Friday, 7 October 2011

Picnic Mayhem (PC/iOS/Android)

Well, I was waiting for it to happen, and it finally did - PC demo gods Farbrausch finally got their own games division, called Gamebrausch. I had some conversations on IRC with one of their members (gizmo) a year ago and he seemed eager to do this, so I'm glad he finally got it started.
Their first release is a simple game, aimed primarily at the two popular phone OSes as well as the PC. One or two players control two bears and jump upwards to grab floating fruit. Double jump is also enabled so you can use this to your advantage to grab more snacks before you hit the ground. You must be careful though not to eat any bombs or get hit by flying chainsaws (and apparently they don't like eating healthy stuff either). The game gets progressively harder as one might expect, till one player makes a mistake and then it's game over time.

As you can see in the screenshot, the graphics are cute and the sounds are nomnomnomnomingly tasty!

In true demo scene spirit, the PC version is free to download and play, while the iOS version is available to buy from iTunes for the budget price of £0.69. There's a mention of an Android version being available in the game's .nfo file, but it doesn't seem to have come out on the Android Marketplace yet. In any case I wish them good luck in their endeavours!
Download the game here (from
4 out of 5

Second Opinion

I was quite surprised to hear that Farbrausch had released a game, and under ggn's recommendation I promptly downloaded the PC version from with high expectations. However, initially confused by the game's premise (possibly because I woke up with a hangover this morning), I soon realised that Picnic Mayhem is just a two-button casual arcade affair and I have to say that mild disappointment began to set in. After all, this is a release from a group who are widely considered to be one of the best in their field.

Picnic Mayhem is playable with two people at the keys, but primarily it's a single player game - there's only one score counter and there's only the default co-operative mode available (if you can call it that). As ggn has already pointed out, the game is essentially all about eating junk food and avoiding healthy snacks, bombs and chainsaws. There are score combos and bonus coins that eventually reward you with a candy-laden bonus stage... and that seems to be all there is to it. Sure, the graphics, animation and sounds are all top notch, but as a PC game it is just too limited to hold my attention for long. In fact, as there are no exit or full screen options on the menu I suspect that the PC build was released primarily as a gift for the demo scene - the casual market the gameplay is aimed at would no doubt become confused by the lack of an installer (which of course, I personally applaud!) or user-friendly options for exiting the game.

Despite this, Picnic Mayhem is enjoyable enough to give it a few goes - if only to witness the ├╝ber-cute bears being maimed by flying chainsaws or gobble up short-fused bombs to ill effect. I can imagine it appealing to the casual iPhone/iPad crowd (and at the price of 69 pence it's arguably better than many other offerings available from itunes), but gamers who want a more in-depth experience would be best to give it a miss. With the addition of a competitive 'vs' two-player mode I'd probably be more lenient with my critical judgement, but as it stands, sadly Picnic Mayhem is not for me.

With their next game 'Space Glow' already announced, I hope that Farbrausch - I mean Gamebrausch - step up to the challenge of providing more actual 'game' for players to enjoy next time.

J. Monkman

(In case you're not familiar with Farbrausch, you can check their release back catalogue here).