Wednesday 7th December, Belfast, UK: In a year when the United Kingdom has decided to “take back control” from those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels (preferring it be led by some equally pesky bureaucrats in Westminster, instead), what better time to gaze into the not-so-distant future and see just what the world has in store for Brexit Britain?
If Her Majesty’s SPIFFING is anything to go by, Britain’s future involves embarking on a journey to the stars (in whatever tin-pot craft we cans get our hands on). Yes, in the years ahead, SPIFFING predicts the UK will set out to conquer planet after planet in a bid to establish a new galactic empire, all the while subtly undermining the French at every turn.
Well, assuming there’s plenty of time to sup on cups of tea along the way, that is.
Coming to Xbox One and Steam on December 7th (and PlayStation 4 on December 13th), Her Majesty’s SPIFFING (that’s the Special Planetary Investigative Force For Inhabiting New Galaxies, if you wondering) sees you slip into the space boots of Captain Frank Lee English, a quintessential Englishman sporting impeccable manners, a taste for Earl Grey and an unwavering love for Britannia.
Accompanied by Sub-Lieutenant Aled Jones you’ll take to the galaxy on board the HMSS Imperialise in this modern interpretation of a classic point-and-click adventure where puzzle solving is intermingled with some hilarious wit and sharp one liners. Well, they made us laugh in the office, though that could be down to a complete lack of sleep over the last few years.
Taking direct control of English with a gamepad in place of directing with a mouse, SPIFFING features a mixture of physical and mental puzzles and often somewhat self-deprecating humour (blatantly plagiarised from/paying homage to everything from Monty Python to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). In short, it’s about as British as a game can be, in that it deftly undermines everything we hold dear about coming from this damp collection of islands in the darkest corner of Europe from start to finish.
“We’ve been working on Her Majesty’s SPIFFING for the past three years with the intent of bringing the spirit of a classic point-and-click adventure to the modern era,” says Will Barr, Director at the Belfast-based studio behind the game, Billy Goat Entertainment.
“We wanted to make the genre a bit more current, taking a type of game typically tied to keyboard and mouse and bring it to the masses, turn it into a real mainstream hit. That’s what we told our bank manager at least and he bought it. That and, during these times of uncertainty, I believe SPIFFING goes some way to quell people’s fears in a post-Brexit Britain. I mean, the pollsters didn’t think we’d ever leave the EU, so who’s to say the Queen won’t return the UK to an autocratic government and commission an intergalactic space organisation tasked with establishing a Galactic British Empire? Stranger things have happened.”
Billy Goat Entertainment began life as a commercial animations studio, working on adverts for Irish television.
Work on Her Majesty’s SPIFFING has dominated the studio’s time in recent years, however, with the game already attracting praise ahead of release, with Digital Spy describing it as an adventure that “oozes British tongue-in-cheek charm, sarcasm and a whole lot of tea” –http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/feature/a787132/5-xbox-one-indie-games-that-are-better-than-the-big-boys/
Her Majesty’s SPIFFING will be available as a digital download on Xbox One and Steam worldwide on Wednesday December 7th, PlayStation 4 on Tuesday December 13th.