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Possibly the best game to come out of the recent Ludum Dare competition is Lama’s darkly cheery Damned Scouts. As eight pudgy boy scouts happily chorus out in the woods, a grumpy little skeleton has had ENOUGH! So one at a time, he possesses those annoying children and bumps them off in ever more creative ways.
So many things made this game stand out from the crowd, not the least of which is the amazing artwork. The textured 2D graphics have just the right feel for the game, both childlike and creepy, and almost everything the scouts encounter seems innocuous enough. But from the moment the first scout steps in a trap, you know this is not for the kiddos.
As soon as one scout is dispatched, he goes to join his fellow skeleton underground, but the epic cuteness has some wonderful details. The skeletons who have fallen beneath the surface of the forest take a great interest in the fate of their fellows, following each new recruit to his death.
Exploration is simple and should be possible on any keyboard, with arrows pointing you from right to left, E serving to let your scouts interact, and Z or W used to pick up the tools of your destruction. One by one, your little singers will be silenced until at last…blessed peace? Well, we’ll see about that!