Today we'll be heaving flaming boxes of Dream of the Turtle through the living room windows of wealthy white men's homes. Mm-hmm, the homes of pundits and congressmen. Because we're revenging at everyone who has ever squealed nationally about how video games devolve America's youth into mind-fried violence-guzzlers. We're not violent. But we're going to rip your spines out. Mortal Kombat! Doom! Grand Theft Auto! Arggggghhhh!
Playing Turtle reminds you that games can also teach children to be dull. Here's the Turtle pointy-clicky adventure experience: push your mouse over every centimeter of your monitor to FIND every item. Good. Now walk to the next area. Push your mouse over every centimeter of your monitor, and USE every item. Yeah man, you just solved a puzzle. Good. Hey, no slacking! Get back to mouse-shoving. We've still got more than 14 hours left.
This same critique could be launched against any PC point-click journey, a genre which seems it will evermore puff 1992-stink. But Turtle lacks the compelling story and puzzles that allowed games like the Kings Quest series to absorb our souls into computers. Instead of soaring imagination and inventive analysis, Turtle just functions - not broken, just boring.
There's still some redemption. While the dialogue is harshly tamed, the script might reap some standoffish smirks from you with a few serene kook-charm moments. There are riffs on Guantanamo Bay, bear pheromones, weapons of mass destruction, Olympic-sized bongs and even Hawaiian fellatio zings. And there's a respectable assortment of detailed static backgrounds depicting a variety of locales, though it all seems like stills swiped from any generic afternoon Disney cartoon.
Yep, downfall overthrows every fine vibe. There's lots of walking... and walking... and definitely no running... Dawdling, decade-devouring walking. And backtracking. And repeating. And puzzles that are extended nonsensically just to up the game's hour count into the teens. And sitting through lengthy pauses as well as animations that aren't even basically interesting. And getting stuck in conversations with no option to quickly exit, forcing you to glug deeply a stew of cliches and bad acting. And... we're sleepy. Jeez, this game is a lullaby. We'll get back to you later.