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Bailout Bonus Beatdown (Take Revenge of the Bankers)

Such is the nature of the society that we live in that at one point or another, the infrastructure upon which it is based is going to sway, shake and creak horribly under various internal and external pressures like a groaning skyscraper bowing under strain from the wind. Much like an individual living in a society which should (in theory) protect his/her human rights, freedom and right to pursue a life within the confines of said society’s laws, those on the top floor of the skyscraper trust that the architect who built it knows his stuff, and that the builders were actually listening when they attended ‘Skyscraper 101’ in construction school. For various technical reasons which definitely don’t warrant exploration in this very brief review, the economy of any country will inevitably suffer its own crises at various points in time.

Now, this seemingly pointless introduction was going to be a more lengthy and poetic tumble down what is essentially my molehill of knowledge on the subject of financial crises in both the UK and the rest of the world. Let me assure you that my understanding of both is thoroughly lacking. My awareness of significant global events is paper-thin as it is, and despite the UK being the country in which I live, the financial issues that plague it are one of the many points where there isn’t much below the surface beyond a quick summary and a resulting panic-induced Google search of the subject to save me from my own ignorance. In light of this confession, I will claim that the above introduction is a literary device that I am using to make a point: Just as one does not simply condense an entire financial crisis into a single paragraph, one also does not accurately represent the anger caused by a banking crisis through the medium of a flash game. And if one does, one fails miserably.

Strong words, you may think, but play ‘Bailout Bonus Beatdown’ for just one mind-numbing 15 second turn and you will at very least agree with me when I say that this game is simply not worth virtual paper it isn’t printed on. The very basic premise is this: A written introduction informs you of a recent financial blunder at a certain company; the writing goes away and is replaced by the face of a well-dressed smarmy-looking banker that anyone in their right mind would want to serve up a knuckle-supper to. Commence punching. You are given a 15 second window in which it is suggested that you lay heavily into the banker with closed fists and open jaw as you smile and picture your bank balance dwindling further before your eyes as a result of every poor decision that any banker anywhere in the world ever made. Ever. As you imagine this, your in-game bank balance inflates at a rate that would raise the eyebrows of the Inland Revenue.

If I had to guess (and I think I do, since it isn’t clear whether I am supposed to take this game seriously or not) I would say the point of ‘Bailout Bonus Beatdown’ is to relieve some stress caused by the anger and disdain which many people feel as a result of the banking crisis (I know this is a generalised term; you’ll notice this is also a generalised review). Sadly, the game didn’t even relieve the stress caused by a poorly made cup of coffee this morning. I still feel angry that it ruined what was otherwise a top-notch breakfast, and 15 seconds spent fake-punching and smacking a fake-banker didn’t help with this relatively mild annoyance. Perhaps I should be playing ‘Smash the Cafetiere’ instead; either way, I know that this game doesn’t really offer up any lasting entertainment. And by lasting, I mean entertainment that lasts longer than a mere 7.5 seconds, which is only half of the full time given to you by the game to land as many punches as possible.

Playing Bailout Bonus Beatdown left me with the feeling that after 15 seconds, I was given 14 seconds too long in which to play it. It is clear from the seven hundred and twenty nine (this sentence excluded; I’m trying to be self-referential here) of this review that I not enjoy the game. Perhaps I haven’t felt enough financial worry in my life to be able to derive the kind of enjoyment this game hopes to offer, but what I do know is this: My wallet is always empty, and I did not like this game.