Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Lace Mamba Global
TL;DR: Slightly reminiscent of Monkey Island, Deponia is a very fun game to play and is nostalgic to old-school point-and-click adventure gamers.
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Overall, I was very excited at the prospect of Deponia. My favourite genre of gaming is definitely point-and-clicks so when I saw the release of Deponia, it is unsurprising that it caught my eye.
The game starts off with one of the best introductory songs I have heard in years. I just can’t help but reminded of Monkey Island. The humour is definitely the same and the graphics look great already. It introduces to us what Deponia is: a planet almost entirely covered in junk. There are several settlements across this planet where the residents live within the junk and re-use the trash so they can build homes, source their food and supplies and entertain themselves. The planet is also in dire need of fresh water, it seems.
Enter in Rufus. Unlike Guybrush, Rufus is immediately a character that does not seem to have any redeeming qualities. Rufus is planning to leave the planet and find a better life on Elysium, the planet where all of the trash on Deponia is coming from. He is a selfish character as we see him wondering why his girlfriend is so unreasonable about asking him to get a job or clean the dishes once in a while. Still, we all wished we lived elsewhere at some stage in our lives so his story is somewhat relatable to us.
Rufus is, once again, planning to escape Deponia and it is up to us to help him. Apparently, he has many failed attempts to escape Deponia but he is set that this plan will work this time around. The game initially starts off with a tutorial, telling us how to click on things. I thought it was okay but found myself getting annoyed at Rufus and tutorial was not really that helpful.
Long story short, his plan to escape Deponia fails but he does end up meeting a beautiful Elysian woman, Goal, and they both end up falling from the sky all the way back down to Deponia. Rufus must now find Goal and help her get back home. However, the Organon disproves his notions and tries to stop him.
I really found myself struggling to like anything about Deponia during the first act. Despite the catchy music and the beautifully hand-drawn art, I just found myself dragging through the first act. The tutorial was just unnecessary as it did not teach me anything constructive about the gameplay aside from learning how to click. The puzzles were just way too… *out there* and I don’t know how anyone could have figured some puzzles out without a walkthrough (this reminds me of the good ol’ cat-and-mustache puzzle from Gabriel Knight 3… guh). If you did not click on absolutely EVERYTHING, you may have missed on how to complete the puzzles. If you are not a seasoned point-and-click gamer, this may be a little frustrating. Keep the walkthrough handy.
I felt like the first bit of the game really lacked any real direction, especially with characters that I found a little stale (Rufus included). Even after Rufus falls from the sky after failing his escape from Deponia, you are just plopped there without anything to do. All the game gives you is that other people are trying to claim Goal for themselves for some weird reason and you must beat them in claiming her for yourself. However, she is now in some coma. That is it. The rest is up to you to figure out. While I appreciate a game simply not handing over the puzzles to the player and being too easy, some of these puzzles seemed frustrating and I found myself actually checking the walkthrough because I just could not really figure out what I was supposed to do. A good example is when you are supposed to find your toothbrush. When you go grab your toothbrush from the bathroom, it comes to life and jumps away into a dark corner. You have to somehow figure out how to trap it and get it back. It shames me to say that I had to use a walkthrough at this point. I simply could not figure out how the heck anyone could trap a toothbrush.
Rufus’ character also really annoyed me at first. I can see where Daedalic was going in making Rufus sort of resemble Guybrush but it just did not really work at all. I found myself feeling sorry for Rufus’ only friend and his girlfriend equally because they had to put up with Rufus’ lazy behavior. I also felt like some of the dialogue got lost in translation. Originally in German, some of the sentences were left in German, leaving me to have a question mark over my head. Therefore, some of the dialogue was just a little… not funny although it was intended to be. Some of the transitions were really odd as well and I somehow activated the same cut scene 3 times.
However, despite these qualms, the game completely rewards your patient behavior during the first half by really stepping up the gameplay in the second half (albeit somewhat fizzling out again near the end). This game, like Rufus, took me a while to warm up to but when I did, I loved it. The puzzles became a lot more clever and fun to play and I found myself satisfied with the level of clarity these puzzles proposed to me. Rufus starts to get his act together and slowly becomes a likeable character. The graphics remain superb and the voice acting is better than some AAA-titles I’ve played in the last year. The music was also very suitable for the game as well. This game really did bring out a level of nostalgia with me and if you are a fan of point-and-click adventure games like I am, I would definitely recommend giving this game a go. I was left with a warm heart and wanting more.
- Beautiful artwork
- Fantastic music and voice acting.
- Very true to the point-and-click genre
Bad times :(
- Some of the puzzles are frustratingly complicated
- First half of the game drags on a little
- Many of the jokes do not get translated very well.
I probably would not recommend this game to anyone under 10 years of age. This is a fun game and there is no harsh language, nudity, or violence. However, the puzzles may be a bit challenging for someone under 10. I would definitely recommend this to gamers who have some previous experience with video games as this game is very rewarding to play.