Deponia Doomsday is a point and click style adventure game created by Daedalic Entertainment. This is the fourth instalment of the franchise and was an unexpected release after the original trilogy. I have played bits of the previous games, mostly the third game in the trilogy.
The game takes place before the original trilogy and Rufus wakes up from a terrible nightmare. Deponia is not in a good way, with giant lizards causing havoc. The plot is fairly straightforward, but does have some convoluted time-travelling aspects that feels a bit messy at times. Once Rufus has awoken he becomes distracted by a pink elephant that leads to some damage to his girlfriend’s precious glasses. Rufus decides that he must now head back in time using his new time machine. He is determined to find out what has happened to the world and try to save Deponia. I have to say that the world the game is based in is a bizarre place, but still manages to feel believable and genuine. The game uses a dark sense of humour that suits the overall tone of the game fantastically. I really love Rufus as a main character and find him very likeable. I was also pleased to hear David Hayter voicing Old Rufus.
The game is very much a point and click style adventure game, where players control the main character Rufus through various environments and dangerous wastelands. Rufus must find his way through Deponia and finally to Elysium. Like many point and click adventure games it has many puzzles and areas that require thought. You will collect various items along the way that in time will be used to access certain areas or solve specific puzzles. This reminded me of some of the Double Fine games, like Broken Age. I found that on a couple of occasions I missed vital objects and had to backtrack in order to find them, which can feel a bit frustrating. It does require some thought and patience to solve certain puzzles, but it’s never punishing or feels unfair. I often find that with these types of games if you become stuck it can be good to take a break and then re-attempt it again. You would be surprised how often this can help clear your head and make things easier.
The time travel element in the game in my opinion adds to the confusion and difficulty of the game. The game doesn’t always do a good job of directing or hinting where you need to go, and therefore I spent a lot of time aimlessly searching for what to do next. There was one part when I was stuck for a long time and even though I was relieved once I worked out where to go I couldn’t help but feel frustrated. I would say that you need to have good patience and step away from the game for a bit if you feel too stuck.
Deponia Doomsday also has a series of mini games throughout the duration. These are one of my favourite aspects of the game, with smaller and more manageable puzzles to solve. These are pretty easy overall, but they still manage to feel satisfying and work well within the context of the world. Some games feel like they force puzzles or mini games in just for the sake of having that extra element, but the mini games here feel thoughtful, appropriate and suited to the narrative. I felt a real sense of satisfaction and elation once I figured out a puzzle or completed a certain section of the game, and it made me want to progress forward and find out what’s lies ahead.
The presentation of the game is certainly one of the games strongest points. I have always lover the visual style of the franchise and this time the game once again looks gorgeous. It uses a vibrant and colourful cartoon like style with smooth animations and well designed characters. The environments you explore are visually engaging and also have some good variation. It almost feels like you are playing through a graphic novel or animated cartoon. The sound design is also great and helps to create and immersive and absorbing atmosphere. The voice acting is great and I have to say that I really enjoyed the writing of the game. The game did have a couple of problems like repeating dialogue. The game also froze one time when moving into another area. Overall though the game runs well and certainly look great.
Overall I think that Deponia Doomsday is a great point and click adventure game that looks impressive and runs well. The story is pretty straightforward and the mini games are extremely fun. I did find some moments of frustration when the game doesn’t help to point you in the right direction or if you missed an important item. The writing, design and characters are all interesting and made me want to progress further and explore the next area. I would certainly recommend this title if you liked the previous games or enjoy point and click style games like Grim Fandango, Broken Age or Machinarium.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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