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Unicorns and Hand Grenades: the only hangover cure that works 100%

October 3, 2010

It’s Sunday morning, unsurprisingly my head feels like a nail that’s been hammered into a wooden plank so badly that the end has curved over itself and subsequently been further hammered into the wood. The end result of this metaphor is of a nail being hammered in horizontally and looking like an atrocity. Welcome to my life on Sunday mornings.

Luckily, the innate desire to visit this carnage upon my fellow man has been fulfilled by this brilliant repose called Unicorns and Hand Grenades. It’s one of those horrendously one sided affairs that I have so much affection for. At first, I figured you’d be a lame Unicorn who throws hand grenades at stuff, but boy was I wrong.

This game is actually about the military invading the island of Unicorns and throwing grenades at the horrible beasties. They don’t fight back, or maybe they do, but you’ll never see it. You’re job, as a marine is to get in and kill kill kill. The unicorns themselves make it easier for you with some hilarious clips followed by much mincing around the screen while you lob grenade after grenade at their passive hides.

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning, it smells of victory.”

This quote seems appropriate to the situation here and though the game is only a few short levels, the jokes keep coming think and fast. Sure, I’ll readily admit that this isn’t the greatest game in the world, but it does hold more than its fair share of chuckles.

Yet, after 10 or so minutes of killing these hapless creature, I wondered why I still couldn’t feel any pity for them. Is it because I am dead inside? May it be because I am not human? Or perhaps I am some sort of sociopath? These were the disturbing questions that remained with me once I had ravaged the once peaceful island of the unicorns.

The answers to these questions could only be found from the source of the question, which of course is the game. So I started another round of hilarious butchery in the spirit of scientific enquiry. I found my accuracy had much improved since the last round and now could kill more unicorns than ever before. Yet the game did not reward me for my efforts, for my skills. This was disturbing and I wondered why they wouldn’t acknowledge that effort. Had this been a real war, I would have been showered with medals, commendations and lustful demands of vast swathes of the ladies for my attention.

After all, I was a war hero, this was my due.

Then it hit me. this wasn’t about war at all. This game was something else entirely. This was a metaphor for Vietnam and I was trapped in the middle of hell. I needed an exit strategy, my meta-existential life was at stake here, not from any actual damage from the unicorns, but rather the angry protesters and hippies that undoubtedly waited for me once I got home. I was going to get out of that plane, expecting a heroes welcome only to be spat upon and shunned for the rest of my life.

This wasn’t how it was going to go down. Not on my watch.

But what were my options? I was on the last level, my score was high, my accuracy almost perfect. My tour was almost complete, I had 3 kills left before it would have been all over.

That’s when it hit me. My solution was clear. I wouldn’t finish the game, I would close the window and leave the experiment, leave the investigation, the discourse forever unresolved.

This was what I did.

And so, I can’t tell you about this game, not really as I’m not in a position to. I’ve not finished my experience of it. It is incomplete and therefore you’ll have to experience this existential conundrum all for yourself, without me as a guide.

I hope you don’t over-think it as much as I did and enjoy the rapture of blowing up harmless unicorns with hand grenades, like I once was able too.

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From → Games

2 Comments
  1. kieran permalink

    ive got to say, i didnt enjoy the game that much, its too hard to get the power right

  2. Really? There’s 5 rows and the power levels correspond to them, so it’s easy to judge once you’ve figured it out.

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