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Ben There, Dan That is a point-and-click adventure that follows two intrepid explorers, the titular Ben and Dan, as they travel through various dimensions in a quest to return to their flat to watch Magnum, P.I.. A combination of brain-teasing puzzles and some far-out thinking sees the dynamic duo quip, steal and murder their way through alternate reality versions of London. Humorous and surreal, the story begins with Dan dead, a firework and one of his orifices... after which they are kidnapped by aliens, and Hilarity Ensues.
It all makes sense when you play it …
There is a sequel called Time, Gentlemen, Please! It expands upon the gaming hilarity and also becomes much more offensive in its own ways. After ruining the utopia they helped create at the end of the first game, Dan and Ben travel back in time to ensure that coat hangers are never invented.
Seriously. There's other stuff, some Nazis, and loads of references to other games and genres. It also has a pretty sweet boss fight at the end.
Both games are available on Steam for under five dollars. Ben There, Dan That! is freeware. Time, Gentlemen Please! is not freeware, but is pretty cheap to buy.
Ben There, Dan That provides examples of:
Ben: "I don't need to dispose of this corpse. He's from another dimension and therefore doesn't exist."
- Author Avatar (the main characters.)
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Frequently.
- Convection, Schmonvection: At one point Ben uses a wooden plank to cross a river of lava. This is lampshaded if you examine the plank:
Dan: Won't it burn or melt or anything?
Dan: Thank heavens for heat resistant wood, now.
- Cutting the Knot: Ben... erm... does this sometimes.
- Eagle Land: One of the alternate Londons is part of a universe where America has turned the tables on Britain and annexed it as the 51st state. London has become a schlocky, tourist-trappy Americana version of itself. The "authentic British pub" has two things on tap: beer, and that stuff Americans drink instead.
- Easter Egg: The museum shop.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though Ben wasn't too bothered about killing a priest with a bible, he draws the line at killing said priest's son (even if he is a zombie).
- Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: This is my partner Dan. My ADVENTURING partner. That there is my ADVENTURING partner Dan.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: At one point you have to club a priest with his own bible to continue. And that's just the beginning!
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Lampshaded with the velvet rope blocking off the museum shop (and subverted, if the player is insistent enough.)
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Taken to extremes.
Ben: "It's not 'stealing.' It's 'adding to my inventory.'"
Dan: "It's a bubbling, boiling river of orange-hot lava."
Ben: "You sure? Looks like tomato soup to me."
Dan: "Can it, you. It's lava, alright?"
- The Most Dangerous Video Game: Parodied.
- Shout-Out (Too many to classic adventure games to count, but especially to Sam and Max Freelance Police, which the game owes a great deal to, and to Monkey Island.)
- Sidekick: Dan. The stable of options you have for interacting with things even includes by default the option to inflict Dan upon it, ala Max from Sam And Max Hit The Road. This gets used once early on for a minor task, then lampshaded many times later on when Dan refuses to play ball.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World:
Ben: (on looking at its door) "It's the inevitable slippy slidey ice dimension."
- Take That: The "authentic British pub" in the Eagle Land alternate universe is basically a gigantic Take That at everything that is American drinking sensibilities. The barman will only serve the watery, soulless American "beer" unless you can provide multiple forms of ID, chastises the drunken louts watching (American) football for being too rowdy (and the poor fellows can barely even muster any kind of rowdiness for nancy American football, with all its padding and not being rugby), and threatens to storm out should anyone manage to get drunk enough to pass out (which he makes good on).
Time Gentlemen, Please! provides examples of:
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A list of innocuous items required to complete the game. One of them, unfortunately, is someone's poop.
- At least you get to stool it.
- Crapsack World: The beginning of the game. Dan and Ben, rulers of the world, order everyone to watch Magnum, PI. Everyone dies due to starvation and filth.
- Darker and Edgier: ...Sorta. It's still very silly, but there's more sexual jokes and swearing. And Nazis. Plus, for some reason the options menu has a "Racism" option which you cannot turn off.
- Genre Savvy
- Mind Control Device: Coat Hangers!
- The Napoleon: Hitler's portrayal in this game.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Sentient Nazi Dinosaur clones! With guns!
- Noodle Incident: What does them preventing coat hangers from being invented cause Stupid Jetpack Hitler? Presumably it's a mix of everything they did back then (crushed butterflies in prehistory, trade a Tamagotchi for a backscratcher, etc.) but it's never clearly determined.
- One-Winged Angel: Future Hitler
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: They accidentally kill all of humanity. Now they trying to use time travel to stop this from happening. Rather then stop themselves about a couple of weeks in the past they decided to prevent coat hangers from being invented.
- Shout-Out: This game is a continuation of the love letter to Lucas Arts' SCUMM games of the early nineties. From the annoying parrot to "I'm selling these fine leather jackets."
- Sidekick: Dan wants to become less of a Sidekick and more of a... kick.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: In a very Indiana Jones way.
- Those Wacky Nazis
- Too Dumb to Live: The main characters. Not only do they frequently nearly get them selves killed but their stupidity gets every one else but them killed.
- Unwinnable: Averted. Nothing you can drop into the exhaust port is necessary by that point.