First in a series of games by critically acclaimed German developer and publisher Daedelic, Deponia is a dystopian point & click adventure game reminiscent of old LucasArts titles. Following classic dystopian tropes, the story is set on a world where in shambles where the rich have left to live in a floating city high above (aptly called Elysium). The twist is, the planet is a literal garbage disposal (hence the name, Deponie being a landfill in German). You follow a reckless and careless young man named Rufus whose only goal in life is to get to Elysium. So much so that he disregards his girlfriend, friends and family. The game then takes you on a wacky adventure that subverts the dystopian genre with ridiculous premises and nonsensical characters. Fair warning: the game is best played in German. From what I understand, a lot of the jokes are lost in translation which makes some of the puzzle solution seem kind of random.
This game is average at best. While graphics are wonderfully hand drawn and soundtrack is interesting (although incredibly repetitive), there is not that much to it. Character of Rufus is incredibly annoying, be it in his own ignorance or how selfish he is. Plot is pretty non-existent and so are the puzzles, there are few interesting and only those will pad out the game. Other than that, it's incredibly short, around 4 hours, but thankfully later games got much better. Overall, average start of good franchise, but thankfully it is not necessary to understand the series, because plot-wise there is nothing happening and 2nd game sums it up fast and nicely. Pick it up when on sale or if you're really, really hungry for point and click game.
The characters and setting are interesting enough that I'll probably watch a playthrough video, but having to check a walkthrough every few minutes to figure out what insane thing you have to do gets old FAST. For example, before you're allowed to leave the first area, Rufus has to collect four items to pack into his suitcase. Bringing a clean pair of socks seems easy - I found a blue and a yellow sock, but Rufus wanted a matching pair. Okay... Rufus says they're dirty, so let's try washing them in boiling water, which results in the two socks coming out as ONE green sock. I had to check a walkthrough to find out that there's another green sock completely hidden under Rufus' pillow... did I mention that the game is set on a garbage planet, but the few items that you can actually interact with aren't highlighted? (edit: apparently there's a button you can press to highlight items you can interact with... quality UI design!) One of the other four items you need to pack is Rufus' toothbrush, which comes alive and runs and hides because of how filthy Rufus' teeth have been on the rare times he's brushed them. Okay, I can live with the idea of a sentient toothbrush, heck as a kid I even used to watch a cartoon with that exact premise. So how would you think that an adventure game would have you lure out an abused toothbrush? Maybe by tempting it with nice teeth to brush, such as by somehow convincing another character (with superior dental hygiene) to smile near the toothbrush? Nope, you catch it with a mousetrap... with a pea for bait. What?! And you find that mousetrap in a "closet" which just looks like part of the wall (did I mention how visually messy the garbage planet setting is?). The game implies that you need something to pry the closet door open, and the required tool turns out to be a TOILET PLUNGER. I think that was when I gave up on the game.
Deponia is an excellent point and click adventure game with great writing, fitting soundtrack, beautiful backgrounds and some solid puzzles (some that, following this genre's reputation, have unexpected and hard to think of solutions. While not offering much else compared to most other games, it will provide a lengthy adventure and a few good challenges, and is certainly an unforgettable experience. A must buy for any fan of the genre!
In an attempt to escape his junkyard existence, Rufus runs head on into a mystery that will put him on an adventure to save his garbage dump and all the unique characters in it! PROS: + Really good art! + Voiceovers are done well + Unique characters + Some good puzzles CONS: - Story... what's the story again? - Puzzles devolve into pixel hunts - Unclear/too many objectives at times - Some zany/weird dialogue I really, really wanted to love this game. The art looked amazing. The dialogue reminded me of updated adventure games like Monkey Island. The atmosphere seemed unique. In the end, however, I found myself lost a lot of the time trying to figure out what to do next because there wasn't any real-world logic involved. When I knew what I had to do, I found myself searching around random areas trying to find anything that I could use to help me solve the puzzles because it wasn't clear what I needed. Most of the time I found frustration. If it's on a great sale, try it out and see if you like it. $20 is too much.
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