Invoking the memories of classic LucasArts and Sierra games, I’ve got a good feeling about the once PC-only adventure game,Deponia. It’s not out until next month so it’s early days in terms of my time with it, but it offers an appealing return to adventures of old; warts and all.
From Daedalic Entertainment, a studio increasingly well known for their modern adventure games, Deponia harkens back to a more traditional era. You play Rufus, an overly confident adventurer making his way through the planet of Deponia. The planet stinks, literally, so Rufus wants out and to return to his birthplace.
It sounds like it could be bleak but Deponia offers plenty of wacky humor that will appeal to fans of fantasy, such as Terry Pratchett’s writing. Much like with LucasArts’s adventures, that comedy is a major driving force behind the game. Beautiful visuals further reinforce that light touch.
The early stagesare a little slow, with your first task being to pack Rufus’s bags. This serves more as an introduction to the game than anything particularly gripping. It gradually gains ground though, becoming increasingly quirky and more interesting, even if those puzzles don’t shorten in length. Also, don't expect to find Rufus incredibly likeable. He's egotistical and ends up falling for an unconscious character. Yeah, it turns weird sometimes.
Throughout, the influences of 1990s adventures are obvious and they’re good to see. The downside is that it also means some obtuse puzzles, just like back then, but fans of the genre will know what to expect. A lot of the puzzles involve seeking out objects and combining them. On the iPad that feels intuitive, with simple taps and drags covering for the lack of mouse controls.
Deponia feels like a game that’s ideally suited for the iPad. The screen size is just right and the controls ensure that your only frustration should be from the illogical puzzles. That might end up being an issue but we’ll know more next month when it’s released for all to see.