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Guard Duty Review

Guard Duty Review

Guard Duty Review

From Sick Chicken Studios, a unique comedy adventure about love, loss and the end of the world

Category: Review
Written by: Karla Munger May 2, 2019
Developed by: Sick Chicken Studios
Published by: Digital Tribe
Release Date: May 2, 2019
Genre: Point-and-Click Comedy Adventure
Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

Arachnophobe alert! There be spiders here. One huge one and a bunch of little ones. Okay, I know they’re pixel-graphic spiders, but they had my skin crawling anyway. I’m such a wuss.

As Guard Duty begins, we’re treated to a rather nasty cutscene that takes place in the future — the year 2074, to be exact. Then we’re whisked backwards 1,000 years where we meet our hero.

Player-character Tondbert is somewhat of a slob, has a pot-belly and scratches his backside a lot (sounds like my ex-husband). We find him guarding the front gates of the Kingdom of Wrinklewood. He’s also quite drunk, and he lets someone in that he should have kept out.

The following day, Tondbert’s first dilemma (of many) is being locked in his abode. He has no key. Also, his uniform is missing. He needs to find a way out, and does so — but ends up with his head stuck in a bee’s nest. He still needs to find his clothes.

We then spend time — a little too much time, IMO — listening to Tondbert trying to talk through a swollen face. We also start noticing how often the same short musical riffs and brief sound effects are repeated. I ended up turning the audio volume way down (just about off, in fact).

Further, sound and voice volume levels don’t stay put. Every time you quit the game and go back in, they need to be reset. Also, volume levels sometimes get louder when a new screen is accessed.

As already mentioned briefly, the game’s art style consists of hand-crafted pixel graphics.

Tondbert carries an inventory and to-do list on which he scribbles what needs to be done next.

You get to play two characters, depending where you are in the timeline. And as is typical in adventure games, when Tondbert needs something from an NPC, he must do something for that NPC in return.

Tondbert finds a way to get his face back to normal (what a relief!) and also locates his uniform. He then visits the King and learns that Princess Theremin* (on whom Tondbert has a gigantic crush) is missing.

The balance of the game is spent looking for the Princess. It also involves a trip to the future in which you’ll play a second character.

There is dialog, some of which disappears from the dialog tree when exhausted and some of which stays put, even when nothing new is available.

Further, some of the dialog is repetitive. For example, when Tondbert enters a trinket shop and tries to buy something, the same exchange takes place with the proprietress concerning every piece of merchandise she has (namely, that Tondbert can’t afford it). For some reason, this reminds me of the “No need to go down there” remark spoken repeatedly by Kate Walker in Syberia, and the “It’s locked” observation in many Nancy Drew games.

At times, a yellow arrow indicates where you can exit the screen you’re on. Other times, there’s an exit but no arrow. In some instances, you must scroll through several screens before an arrow will appear.

The game’s puzzles aren’t inordinately difficult, although some of them appear to have little to do with the narrative.

These things aren’t earth-shattering in and of themselves, and none are show-stoppers. But taken together, I think they suggest that the game could be a little more polished.

Guard Duty is billed as a “comedy adventure.” I found it not so much funny as interesting. Uneven though it is, however, fans of this kind of sub-genre should find Guard Duty a worthy game. Just keep an eye out for its inconsistencies.

Grade B

+ A pleasant diversion for fans of the sub-genre
+ Doesn’t take itself too seriously
A little rough around the edges
Repetitive dialog, music and sounds


System Requirements
MINIMUM Windows:

OS: Windows XP or higher
Processor: Pentium or higher
Memory: 64 MB RAM
Graphics: 320×240, 32-bit color, 700 Mhz
DirectX: Version 8.0
Storage: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: All DirectX-compatible sound cards


OS: Mac OS X 10.11
Processor: 2 GHz CPU
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Video Card with 256MB RAM
Storage: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: Digital Sound Card


OS: Debian 9.x, Ubuntu 16.x, SteamOS
Processor: Pentium or higher
Memory: 64 MB RAM
Graphics: Requires an OpenGL 2.x compliant 3D card
Storage: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: Digital Sound Card

*Theremin is also the name of an interesting musical instrument invented in the Soviet Union in 1920 by Leon Theremin. An example can be heard in the opening theme of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).


Karla Munger

Karla Munger

I've been with JA in one capacity or other since 2003. I'm currently website administrator. I'm also a digital artist (my avatar is one of my creations). I write reviews and articles, create graphics and basically help tend the site. It's work I enjoy very much. I love playing games of all kinds, but adventure and RPGs are my favorites (particularly scary/dark/unsettling ones). At the top of my list are The Cat Lady, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall, Still Life (first one only), Scratches and Culpa Innata. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool recluse and prefer the company of animals, hardware and ghosts to human beings (no offense). And no bio would be complete without my saying that I do NOT care for phones of ANY sort. Further, I think Dell computers are garbage and that Microsoft has become megalomaniacal. "I put my heart and soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh "I need solitude for my writing; not like a hermit - that wouldn't be enough - but like a dead man." - Franz Kafka "I've been to hell and back, my boy." - Susan Ashworth, The Cat Lady

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