Time Gentlemen, Please

Adventuring through the Time Stream with Nazi Dinosaurs

Demo Download
Dan Marshall & Ben Ward

Time Gentlemen, Please is what they say in English pubs when one of their statutory and inexplicable closing times is approaching, so everyone can buy a last round. It's also the name of a Lucasarts-like adventure game from Dan Marshall and Ben Ward, a sequel to their superb Ben There, Dan That.

The earlier game was free; Time Gentlemen, Please is not, but at five bucks (or three quid), it's the best deal in for-pay adventures since The Shivah. I also do have to say that I liked the earlier game a bit better, mainly because of its greater variety in settings.

The somewhat nonsensical backstory to this game is that Dan and Ben, having screwed up the timestream in the earlier game, tried to rectify things by going back in time to prevent the coathanger from being invented, but merely screwed things up more; they wind up in an alternate London in 1945, where Nazi dinosaurs have conquered Britain, led by Hitler in a gigantic combat mech. Naturally, the characters have to try to undo this.

As with the earlier game, the dialog in Time Gentlemen, Please is both well written and funny; the puzzles are perhaps a tad more obscure (but if you get stuck, the developers will provide hints on their forum, and Jay is Games already has a walkthrough up). It's off-kilter, charming, and a bit gross at times -- one puzzle involves a fairly repulsive use of Hitler's poo. But at least for those not easily shocked, it's excellent fun, and reinforces my belief that the best work in modern adventure games is being done by indie developers.

One aspect I particularly like is the presence of two embedded adventure games, one a text adventure and the other a graphic adventure ala 1988 or thereabouts. Playing these games is essential to solving some of the puzzles, and they interact with each other at times in interesting ways.