Smack your computer reviewed
People don't hate their computer as much as their boss, but anyone who has ever used a typically outdated computer knows that people can come close. A man has his limits, and this limit is being forced into an encounter, however, brief, with Windows Vista, In an ideal world, all office computers would run on XP, but since Windows Vista actually exists, we can draw the inevitable conclusion that people will get angry as a result. Not many people have worked an office job or have even used a piece of modern electronic equipment without wanting to make it travel with haste in the direction of a solid wall. Enter ‘Smack your Computer’. The game that allows repeated destruction a (preferably Windows-run) computer using your own computer. Call it Winception if you’re a fan of accessible humour.
The game boasts characteristics of the ‘Smack your...’ series: simple drawing style and animation, similar sound effects, mainly black & white design with minimal and effective use of colour. I teetered on the perfect balance of bring amused and annoyed at the inclusion of the dial-up internet sound effect that is heard when the game is left idle. As a portrayal of an office, everything seems familiar. So far so good.
The animation and drawing style is amusing and feels a lot more thought-out and well-designed / creative than some other similar games (Smack your Ex for example). Each animated scenario tends to misguide the player, finishing with a less than obvious outcome, with moderately amusing results. It is a testament to a game that whilst its concept/purpose is no more worthwhile of your time than any other flash game, its simplicity still manages to amuse and entertain more than the (relatively) more complex flash games of its type out there,, while being no more violent or needlessly bloody than them..
It is a short game; only eight ways to break your computer, yet nonetheless almost as entertaining as Smack Your Boss which contains a generous twenty different scenarios. It won't keep boredom locked up until brunch but the time it does kill, it does so with genuinely enjoyable finesse.
The lack of murder and bloodshed in the game coupled with the amusing slapstick and wacky happenings (a phrase that rarely needs to be used nowadays) makes the game more similar to an interactive Looney Tunes cartoon than a violent flash game. Even the office goldfish is spared at one stage; a stark contrast to the no-holds-barred mayhem of murder and bloodshed that is ‘Smack your Boss’. I nearly caught myself looking for the 'ACME' logo on the weapons, though this stopped when I remembered that just like this game, the 'ACME' company scores an eleven on the scale of real to fictional.
Inclusion of the progress counter makes the game seem instantly more worth playing than a game that doesn't keep track of your destructive / mischievous activities. While it lacks the dark humour of other violent games, the reset function is still mildly amusing and keeps within the context/humour of the series. The weapons/methods for mistreating the laptop are harder to find than in previously played 'smack' games, making it marginally more challenging and entertaining when you do find them. Still, we're not talking anything even touching on the level of 'Where's Wally'. The difficulty is more akin to finding a well-labelled needle in a stack of very neatly arranged needles.
In conclusion, the game allows you to essentially perform what an adventurous connoisseur of words would call 'sudden extreme voluntary computer maintenance', doing damage that definitely isn't covered by your standard computer warranty. Some of the damage that takes place would have most insurance companies laughing in your face should you be ridiculous enough to make a claim, citing 'accidental' sledgehammer wear and tear, or heavy shattering resultant of a fall of no less than ten stories. This game is well worth a go. Even for those of us with a mild and non-aggressive temperament, Vista can drive a man to anger management.