Boscombe The RPG Preview

I live in a town with a dodgy reputation and have half-joked in the past that a Grand Theft Auto: Boscombe should exist. A controversially large number of rehabilitation centres and lower rent in comparison to other parts of Bournemouth means an unusually high amount of colourful characters walk these streets. And deal drugs in them. And stab people in them. Imagine Jeremy Kyle releasing all his guests into one small area and you’ll get the gist. I live a stones throw from the high street so see the best and worst that this town has to offer. To add some balance we also have a lovely beach, an art scene, numerous cafes and the best Thai restaurant ever so it’s not all bad.

Until Rockstar finally cave and give in to my demands for a GTA game, we have Boscombe The RPG to whet our appetites. Retro RPG fan Bert Burnell is popping his game development cherry with a humourous, admittedly niche, shareware offering for anyone wanting to experience Boscombe without having to brave setting foot here.

You play as Stoned Steve, who’s been deposited at Pokesdown for Boscombe station, working your way through the drug dealing ranks with the hope of eventually escaping life in Boscombe. A series of little quests lead to dealing weed to the locals which you can handily order through the in-game internet then bank your earnings or blow them on… blow, probably. As you explore the town, with cheeky nods to local venues and shops, you get to meet these colourful locals I alluded to earlier. Many of these encounters feature quotes from Bournemouth residents sent in from the Facebook page which is a nice touch and also highlights the questionable spelling skills (and sanity) of those educated here.

During your dope peddling you’ll come under attack from junkies, teenage mothers and chavs, have to evade the police and run the gauntlet of persistent high street ‘chuggers’. I was doing rather well until my untimely demise by the hands of a Bournemouth councillor and plan on becoming a Dorset drug kingpin the next time around.

Boscombe The RPG is full of in-jokes making it a fun game for fellow Bournemouth dwellers and proof that in pixelated form anything can be cute, even Boscombe. For those not so local it’s a quirky homage to RPG games of yore. Burnell aims to release it via free download next week at http://boscomberpg.wordpress.com/ with optional donations welcome. For more information you can visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/boscomberpg.

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