Balloon Head Dead, No Redemption

By John Walker on January 13th, 2011 at 11:54 am.

Sad pinata donkey thing.

Well this sucks. Those stupid idiotholes at Zombie Cow turn out to hate everyone in the whole world and have shelved their Time, Gentle,men, Please, follow-up, Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican. SADFACE. I hate them.

Boo – it seems they’re doing it for the very sensiblest reasons. Dan Marshall explains, “It felt like we were going over old, worn ground. Again and again. We’ve done all this. We’ve seen it all before. There’s nothing fresh or new and exciting about it.”

Harsh thoughts. RPS chatted with Zombie Cow and we have the details of what the game would have been below. Cue funereal music.

My theory, first, is since they saw the Channel 4 money for Privates they can’t see to develop the game for all the pound signs constantly chiming in their eyes. In fact, I bugged their office and heard this converstion:

Dan: We barely make any money from the Ben & Dan games.

Ben: Sorry, I can’t hear you from the other side of this giant pile of Channel 4 money.

Dan: What was that? I can’t hear you from the other side of this giant pile of Channel 4 money.

But deciding to swallow my hurt, I spoke with Dan to find out exactly what it is we’re missing out on.

“The plot involved sneaking aboard evil Senor el Balloon-Head’s Evil Airship to deal with him, at which point all these butch, modern marines turn up, and before long they’re stuck in a pitched gun battle with Balloon Head’s Evil Gorilla Piñata minons. You’re working for a company called Adventure Corp, and the soldiers are from Shooter Corp; naturally, being all about shooting and shouting ‘hooah’, they’re really dismissive of what you do as Adventurers because, well, no one does that anymore do they? They consider themselves to be the de facto, popular way of sorting out menacing baddies.”

But that sounds clever! Take THAT, corridor shooters! Satire in your faces!

“However, being typical gruff, stupid space marines, they won’t take out an End of Game Baddy unless he’s got all the obvious weaknesses and over-the-top signposting they’ve come to expect – indicated by a glowing spot for them to aim at, and is moving in a pleasingly-predictable attack pattern.”

See – that’s a thing that games do! I wanted that to be mocked : (

“This time round, Dan and Ben were split up, with Dan being below-deck having action mini-game fights with an angry Piñata bear, and Ben above ground using a sniper rifle to make a snoozy Piñata bear angry. You could flip between them as you liked, using one to help the other progress, and eventually reuniting them for the final showdown.”

Oh, action minigames? Probably for the best that it’s gone then.

“So you needed to trick old Balloon-Head into eating a lightbulb in order to get his balloon head all lit up, and pass Ben’s pubic lice inventory item over in order to make him jiggle about.”

That’s how my cousin died.

“Oh yeah, that. Ben’s carrying round Pubic Lice for the entire game, and the only way to get rid of them is to pass them on to someone else. In order to give Balloon Head the lice, Dan and Ben had to put on a sexy Piñata Pantomime Horse costume, and perform (sexy) Quick Time Events to arouse Balloon-Head’s little flaccid balloon willy so much he’d sex you right there on the spot. Ben being at the back end, naturally. There was even a little balloon willy icon to demonstrate your progress, and everything. It got bigger and bigger and bigger until eventually it burst, and Balloon Head couldn’t help himself. It was all pretty mental.”

And it will never be known. Which is a shame, since that sounds pretty funny. Although, in fairness, I’m just talking about the word “willy” appearing in a sentence.

We love those Zombie Cow guys, because they gave us Time Gentlemen, Please, which is unquestionably one of the best adventure games of the last decade. And because they seem nice. So all the best with whatever it is that fills their time in between counting C4 cash instead. Hopefully it will be another adventure, because there’s not exactly a glut of developers as talented at them as those guys.

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30 Comments »

  1. Wilson says:

    Well, that’s a shame, but credit to them for not forcing out a game when they didn’t feel it was worthy. I’d still like them to release more adventure games at some point, so hopefully they’ll get inspired by something in the future.

    Also – ooh, just got my first ‘comments telling me to slow down when it’s my first post today’.

  2. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    Seeing the title of this in my RSS feed, I thought it was some obscure reference to Red Dead Redemption and the crushed hopes of a possible PC version.

    I still haven’t played either of the Ben and Dan games, I should probably do that…

  3. Mike says:

    Sad read. But it’s something that not many developers would have the balls to do. As was said yesterday, Elemental releasing a crap game, then promising to put themselves into debt by fixing it… somehow I feel like this is the better route.

  4. EthZee says:

    That’s a real shame! I did enjoy Time Gentlemen Please, the puzzles were good and I did like the humour.

    Well, let’s hope their next game is a good’un.

  5. limbclock says:

    I don’t want to sound like a douchenozzle, but i DO wonder if Kickstarter or similar projects to that effect could be able to help them release this thing.

    • Mike says:

      That’s a good idea, but I don’t think it’s the money, rather that they don’t want to release a game they aren’t happy with.

    • Fede says:

      Aren’t they British? I think Kickstarter right now allows only Americans to start fundraising.

      But yeah, sad to see this go. Hopefully they have something nice ready to be announced soon.

  6. airtekh says:

    Awwww. Massive sadface. :(

    TGP was a brilliant little adventure game. Sucks that there’s not going to be a follow-up.

  7. Frosty says:

    Saw this on the Zombie Cow website which made me sad but I had to post just to say congratulations to John for the headline. You witty thingy you.

  8. Ginger Yellow says:

    Boo indeed. Have they got any more adventure games in the pipeline?

  9. Brumisator says:

    Obligatory soundtrack for this post, as requested by Mr. Walker

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hgw_RD_1_5I

  10. Hodge says:

    There was nothing fresh or new or exciting about Ben There, Dan That or TIme Gentlemen, Please, either, and that didn’t stop either of them from being staggeringly brilliant.

    Still, if they feel it’s not working third time round then kudos to them for canning it, rather than running the series into the ground.

    • Wilson says:

      @Hodge – I kind of agree and kind of don’t. The fact it was an adventure game at all made it quite interesting (and you could argue that still applies I guess). They had an unusual graphic and writing style, and a generally different attitude compared to similar games. I would say there was a fair bit fresh and exciting about them, which would have worn off somewhat by the release of a third game. I expect it would still have been good, but what can you do?

  11. brulleks says:

    “It felt like we were going over old, worn ground. Again and again. We’ve done all this. We’ve seen it all before. There’s nothing fresh or new and exciting about it.”

    Pff. That’s never stopped Telltale.

  12. Vague-rant says:

    Oh well. Was looking forward to that. But in any case the adventure game market has had quite a little resurgence lately so its not like we’ll/I’ll go without.

  13. MD says:

    “Ben’s carrying round Pubic Lice for the entire game, and the only way to get rid of them is to pass them on to someone else”

    Hahaha, I love that this comes from the developer of a sex education game. If only they’d taught us about this in Privates!

    But yeah, sad news, although I’m glad they’re not prepared to release a game they don’t believe is up to scratch. It actually sounds fairly promising from the description, but they know best. Hope they get back on the horse though and make some sort of non-educational game soon!

  14. Navagon says:

    :(

    But I can understand their reasoning.

  15. TheTingler says:

    I think what they meant to say was: “after careful evaluation of current market place realities and underlying economic considerations, we’ve decided that this was not the appropriate time to launch a graphic adventure on the PC”.

  16. Skusey says:

    I’m glad they talked about what the game was going to be like, it’d have been a shame for it to disappear without a trace. I’m still sad though, it sounded fun.

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