Disco Driscoll

Point and click, retro, music, meh...

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


In my younger Guardian-reading, idealistic, post-student days (c. the year 2000) I enjoyed briefly visiting the website irational.org
Or rather, what I mean to say is that I enjoyed it without ever really understanding it.

It’s hard to describe the thing really, so you should just visit it.

Looking on the site recently it appears that it has not been updated in about seven years, which means that the ragtag bunch of art students and ‘political ironists’ who created it are presumably now in comfortable office jobs, and have left that phase of their lives behind.

You see, none of it really makes any sense. It’s all very impressive in a sort of detached and unholistic (is that a word?) way, and the section on the Party of Dry Pain running for the local election still makes me laugh; that, along with the various threatening letters received from the solicitors of Tesco, Sainsburys et al regarding copyright infringement, hint at some fine ideas, but possibly the whole enterprise is pitched at a level which is a little too subtle for me.

I googled irational.org to see if any of the members were still alive and ironicising (now that’s definitely not a word). I came across another such website which seemed to stand for the same sort of things (whatever they are), but it sadly had not been updated since 2005.

Perhaps, in this post-9/11 milieu, Political Irony is a bit too much like shooting fish in a barrel for some people.

Friday, 22 June 2007

5 Days A Stranger

5 Days was my introduction to the genre of point-and-click. I stumbled across the game at Game Hippo, and was intrigued enough to download and play it through my lunch-breaks for a few days. To my shame, I did use the walkthrough once, although it was at the very end so I don’t feel so bad.

The game puts you in the role of the self-proclaimed gentleman thief Trilby, who breaks into the Defoe Manor one night in search of bounty, but instead uncovers a horrific legacy that leaves him battling for his sanity as well as his life. You control the movements and interactions of our antihero as he pounds the rooms of the mansion with growing desperation, looking for the way out.

In the grand tradition of such games, you can Look, Use, Speak etc. to people and inanimate objects alike, enabling you to gradually unravel the story through five days. It can get a bit gruesome, but due to the fairly basic nature of the graphics there’s nothing that should give you sleepless nights.

The game holds a special resonance for me, given that it was the first game of its type that I downloaded, and it basically lead to my obsession with the fan-created genre. Having played it through again recently, it still holds up pretty well and is, arguably, the writer’s best work.

The author, Yahtzee, went on to produce a further 3 games in the series which we’ll dissect at a later date.