Indie Review: Deponia
In the mysterious world of indie games it is inevitable that you’ll once in awhile get a terribly sleep-inducing game that mars your mind with mundane banality like none before. Well, Deponia is no such game. It’s far from it actually. The game is really good, on par with Resonance perhaps. Or dare I even say it the holiest of all series Monkey Island and even Day Of The Tentacle. Yes I went there nostalgia whores. I went there.
- Worth The Time?Incredibly and undoubtedly yes.
- Things LovedI love the hand painted backgrounds, detailed characters and quirky humour.
- Things HatedThe fact that the game can be challenging at times. This is more of a personal thing. So it shouldn't really deter you from playing Deponia. The game constantly rewards you for an earnest effort.
- RecommendationIf you've enjoyed Resonance, the Monkey Island series, Broken Sword, Day Of The Tentacle and Gabriel Knight. You need to play this. It is that good.
- Name: Deponia
- Genre: Point And Click, Indie, Adventure
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: None
- Platforms: Steam
- Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
- Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
- Price: $19.99
- Reviewed On: PC
Of course, it’s a point and click adventure game, and the indie scene is seeing a resurgence of this genre of game. But Deponia takes the best of the genre cuts all the crap, and is a gleaming shining diamond even though ironically Deponia’s game world is more of a post apocalyptic dump than gleaming jewel. But charm, fluid gameplay, great characters and humour trump all in an adventure game, and the art. We cannot forget the art.
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This is the first thing that caught me off guard with Deponia which was its highly stylised visuals which showcase the truly unbelievable talent over at German indie studio Daedalic Entertainment. Everything is fresh and crisp to the smallest detail. Characters are vividly animated and with a good cast of voice actors the visuals come to life. Set this against hand drawn and beautifully painted backgrounds and you are swiftly transported to the world of Deponia. It felt like I was watching a well animated cartoon, one which has been lovingly crafted and has a dedicated fanbase who cares about the slightest changes in the nuances of presentation. I basically gawked all the time whilst playing and all the visual references to other games were a big bonus.
The main character Rufus is a wise cracking son-of-a-gun laced with deep seated sarcasm that permeates his being to the extent that he can do no wrong. Basically, he’s full of himself and talks the talk. But as is his personality and the nature of adventures his plan to escape his meagre existence doesn’t go as planned as he attempts to rocket himself out of the garbage dump planet called Deponia, in his self-made projectile. The contraption he uses to try and escape the wasteland is met with limited success, albeit near failure.
Rufus is trying to escape to Elysium. Elysium is fabled to be a legendary place where pollution isn’t rampant, and is envisioned by the local populous of Deponia as a floating nirvana of wealth and unbelievable heights of majesty. Most Deponians believe it to be a mere legend until Rufus unwittingly causes an Elysium girl, named Goal, to plummet into the depths of Deponia, and adventure ensues, of the point and click variety. She’s your goal for most of the game. Well waking her up from a slight coma that is.
The gameplay is typical of the genre but supplants much of the typical point and click interaction with hilarious hi-jinks and some grinningly funny one liners, partly thanks to the voice of Rufus and the rest of the cast. Nothing felt stunted or buggy when interacting with the environment. It was all a pleasant experience. Although at times I was stumped by some of the puzzles. I never felt overwhelmed or clueless. I was constantly entertained by clicking on some of the townsfolk throughout Deponia and learning more about Rufus’s life and friends.
There were only really two ways to interact with the environment by taking to people or interacting with people, and objects. You solve puzzles, by interacting with objects and people, and through obtaining items and collecting them in your inventory. Part and parcel of the adventure game experience in the likes of Deponia is figuring out how to interact with the environment and choosing the right object for the right situation. The story and the gameplay experience were well integrated and flow was never broken in the game.