Uses 1 saving block.
Sick And Wrong.
A self-proclaimed game of "demented action for people who think,"
this one has now officially supplanted Total Distortion as the single
weirdest game I have ever played. As the god/commander of the Baldies,
it's your job to oversee every aspect of their ongoing war with their
Hairy enemies (presumably, the conflict is aesthetic in nature). The
goal here is nothing less than genocide (with a good deal of cruelty to
animals thrown in for good measure). Divinely intervening with your
drag-box and Grab Hand cursor, you determine who the Baldies are and
what they do; drag-select a group of Workers and suddenly change them
into Solidiers - zing, now they're soldiers, ready to punch or shoot or
otherwise harm any man (or whatever) not of their kind. Inside your
houses, Scientists labor away on new technologies, and when your Grab
Hand plucks some little animal out of the nearby fields and drops it
into one of your Houses, he's lab-fodder, and any number of dastardly
creations may result. Animals don't fair well in Baldies, and they're as
likely to get used for minesweeping duty as anything else. Cows have a
particularly bad time of it when your Scientists develop Exploding Cow
technology, which is just what it sounds like. The cow attracts Baldies
from all around, and then it's Moo, Boom, and Splatter. It does a body
One of the hardest things to get one's head around in Baldies is that
you're only somewhat in control. The Baldie soldiers, apparently
afflicted with severe thyroid problems and/or massive chemical
difficulties, continually totter hither and yon through the grassy
fields, and do their jobs only when the enemy happens to run right up in
their faces (the enemy, too, is running around without focus, like a
stage four Alzheimer's victim on crank). You can continue to pick up and
put down a particular soldier with the Grab Hand until you land him
squarely on his intended target, but it's a better idea to just saturate
an area with soldiers, mines, bear-traps, and the like and just let
things run their course. In the parlance of Command & Conquer: Red
Alert, every Baldies unit is in "guard" mode ALL THE TIME. Eventually
something is gonna die, but the actual process is enough to give a
Command & Conquer player seizures.
Eventually, you're going to grow jaded and corrupted enough to want
the big stuff (what the manual refers to as Acts of You):
artificially-induced storms errode terrain, drown the unwary, and bring
down helicopters (yes, there are helicopters, and cars, and - just never
mind); the Flamehead attack allows you to reach down from Heaven, as it
were, and smite a particular creature - or to do a Sodom-and-Gomorrah
tune-up on an entire stretch of terrain; and what holy war would be
complete without Armageddon? This is The Big One: Use it, and all your
guys, everywhere, will be turned into soldiers, whisked off to a
newly-created island where the same fate has befallen the enemy, and the
Last Battle will commence.
The learning curve is so atrocious here because of the complete lack
of any comprehensive tutorial. The manual included with the game
manages to be brief and opaque at the same time. Who are these guys?
What is my goal? What the hell am I supposed to do? (And in the back of
your head: What were the designers smoking, and where can I get some?)
Players are given specific uses for weapons and tech, but no
broad-stroke explanation of the game mechanics, so it's up to the
diligent gamer to fully explore Baldies. And there is a lot to explore,
with secrets to find and mistakes to not make again. Confusing at times,
funny at others, Baldies is worth a play if you have some gaming under
your belt and a streak of chaotic violence a mile wide (sample Gamer
Tip: "If it's still, blow it up; if it moves, burn it"). And when the
need arises, don't hesitate to make it rain goldfish so your minions can
pick them up and eat them.
Review B By Chris Hudak; reproduced with many thanks.