I'm stuck in a British archipelago. To take me away I have to find 17 mysterious crystals. But my butler out with politely that I'm not alone. With some irony, he says: "Madam, you are being hunted." I'm being hunted - the tweed-clad, pipe-smoking and murderous robots.

"Sir, you are being hunted" is an indie game with odd premise. But the concept is simple: find the crystals and bring them to a stone circle. The gameplay is much more difficult. This is a survival video game where you have to avoid being detected by said robots. But it's hard, they patrol the islands, is ever vigilant and always gather at the crystals and the islands' buildings. The landscape is empty of people, but the houses still standing.

The archipelago is randomly designed, which means that no island is the same. Some are field dressed and almost uninhabited, while others are full of old factories or castle ruins. It looks a bit unpolished, but the environments are creepy, and the light shifts from day to night make up the whole evocative. To create the extra British touch visible red telephone boxes, and in each and every house can I find broken teapots and end pipe tobacco.

In the houses, I find that material in different ways can help me. Food for example - to eat is namely also essential for my survival. If you are lucky you will find weapons, like an ax or a shotgun. The robots are not invulnerable, but it is risky to attack them. They are armed, can withstand a lot of punishment and is aiming fiendishly well. It will be a the greater risk-taking because I can only save at the stone circle and at the boats that take me between the islands.

One must be cunning. Distracting robots to scout the other way is often the solution. It's full of odd objects for the purpose. A favorite becomes quickly using an angry Alarm deceive missiles in a dynamite trap.

Up close, you can see how absurd these mechanical monsters are: pure caricatures of British aristocrats, with their tall hats, pipes and tweed suits. They are ridiculous and comical at the same time they are also pretty nasty. Every time I see their red glow or hear their mechanical chatter I shudder to.

Stalking is relatively free, functional and amusing, but that changed during the game. The level of difficulty increases the more crystals you'll find. More, bigger and stronger robots patrol the islands. In the game's second half, the challenge has doubled. It gets frustrating to sneak back and forth across the islands to still die before I could save. There is no reward and great incentive to fight their way through the game's second half. The ending is a slow, repetitive mud stepping through.

Even so, "Sir, you are being hunted" for the most part entertaining. In a peculiar way clich├ęs piled on each other to create the surreal and exaggerated whole that gives the game its twisted character. At one moment, it is silly and humorous, the next minute scurrying scary. It's a delicate balance that keeps the whole way.

on 5/20/14


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