort to not miss a re-run of Magnum P.I.
In adventure games of old, right-clicking would normally change the tool icon that was being controlled by your mouse movements. In BTDT so it is the same. You can choose from an eye (to look at something, duh), a grabbing hand, a talking chat bubble, a walking footprint, and Dan’s head. Well, it is not really Dan’s head per se, but a virtual representation of the virtual representation of Dan’s head.This last tool is the most unique, as this is how you get Dan to do ‘stuff’ and is vital in overcoming your journey’s challenges. For example, if you need to throw a switch on one side of the room while doing something else on the other side, you could have Dan throw said switch while Ben works elsewhere. This tag-team aspect of the game is a very clever gameplay element, and the banter between the two characters is very witty.
In fact, I would probably call this the ‘Shaun of the Dead’ of adventure games. I don’t mean that purely based on the fact that the game is set in London either. The game is full of homages to older classic games such as Full Throttle, Sam and Max, and Day of the Tentacle. While it is full of these homages, it does not homage just for the sake of homaging (is that even a word). Ben and Dan also makes a clever commentary on the current state of adventure games (See right). It is rare that an independent developer can make such an inspired, witty, and entertaining game such as Ben there, Dan That. It goes to show, just as the classic adventures that came before it did, that you do not need fancy 3d graphics to entertain, and that message is a welcome site in the age of the multi-million dollar video game. Zombie Cow Studios, we salute you! Did we mention the game is free to download?