In search of imaginary elephants in Don’t Drink the Pink

dont-drink-the-pink

Don’t Drink the Pink doesn’t do much overall, but it’s still an effective slice of weird pointing and clicking, certainly inspired by that rather infamous intoxication sequence from 1941’s Dumbo, wherein Dumbo and Timothy accidentally drink from a bucket filled with champagne and then begin seeing dancing, singing pink elephants, a moment I’ve still not come to terms with some seventy-three years later. It was made for the January 2014 MAGS competition “Something Cold, Something Burrowed, Something Pink” and is self-described by its maker(s) as “a simple story about a man, few pints of pink and occasional elephants.” You still following?

It opens with you passed out in the snow. After you’ve awoken and prayed to the god of forgiveness that you didn’t do anything stupid during your time of unmemorable drunkenness, you begin exploring the world. Alas, it’s pretty much Hoth. Or the planet Winter from Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness. Y’know, cold and white and not brimming with signs of life. That is until you come across a simple hatch, which brings you to a small bar selling Pink, a mysteriously powerful drink. The bar itself is not too lively; besides the bartender, there’s two other patrons, one of whom is passed out as well. It’s up to you to mingle and find out what happened last night and why you were outside, all alone in this snow. Naturally, this leads to you on the hunt for a pink elephant.

As you get one step closer to answers, your Pink-O-Meter also increases with each drink of Pink you acquire and down. This means the character is getting drunker, sloppier as he plays, forcing you to second guess every word and action that unfolds. Thankfully, you who is playing the game can solve many of the puzzles in a sober state through simple deduction, as there are only a few areas to explore, a handful of items to use, and so many characters to interact with. That said, the puzzles are still pretty clever for how quickly the game was put together, accompanied by jaunty blips in the limited soundtrack that feel like tiny rewards all on their own.

Again, there’s not much to Don’t Drink the Pink, but it’s still a solid, fun fifteen or twenty minutes of clicking around and discovery. I’d have like to have seen more detailed environments and dialogue trees, but there’s still enough here to sell the story and get the job done. Kind of like of Scaling the Sky ends, everything comes full circle in Don’t Drink the Pink, meaning you could potentially play it on end eternally, but you really need only one go to see everything here. Besides, clearly, too much Pink is not good for you.

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