Beet the Devil

By Caroline VanEseltine.

Smoke and divots and scorching and stinky brimstone – there’s only one thing this could mean.

There has been demons in your garden.

So begins this tale of a God-fearing parish worker whose dog has disappeared. Armed with a motley crew of, uh, vegetables and one puppy, he ventures deep into the depths of Hell. He has to battle various trials and tribulations to get his dog back.

While the premise of the game is rather linear, the puzzles are all fairly straightforward and stand alone. In case you don’t get it, location-based walkthroughs are also available. Some of the puzzles require a small amount of lateral thinking and most will make you smile and go, “Oh, right!”. Although it is possible to die in the middle of the game, abundant contextual hints are provided and it is always possible to undo the mistake. Special mention should go to the endgame, which is brilliant when you realise what the answer was.

There is also some characterisation near the endgame, which provides some background to an otherwise colourless PC and pathos to an otherwise light game. Of course, if you wanted to go deeper, we could talk about how this game reflects human nature and about temptation and the role of the morally upright hero, but the conversational tone of the game makes that rather out of place. The way it stuck closely to its theme throughout, even in the hint system, gave it a sense of continuity.

In short, a technically well-constructed game suitable for an entertaining afternoon.

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