Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I've said this many times before, and I'll no doubt say it many times again, but I've played some weird games on the internet. Which is not entirely unexpected, since online games sites allow people to produce titles that might otherwise never see the light of day. This is most definitely the case for Porta-Pusher, a game that asks you to knock over as many Portaloos as you can within a set amount of time.

I can't believe I just wrote that. But consider that it comes from the guys at Lawlolawl and it suddenly makes sense.

Yeah, let's do this! To its credit, the game is pretty straightforward (and you would hope so.) You tap the Space bar repeatedly to pick up speed and make the little stickman run. Every time you come across a Portaloo click on it until it falls over. Simple as that. You're still tipping over portable toilets for no discernible reason, but at least it's not a complicated operation.

Empty Portaloos score 10 points, while you get more if the toilet was being used when you knocked it on its side. There's no story behind this game (I mean, where the hell would you even begin?) But I imagine if there was one, it would go something like this:

It's 1987 and Jimmy has just scored some bad acid. Stumbling around the camping area, he begins to hallucinate that the portable toilets are after him. With no other choice but to fight back, Jimmy starts tipping over the toilets before they can drown him in a pool of liquid faeces.

OK, so maybe the game really, really didn't need a story.

And so this is the game, running in a straight line and knocking over every Portaloo you meet, trying to score as many points as possible before the timer runs out. The controls are a bit irritating at first, but you do get used to them, mainly because you have no choice. Having to stop at every Portaloo is a pain, too. It would have been a lot simpler and probably more fun if a player could knock over portable toilets by simply running into them at speed, rather than have to push and pull at them, which can get tedious.

Porta-Pusher isn't just a game, though; it teaches valuable life lessons. For instance, there's nothing more pathetic than a grotesquely fat man trying to pull himself up off the ground...

...And some people will screw anywhere. Don't tell me video games don't have anything to say.

Once time has run out and you've received your final score, you can see how well you've done on the Achievements screen. That's right, this game awards you depending on how good you are at knocking over Portaloos! And you thought it lacked class!

The slogan for Porta-Pusher is "Pushing something over has never been so fun." But having played this game, I can safely say this was no more fun than any other time I've pushed things over. That the things you're pushing over are portable toilets certainly makes the game unique, but that doesn't mean it's any good. By all means, check it out and wonder at what kind of mind conceives an idea like Porta-Pusher. It's not particularly bad, just sort of OK, but the novelty value wears off pretty quickly, as will your interest.

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