Honestly, I think Ant Workshop, makers of Dead End Job, should be in touch with the Guinness Book Of Records because if they’re not the frontrunners, they’re definitely in with a shake for the Most Puns In A Videogame world record. In all my years (which are many), I don’t think I’ve ever seen the likes. It’s practically obscene.

Luckily, some truly rotten puns are a fairly good way to crack a smile out of me! The more of a leap, the better. Which pretty much means I spent way, way more time laughing at Dead End Job than is probably healthy.

Such a relief too because as much as I adore videogames, what passes off as humour in videogames is fairly often lost on me. For every game that manages to sneak a memorable joke under the radar, there’s a thousand where the joke is “I just said that thing off the internet” and oh, oh dear. Please, no.

So yeah, Dead End Job got more than its fair quota of laughs out of me. It’s also a really grand looking and sounding game. Styling itself around the idea of what if Ghostbusters arrived freshly formed as a nineties MTV-era cartoon, it doesn’t exactly pick itself an easy look to pull off. It does pull it off though, incredibly well.

Everything bops and squidges nicely, characters land somewhere between cute and grotesque in that oh so very nineties fashion, it even has title cards for the start of each mission! And it’s a small touch but one I loved, Dead End Job does that sort of “meanwhile, back at the house…” interstitial scene cartoons lifted from a myriad of sitcoms over the years complete with guitar break. Oh, and it has a theme song too because of course it does. If you’re going to do this stuff then might as well go all in and then some, eh?

It’s a pleasingly tough but not too tough twin stick shooter. You’re tasked with clearing an area out to earn money, each area is (as is oh so in vogue at the moment) made up of a shuffled around selection of rooms. Clear all the rooms, rescue a couple of folk on the way, get out and cash up then head onto the next bunch of rooms.

It’s a fairly routine set up made more interesting by having to work around incredibly cluttered rooms where things often have a tendency to explode, managing some (thankfully far, far from obnoxious) weapon cooldown timers and having to catch the ghosts with your ghost vacuum in fairly short order after hitting them with your definitely not a proton pack (honest guv) laser beam.

Everything is so big and chunky that there isn’t quite as much room to muck around in as you need so making space (by blowing things up) becomes a priority very quickly. Ghosts also have a tendency to leave slime trails behind them which should you try and wade through them, slow you down. There’s always plenty to be taking into account in order to make the space less cramped and more amenable to a bit of busting.

There’s a reasonably sized bestiary of ghouls and ghosts to catch, certainly far more than many games would bother with, and best of all the game allows you to rename each and every one of them. Not since Fable 2 have so many things found themselves mysteriously called Bernard by my hand. Look, I know it’s a problem I have, I’m trying to be better but gnnnnng BERNARD.

I really, really enjoyed myself with Dead End Job and it’s one I can see myself coming back to for a good few years. Helped, in no small amount, by it making me smile so much with its awful, awful puns.

Dead End Job is on Windows, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Apple Arcade. It’s (wait for it) dead good.

A promo picture for the Daleks animated series. There are multiple Daleks with a golden Dalek Emperor taking centre stage.

I pretty much gave up on Timelord Victorious before it began, a complete mess of cross media what even is this and why would I want it.

However, they had me at an animated Dalek story, starring the Daleks. As a kid (and a grown up, I reread them often), I was fascinated by the sixties Dalek comics. Alongside Dan Dare and later 2000ad, some of the most formative stuff for me.

On the way back from the shops I’d often lose myself in imagining a cartoon version, Daleks fighting Mechanoids, the kind of “who would win in a fight?” stuff kids are prone to do. You know, one Dalek on a transolar disc versus sixteen Mechanoids on a planet populated by killer plants. The normal stuff.

Daleks! is so very nearly that. It is absurdly low budget and has a faint air of 2000’s fan film but that’s okay. I mean, I would do murders for this sort of thing with a Netflix budget but hey, since when has that ever been Doctor Who? It’s a show all about doing lots with not much money. And this is the closest anything has gotten to making those daydreams of long ago real.

The mismatch of art styles, the Official Indie Game Style Low Poly Explosions, the videogame circa 2004 cut scene vibe and lack of any coherent pacing is all part of the fun. Sitting down and watching the first two parts with the youngest, giggling at them deciding which Dalek is best Dalek, cheering at the battles and so on, that’s what it’s about.

It would be very easy for me to be down on it for the production and initially, I kinda was. I’d missed the point though. None of that matters. All that matters is it works as the closest thing to the Dalek stories that existed only in my head since RTD wrote The Stolen Earth and my kid bloody loves it.

Kinda like me through all the years of loving Doctor Who, it’s as much in the imagination as it is on screen. It sorta had to be, long may it always be.