Sawbuck Gamer

The King Of Bees In Fantasy Land

The Bee’s Knees

King Of Bees In Fantasy Land dresses its silliness in classy interactive fiction.

By Matt Kodner • July 18, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

At the center of the absurd and short-lived comedy series Stella are three dumb men and the pristine suits they wear. Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain—the creators and stars of the show—revel in any chance to dress up in formal wear for an extra touch of absurdity. They mine their dress code for laughs by placing themselves in suit-unfriendly situations, like a bathtub or the plantation growing in their apartment. The supremely stupid and funny King Of Bees In Fantasy Land pulls the same trick, dressing up its silliness with well-written text adventuring.

As the opening screen dutifully explains, you are Space Knight, one of humanity’s last remaining hopes after Earth becomes a wasteland. Your space boat lands on the hospitable planet Garaxas, which looks to be a perfect Earth replacement, except for the pesky Evil King Of Bees who happens to rule it. You move through the game by choosing from ridiculous courses of action in various scenarios. Do you ask a local bee about the king’s peaceful political opponent or incinerate the honest citizen in a fit of xenophobia? The story can branch in a few different directions, but it always manages to end with a high-octane climax, or at least as much of one as a goofy text adventure can manage. Like Stella, King Of Bees dresses up its stupidity as best it can with a host of interesting characters, and the game gives you only dumb options to work with. I wouldn’t be surprised if Space Knight is wearing one heck of a formal space suit through the whole affair.

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15 Responses to “The Bee’s Knees”

  1. SamPlays says:

    Well, that got my attention on the main Gameological page. Very clever, Mr. Kodner.

    • Matt Kodner says:

      Thanks! But all praises “bee” to John Teti for the inspired image. I wish I had thought of it myself!

      • Effigy_Power says:

        That means you’re not the devastating genius I had taken you for?!
        Worldview: Shattered.

      • Girard says:

        I’m so glad that puns have migrated to the comments on other pages. The threads on that feature had me all a-buzz, and I’ve been combing the rest of the threads today for more honey-sweet punnery.

        I bet if you ran a series of 8 or so pun polls on this site, at most only one poll-in-eight would discourage further mad punnery on this site. And to those few folks who can’t stand puns: A hex on you! Clean the wax out of your ears and learn to enjoy the wonders of language operating at its full potential! It may sting a little at first, but I promise you’ll learn to love it, like a sweet linguistic nectar.

  2. Jason Reich says:

    Pretty sure I got the best ending.

  3. CNightwing says:

    What the hell did I just play?

  4. DrFlimFlam says:

    BEE SPOILERS

    This was so fun to play. I was a total pacifist. I think I won? I pushed through the treaty.

    • zzyzazazz says:

      I played as a pacifist too, and signed the treaty. Then I went back and killed the king of the bees and was given full victory. So who knows.

    • djsubversive says:

      “BEE SPOILERS” is woefully under-used as a phrase.

      I’m gonna change that, starting today.

  5. Ser_Micus_of_Ficus says:

    Guys, that was not fun. I managed two playthroughs in 10 minutes and they were almost 100% the same. You are only given one “correct” option each time and the “incorrect” options just force you into recursion. It was also riddled with spelling errors. Nothing like Stella at all. Now I’m determined to make my own text adventure just because I’m so disappointed. Ugh.

    That being said, I love the site. Keep up the good work… and make some more episodes of the podcast. Now I shall return back to lurking and not commenting.

    • Merve says:

      I thought the spelling errors and awkward English were intentional, almost like a homage to the badly translated Japanese games of yore.

      • Ser_Micus_of_Ficus says:

        That is a possibility I considered. Maybe I was too harsh.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

           I liked how mundane the conversations with the bees were, but that only works because it’s a ten minute game. But yes, I liked all the poor English and errors.

  6. stepped_pyramids says:

    This is based on Twine, which is a neat tool for making web-based multiple choice adventures:

    http://www.gimcrackd.com/etc/src/