iron dukes online entertainment

Friday, December 19, 2008

Iron Dukes – Online Entertainment

I recently learned of a web-based interactive game titled “Iron Dukes” which won the 2008 “Best Web Game” from “Penny Arcade”. It looks quite entertaining, and received over 300,000 hits since last friday (popular, needless to say). RL has prevented me from spending a couple hours of my existance indulging in this little past time, and a brief description of it is as follows…

Like a lumbering juggernaut, Iron Dukes is basically three minigames welded into one whole. Iron Dukes is also wildly, ridiculously funny, which takes it out of the realm of lumbering juggernauts. Unless were talking about some sort of lumbering vaudeville juggernaut. In which case, youre talking about Fatty Arbuckle, the 1920s star of stage and screen who was constructed of ten tons of solid steel and required a support crew of twenty to keep provide coal for his furnace. The preferred delivery method for this fuel was in the form of pies to the face.

Leaving behind all concepts of steampunk vaudevillians, the three minigames that make up Iron Dukes are light fare: enjoyable, but not very complex. In other games, this would be a negative, but the real charm of the game is the wit and surrealism in the writing. Much like chips are merely a vehicle for sauce, Iron Dukes minigames are just a vehicle for getting a chance to acquire more of the strange and hilarious items. The fact that the minigames themselves are often funny is just a nice bonus.

Reading the descriptions of items in the store is enough to make me have to pause for breath, and seeing my characters in their increasingly ridiculous salvage attire really hits it home. The overarching plot is just as surreal, as it sees you collecting deep sea salvage from lost seas, fighting monsters of the deep including island-sized dolphins, and outfitting a fighting crew in an attempt to get revenge on the evil warlock Thomas Edison. Seriously. [Ed note. I told you he was evil!]

Iron Dukes is still only available in demo form, but considering its recent surge of popularity from winning the Independent Game Festival award for browser-based games and from its mention on Penny Arcade its only a matter of time before the final, fully-polished form shows up on your doorstep, smiling and smelling damply of grease. Its not a tremendously deep game, like Pirates!, but its a treasure trove of style and humor.

{C. Bethesda }

Certainly worth a visit, so to do so, please visit: