The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
Note: This is not a
review, but merely my musings after having recently completed a game
as part of my Rogue's
Adventures playthrough of my backlog.
@RoguesAdventure to keep up with my
playthroughs and check out my live streams at twitch.tv/gorbash722.
August 7, 2012
is difficult, and certain game developers have made a name for
themselves by offering quirky, fun, and legitimately funny games
(Double Fine and Zeboyd come to mind). I never thought of Daedalic
Entertainment as one of those quirky devs, with both previous
adventure games I've played of theirs (The Whispered World and The
Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav) being very emotionally mature and dark
stories. But it's easy to see from Deponia's cartoony art style,
goofy characters and unique junk-planet setting that Daedalic has
crafted a light-hearted and silly adventure game that captures a lot
of the pure fun and enjoyment I get from classic point and click
Deponia's art style and animation was slightly off-putting; it
drifted into the realm of anime, which I've never been a fan of.
Overly goofy animations are actually at a minimum, with most of the
humor coming from voice acting and writing, both of which are top
notch and what I've come to expect from Daedalic's adventures.
takes place on the ruined, junk-filled planet of the same name -
beginning in a town called Kuvaq, home to one very unsatisfied
Deponian named Rufus. He's an immature, selfish troublemaker with an
ex-girlfriend that's sick of him and a whole town that wouldn't mind
if he just disappeared.
Rufus is all too ready to oblige, the very
first puzzle tasking you with packing his bags for his latest escape
plan. His plan goes hilariously awry as he only just reads the
invoice for his screws after he's lit the fuse to his rocket pod. The
screws are back ordered! Cue perfect comedic timing of the walls
falling apart, the chain wrapping around his leg, and Rufus is
unceremoniously rocketed skyward toward an Organon cruiser.
plot quickly focuses on the mysterious girl he meets on the ship,
unfortunately named Goal, and his desires to help her out for his own
selfish desire to get to Elysium and leave Deponia behind. I was
looking forward to another interesting dual-protagonist adventure as
I just had with The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav, but Goal is never
fleshed out as more than an object of Rufus' affection, and more
importantly his key to Elysium.
I will give credit for at least not
going down the tired road of having the two slowly fall for each
other over the course of the adventure - mainly as Goal is
literally unconscious for about 80% of it. At one point a puzzle
tasks Rufus with literally having to move her body from a wheelbarrow
to a mine cart using a crane. It's a bummer that her character is
completely squandered, but Rufus has funny enough running inner
dialogues to carry the whole adventure by himself.
course the world is also made up of equally colorful and funny
characters; I found the setting to be very Terry Pratchett-esque with
the entertaining people you meet - from the black-market scientist
with confusing scientific metaphors about love and women to the giant
mannish secretary with the growling deep voice, every character I met
in Deponia was a lot of fun, and exploring more of the red and brown
world proved lots of fun.
unfortunate then that the puzzle designs, while varied, were not
nearly as intuitive and enjoyable as Daedalic's previous outings.
Much of my issue stems from the open-ended nature of the first Act,
which took over half my total playtime. While it's interesting
exploring the few screens of Kuvaq and talking to its residents,
there are a ton of puzzles going on at one time, and it's never
explained which are used for the immediate overall puzzle (initially,
gathering ingredients to make an espresso to wake Goal) and which are
supposed to be saved for later.
I was fine with this approach
initially but once I started getting stuck and exhausting every
avenue of interaction my frustration grew and I grew tired of
wandering around the same few screens. It's a bummer as the pacing
improves vastly once you finally get out of town (in another humorous
cutscene) and Acts 2 and 3 roll along at a perfect pace without any
appreciate some of the puzzle variety. Many standard inventory
puzzles and combinations are present, but there's also a few logic
puzzles, code deciphering, and an especially intriguing task of
flipping switches to turn the maze-like mine cart along the correct
I also liked the option of just skipping some of these puzzles,
as most are simply trial and error and can quickly get frustrating,
but if you can work them out you get a nice achievement for your
trouble; it's a great method to incorporate achievements into an
climax leads to an interesting conclusion, even if it does fall into
the very obvious trope of the backup item (if there's a backup, the
ol' switcheroo will be employed). Rufus remains trapped on Deponia,
and it's up to Goal to determine Deponia's fate on Elysium. Daedalic
crafted two more sequels - Chaos on Deponia and Goodbye Deponia,
and after ending my adventure here I'm definitely interested in
playing them just based on story and production values alone.
art style was bright and fun, the voice acting was fantastic, and the
writing was legitimately funny. If the puzzles and pacing improve in
the sequels they could easily become one of my favorite adventure
gaming series, but taking Deponia's encapsulated adventure as a whole
it has to be my least favorite of Daedalic's adventures that I've
played - mainly as I really enjoyed the others. Which is to say, Deponia is still a pretty great game and
recommended to fans of high quality, narrative-focused adventure
No one has commented on this article.