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BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM: Thing-Thing

Presumably as some sort of reaction to The Month Of Infinite Strategy Games we’ve just enjoyed, today I was gripped by a strange and peurile urge to go shoot an awful lot of men in the face. And in the game. Eventually, that urge turned out to be best scratched by Defense Grid: The Awakening, which made for a rather ideal halfway house between relatively cerebral RTS and the wanton killing of FPS et al.

En route to that though, I spent a cheerfully blood-crazed couple of hours with freebie flash games the Thing-Thing series. Blood-Drenched Rag Doll may have been a better name for it.
While sadly it devolves from Thing-Thing 1’s likeable bubblemen-in-top-hats look to the irritatingly teenage Final Fantasy-esque characters and overcooked exposition of the later games, more happily it does also massively increase the death toll, gore and array of stupidly overpowered weapons at the same time. Budda-Budda-Bam-Bam-Splat, etc.

There is really very little to it. You move, you shoot, you double-jump. That is, though, kind of the point. It is only really about escalation; the significantly more challenging Alien Hominid is perhaps the best touchstone. Come Thing-Thing 4 and the just-released Thing-Thing Arena 3 (it’s a sprawling little series – Thing-Things 1-4 are platformy, story-based games, while the Arenas are high score attack variations), the amount of on-screen blood and the inventiveness/brutality of the weapons is really quite impressive. Not big, not clever and certainly not very grown-up then, but quite frankly it was just the tongue-in-cheek ultra-violence my tactic-tired brain was looking for. You may feel the same.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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