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Have You Played... Guard Duty?

It was acceptable in the 90s

Featured post A 2D pixel-art scene: a topless man is asleep in his bed in a cobwebby room in a tower attic. There is a hole in the roof just above his bed, several empty bottles on the floor, and a picture of a wizard on the wall, which has had darts thrown at it.

Whomst among us hasn’t got absolutely bladdered and woken up the next day having lost all of their uniform and with no idea what happened the night before? Well me; I haven’t done that. But I am not Tondbert, the plucky protagonist of retro-style point and click adventureGuard Duty. Tondbert’s drunken lapse in judgement has resulted in his kingdom’s princess being kidnapped, which is not ideal.

Guard Duty is, and I often hesitate to use the word, genuinely charming, with really beautiful animation. In spirit it reminds me a lot of the Lucasfilm p’n’c puzzlers like Day Of The Tentacle or Monkey Island, or even Westwood’s Legend Of Kyrandia series, but with a bit of a Terry Pratchett-esque flair to it.

Some of the puzzles do feel a bit obscure sometimes, but I genuinely found myself laughing out loud, and thoroughly enjoyed the cast of weirdos Tondbert encountered early on. He’s also really charismatically voiced, with a South West, almost Bristolian twang for that real ‘bumpkin out of his depth’ edge.

Guard Duty does take a more original twist from the man-saves-princess formula, too, with a story that spans time travel, ritual sacrifice, futuristic conspiracy, and bureaucratic paperwork.

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Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

RPS's dep ed. Small person powered by tea and enthusiasm for video game romances. Send me interesting etymological facts and cool horror games.

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