When it comes to adventure games I always enjoy a good story. If it comes with a strange or unique premise it’s even better. Which is why I decided to give Sebastian Frank: The Beer Hall Putsch a look and I downloaded and played the demo provided to get a feel for how the game will play out once finished. While incredibly short, even for a demo, it does give you a good feel for our titular character and some of the others that you’ll be encountering later on.
While the game pretty much takes place during the 1920s in the aftermath of the Great War (World War I to those who don’t know) the demo for Sebastian Frank: The Beer Hall Putsch, dubbed “The Vienna Prologue” takes place in 1908. Years before the war that changed the world. Here you’ll be playing as Sebastian as he and his girlfriend Stephanie Kiss (disguised as a guy) enroll in an art school. It is during this entrance exam that the entirety of what’s shown off takes place. It’s basically a one room tech demo that gets you acquainted with the three main players in the story.
For those that aren’t aware, Adolf Hitler tried his hand at art before joining the German military in World War I and pretty much failed miserably at it. This prologue of sorts has him join our two heroes and a fourth up-and-coming artist as an aspiring entrant in a prestigious art school. The four of them are locked in the room and are asked to paint a nude model, whose parts are conveniently hidden behind Sebastian’s damaged canvas. He’s also out of charcoal to draw. Those two objectives are the main focus on the puzzles of The Vienna Prologue.
You’ll be basically looking around for things to repair the frame and something to use as a tool for drawing. Not quite as simple as you’d think, though. This is an adventure game after all. You’ll have to think where things might be located and deduce the solution from inventory items. It’s not that hard to figure out, though. It took me a total of about a half hour to get through everything, including all the dialogue options. Which are pretty funny, I must say. Hitler, one of the most hated men in history, is really played up as a buffoon here and I actually look forward to the comedy surrounding the three main characters.
Despite being so short I did enjoy the demo for Sebastian Frank: The Beer Hall Putsch. The puzzles in it are simple enough to not want to rip your hair out but challenging enough to keep me engaged. Some of the dialogue is genuinely funny but subtle, and if this is any indication of the final game then I really want to keep an eye on the development. It helps that I’m a fan of the two World Wars and the intervening period of tension. That, and I’m always up for some good old satire. With two weeks left on the campaign it doesn’t look like it’ll make it this time around but if they return, hopefully on Kickstarter, I’d definitely be interested in backing it.