After a strong debut last year, a second episode of the brand-new adventure series Hector: Badge of Carnage has finally hit the App Store. Inspired by classic adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island, as well as over-the-top police parodies like Hot Fuzz, Hector Episode 2 is a fantastic game for anyone who loves their puzzles with a barbeque-stained helping of humor.
This new episode is longer, and much more expansive, than the first episode. Hector is no longer the only controllable character– you’ll also briefly take control of his gangly partner, Lambert. In the first act, which takes place immediately following Episode 1’s cliffhanger, they’ll perform concurrent tasks like combining inventory items and chatting up local residents. Once you’ve busted Hector out of the first few confining scenes, he’s free to roam the town of Clappers Wreake, interviewing potential suspects and following up on leads to find a sniper madman.
Ladies, meet Lambert.
Hector Episode 2 plays out like an absurd cartoon version of CSI, with Hector employing the help of several police coworkers and friendly informants. Whenever you’re able to pick up something that isn’t nailed down, like a pink bucket, tanning bulb, or human heart, it means that you’ll have to find a creative use for it elsewhere to advance the plot.
Every step of this mystery is filled with humor, especially in the incredibly well-acted dialogue. We don’t want to spoil some of the hilarious locations you’ll visit, but the beauty/gun shop and subterranean strip club are a few of our favorites.
The night of the Mary Kay Commandos.
Hector is just as surly and abusive as he was in the last game, and he’ll dominate any conversation in the game with his obnoxious buffoonery. Some of the game’s puzzles actually take place entirely in the conversation tree, like when you have to keep a beef truck delivery driver on the phone by ordering a series of beef-based dishes, without accidentally mentioning chicken or pork.
Telltale Games, who have in recent years have reinvigorated the adventure genre and pioneered episodic, downloadable gaming, made a smart choice in picking up the Hector series. Hector is just as brilliant as Sam and Max, Back to the Future, and Puzzle Agent in terms of sheer entertainment value and hilarity. This episode places the series on solid ground, with a lengthy and creative adventure that sets the stage for an epic conclusion. If you want a great game that tells a wonderful story, Hector Episode 2 is one of the best.