February 3, 2015

Bad Milk

Dreaming Media, 2002

Have you ever come across a situation where you feel like something terrible is happening to you, but suddenly you realize that it's just a dream and then you start trying helplessly to break free? Yes or no, whatever your answer be, similar is the situation you will experience when you play Bad Milk, a game that won the Independent Games Festival's Seumas McNally Award for the best Independent Game of the year 2002.

As you start the game, the intro shows your breakfast table in the morning of 3rd February, where you inadvertently use some badly expired milk in your coffee from a pack of 25th October and find yourself in a bizarre situation after drinking it. Are you dead or what? A cell-phone draws your attention and as you answer it, a strange voice challenges you to solve all the puzzles in order to get back to your normal world and life. In fact, you are trapped in a giant head full of mind-boggling mazes and unconventional puzzles, which are kind of hard to describe in words and one must play this game to experience them. However, the game is non-linear and you can select a puzzle from a set of four images that revolve in a circle as you move your mouse sideways. These puzzles are mostly created by mixing movie clips and still pictures with bizarre graphical mazes and supported by some auditory hints and clues, where pinpoint hearing is crucial.

The game starts right from the CDROM without any installation or setup process except the installation of Quicktime 4, which is necessary to run the game. Well, this quick-start is acceptable, but what if you don't get a start menu with game save/load options... Hmm... Be informed that Bad Milk is designed to play and end in one go or I'm sorry to say that you need to play it all over again in case you leave it halfway. Graphically, the game presents good quality full-motion video clips marred with average quality acting, good quality still images and computer animation. Background music is good, but voice acting is bit inferior in quality. Finally, I would quote that even though this game has many glitches and weak points, the gameplay is good and provides the gamers a bizarre gaming experience in a unique puzzle-solving environment.