Filed under: cheapo games,Potant Potables,Web Games — Cameron @ 10:55 pm July 26, 2010

No no, I’m not talking about Basscomm, I’m Talking about Beneath a Steel Sky, a game that time has forgotten about.  If you came here today looking for greatness…you picked a good day to visit.


BASS was originally released in 1994 by those wacky Brits on the SCUMM engine and mixes humor, sci-fi story telling and a strong serving of cyberpunk.  For those of you unfamiliar with cyberpunk go here for a wikipedia definition.  It basically means that its a scenario where science and technology have progressed and futuristic devices exist but society has taken a turn for the worse, much like Blade Runner or maybe Borderlands.  BASS is also know for its art work that was done by Dave Gibbons, more popularly know as the guy that did the ink work for the  Watchmen as well as various other comic books of the time.  The graphics, although dated by todays standards, are amazing.  The worlds are cleverly designed and do a great deal to convey the atmosphere of the game.


The game is set in a future Australia where there has been a major fallout of one variety or another and most all of the land has been made unlivable.  The story follows Robert Foster after he is adopted by Aboriginals in the outback after a helicopter crash when he was a small child that left him parentless and stranded in “The Gap”. The Gap is the barren wasteland between the two major factory cities.   The opening movie shows that Robert Foster is being hunted down by soldiers from Union City that are being controlled by a computer named LINC. All of the opening is illustrated by Dave Gibbons and has full voice narration and voice acting.  One thing that sets this game apart from some of the similar games of the time was that all of the characters had voices and almost every line was spoken out loud and with the added bonus of top notch art work made this game very easy on the senses.


So as I was saying, you control Robert foster and his sidekick Joey the robot that he built living with the natives of Australia.  After being forced back to Union City the helicopter you were brought in on crashes, bringing your escape from custody and the start of the game. Your mission is to find out why the authorities are looking for you and what is really going on with the mysterious LINC computer system and eventually gain your freedom. The controls are a lot like other point and click SCUMM games.  Left mouse controls where you go as well as using it to examine items. Your right mouse button controls actions like open and use and talk and so on.  F5 brings up your menu to save and load and adjust game settings. Side note: I noticed when I saved my game to a slot nothing showed up as being there, so if this happens to you don’t worry, its there it just doesn’t show up.


I won’t spoil anymore of the games story, you’ll just have to play it yourself.  Its is stuffed fully of funny dialogue and sight gags as well as a serious tale of corporate greed and oppression.  In 2003 the game was declared freeware from its producers and is freely available from many sites on the web. You can get it from the SCUMMVM site or from Good old Games, which I highly recommend.  Their site is much easier to navigate and you don’t need to download SCUMMVM to play it and its still 100% free and DRM free.  Also at GOG you can get the manual and other artwork for the game as a separate download.  They have a very good layout and many download options once the game is in your library.  I could spend a whole article talking about how much i love, but I’ll save it for another day, just go there and get the game and I promise you will be happy.  So if you love point and click adventure games and cyberpunk post apocalyptic future dystopias with a sense of humor, then this game is for you.  Its is also available on iPhone and Android for .99c with a few updates to the game play thrown in.