Sandstorm: A Game About How CERTAIN Camels Don’t Deserve To Have Parties

It started off so well

Downloaded pretty much entirely to see if it was a reference to Darude and then played entirely to try and one-up Alice, I have spent the best part of an hour on Sandstorm [official site].

The aim is to trek eastwards through a sandstorm to reach a mountain. A simple pilgrimage, then, powered by a cart and a camel. Except your orientation keeps shifting, your footprints get blown away, the landscape has only a smattering of detail, your camel is a total jerk and wanders off given half a chance and there is sand EVERYWHERE.

As I type this I am on my third attempt to achieve “mountain” and frankly I have started to hate this stupid camel. You see, the action plays out over a series of days. Each day you trek in what you hope is the right direction, aided by your trusty compass, and then when night falls you apparently forget to put everything in a safe place and tether the camel so come morning you’ll spend the first few hours finding everything.

WHERE EVEN IS HE?

In this playthrough my possessions have been remarkably well-behaved. There are no trudges to find my watch or to yank the compass or my dragon charm out of the sand. I don’t really know what the dragon charm does but it is safely about my person so I feel like I have probably accomplished basic responsibilty.

The camel is another matter.

I don’t get why I can’t just tether him at night. That’s the sensible thing to do isn’t it, I mean given his proven track record of wandering off and being a jerk?

I have a set of flagpoles which I guess I’m supposed to use to try and mark where I’ve been but one evening, as night draws on, I try to use one to stab the camel in the foot and anchor it in place ready for the next day’s journeying. It doesn’t work and I just look like I’m throwing the camel a flag party.

Least deserving of a party.

“I hate you” I whisper to the camel as darkness falls.

The next morning the camel has wandered off – further than ever before.

I inch my way out into the desert near the cart following a pattern that reminds me of bicycle wheel spokes. None of the spokes hits “camel” and so I extend even further, trying to drop my flagpoles in such a way that I can find my way back. I am worse at flagpoles than I am at pet care and I become hopelessly lost.

I bump into the camel who is heading in the other direction.

“Oh. It’s you.”

The camel says nothing.

“Could you maybe have developed an ability to sniff out the cart,” I ask as I take his leash. You know. The one I can’t tether to anything.

Either he hasn’t or he doesn’t want to. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter anymore. Night is falling and without the cart we’re doomed. I glare at the camel as the darkness and the sand start to obscure him from view. I don’t have the patience to play again, even with the tantalising prospect of seeing a mountain that Alice hasn’t. The camel has ruined everything for everybody.

I will kill you.

“Just know this,” I say – a parting shot before we disappear into the desert forever. “In my imaginary ending to this game I ate you before I died.”

10 Comments

  1. Sarfrin says:

    It is well established that camels are arseholes, so I declare this to be a realistic camel simulator.

  2. Cassius Clayman says:

    Pip, you’re quite possibly my favorite writer on RPS; thanks for putting a smile on my face(And on such a regular basis, too!).

  3. April March says:

    I imagine the camel is thinking exactly the same things.

  4. Henke says:

    Heh yeah that camel is the worst. I liked the game though, played through it back when it first came out.

  5. celticdr says:

    Camels are one of the jerkiest animals known in the animal kingdom – I imagine that even if you had the ability to tether it down that jerk camel would find a way to escape anyway.

    Don’t give up Pip, you must reach that mountain before Alice!

  6. Premium User Badge

    ErraticGamer says:

    Hey, listen, RPS, I really don’t want to AdBlock your site. I haven’t on principal, and at some point I will be able to happily go back to giving you dollars, which I’ve done before and will do again.

    But one of your sidebar ad slots is featuring a video player that FORCES Chrome to jump to it every time it starts a new loop, pulling the reader away from whatever part of the article they were reading, and that’s infuriating and pretty unacceptable. Chrome on a Macbook, in this case, I don’t know if there are differences between this and how it behaves in Windows.

    Thought you should know.

    • Llewyn says:

      The ads are provided by a third party from a ‘playlist’; there’s a good chance no-one at RPS will have seen the ad that’s causing you problems.

      To get it removed, mail Graham with a screenshot of the offending advert (or a detailed description so he can track it down otherwise).

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        I will keep that in mind the next time Taboola shows me the “Five most painful medieval tortures” ad. I am not making this up.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    But I like camels . . .

  8. Premium User Badge

    Phasma Felis says:

    After a half-dozen tries I finally beat it! Woo!

    That mountain is great. You don’t know what you’re missing.

    Also, I unlocked a dinosaur to pull my cart. I am not making this up, it actually happened. Unfortunately the dinosaur is just as much of an asshole as the camel was.