Monday, 15 December 2008

Game Review: Hunt The Hot Water Valve

A fun game to play, particularly in the Winter when the stakes are higher, however having not yet completed it, this reviewer is forced to give it a low 3/10.

The story begins with the player performing what should be a relatively straightforward task - removing a radiator from the wall in order to redecorate. Things get complicated however when this causes a leak in the central heating system. Having drained the central heating system, repaired the leak and restarted the system with the help of a future contractor, things seem to be back to normal. However, this wouldn't be much of a plot if this was the case, so the player awakes the next day with a raging hangover from an office end of year function only to discover that while the central heating works, there is no hot water in the house. Cue more assistance from the future contractor, who sends the player on a hunt for motorised valves that should control hot water to the hot water cylinder.

Most of the gameplay involves wielding a crowbar or similar tool of mass destruction, ripping open floors and tearing down walls looking for the elusive motorised valves. Things are made more interesting by the player not actually knowing exactly what these valves look like, beyond the fact that they must be located on one of the central heating pipes.

The only saving grace to this game, and the reason why it scores 3 instead of 0 out of 10, is its realism. Aside from superb graphics and realistic sound effects, the in-game characters really bring things to life. From nagging wife complaining about cold baths to spooked cat getting underfoot while crowbars are swinging, it's all been included. Here are some screenshots highlighting the level of detail:

The utility room: oh well, the floor needed to come up anyway.

The bathroom: located an access hatch that was covered over by a layer of tongue-and-groove panelling, but no valves.

In summary, an entertaining game involving much destruction, however little satisfaction is gained, and this reviewer has yet to complete it. He predicts the forums to be buzzing with gamers trying to find out how to complete it, that's if anyone else actually buys it since he definitely cannot recommend it.

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