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Try Not to Fart (Xbox 360) artwork

Try Not to Fart (Xbox 360) review


"When button icons appear, you need to press and hold the button or buttons indicated until the icons start to flash, at which point you need to release them. If you press the wrong button, you’ll sneak a fart that lasts until you release that button. If you fail to release a given button in time, there’s also a small penalty. The same is true if you don’t swiftly enough press any button at all."


If you’ve ever purchased or downloaded a game entirely because it sounded too ridiculous to be real, then you can probably understand why I purchased Try Not to Fart. My moment of weakness was aided both by the fact that I never quite grew out of that phase in my life where farts have the potential to be amusing, and by the game’s low cost. I told myself that the end product couldn’t be all bad, even if it wasn’t especially good. At worst, I was out a dollar’s worth of Microsoft Points.

I’m pleased to report that Try Not to Fart exceeded my low expectations. No, it’s not a game that is headed toward wide recognition, but most of us have 80 or more Microsoft Points languishing on our Xbox Live accounts, a remainder that was left over after we purchased something totally serious and hardcore. Indie titles are a great way to spend those points, and independent developers who are willing to take a few risks definitely deserve some attention. That’s especially true in this particular case, because the lowbrow concept is mined for nearly its entire potential and yet the core game is potentially worth a look even if you’re not drawn to the experience by the flatulence angle.

Try Not to Fart asset


Try Not to Fart features a standard Story mode and a Hardcore setting that unlocks if you complete the Story campaign. That main campaign begins with a man standing at a bar, next to an attractive lady he hopes to woo. His problem is that he farts a lot. If he’s going to get this lady to agree to a proper date, he’ll need to hold in the noxious gas that wants so desperately to issue forth from his hind quarters.

The game plays a bit like a modified version of Twister, but you’ll use your fingers instead of your arms and legs. A diagram with room for the Xbox 360’s four face buttons appears on-screen, along with four boxes that conveniently represent the L and R buttons and triggers. When button icons appear, you need to press and hold the button or buttons indicated until the icons start to flash, at which point you need to release them. If you press the wrong button, you’ll sneak a fart that lasts until you release that button. If you fail to release a given button in time, there’s also a small penalty. The same is true if you don’t swiftly enough press any button at all.

Try Not to Fart asset


Any time you make an error, a meter near the upper right corner of the screen begins to drain and more noxious vapors begin to populate the bottom half of the screen. If the meter completely empties, your lady friend will depart in a huff and the game ends. Your score up to that point is registered and you go back to the main menu. Of course, mere “survival” isn’t enough to produce the highest scores. The game also keeps track of your combos. If you go thirty seconds without an unseemly toot, you’ll receive a boost to your score, and of course the same is true as you survive through the stage.

Each level lasts two full minutes, and then you advance to the next scene. Your nameless character continues to advance through a number of high-stress situations that mimic the dating process. The initial encounter at the bar advances to a restaurant, and so it goes. Change venues often enough and eventually your character will be enjoying a first kiss, meeting the parents, and considering nuptials.

Besides the artwork, which is effective, the game also includes deadpan voice work that almost works better for its lack of emotion. There are actually some fairly clever jokes, too. Characters will recycle a number of lines specific to each scene, but there’s enough dialog that nothing repeats to a degree that feels excessive. Discussion will cease if you fart--so that your date or someone else in a particular scene can comment--and then the “action” will resume.

Try Not to Fart asset


So yes, the concept is simple and yet it somehow works. Getting through each additional scene is satisfying, and the quest for a better score is difficult to resist. My only complaint is that sometimes that button combinations do get to be a bit more demanding than seems fair, since you sometimes will be required to press all four face buttons at once and possibly a few shoulder buttons besides, then release pressure on only one or two of the buttons. A special controller would probably make the game much easier, but I’m not sure someone is going to bother with a fighting stick or whatever just to see how the stinky story concludes and I’m not even sure that the game would be improved by more polish.

As I mentioned near the start of this review, Try Not to Fart is available for a paltry 80 Microsoft Points. You’d spend that much on a candy bar, and probably enjoy it for not quite as long. If you’re looking for something unique to trot out at parties or if you just want something different (and decidedly juvenile), I guess what I’m really saying is that you could do a lot worse. It won’t help win any “games as art” debates, but give Try Not to Fart a shot and try not to have a good time.

Rating: 6/10


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Staff review by Jason Venter (October 24, 2012)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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zippdementia posted October 24, 2012:

I do at least appreciate the situational humour they wrangled out of this. Try not to fart while your baby is being delivered? That's pretty funny, even for someone like me who thinks fart humour is the lowest common denominator of comedy.

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