Samorost is a franchise developed by Amanita Design who also created Machinarium. The first Samorost game in the series was a small flash game before the franchise become more popular.
Samorost 3 is the latest release from the team and the latest game in the series. I have never played a Samorost game, which was fine as you don’t need to have played the previous games to play this one. What really makes this game stand out over any other puzzle adventure game is the fact that it simply looks beautiful. I don’t think I have seen a game with such charm and gorgeous world design in a while.
The game starts with you playing as a small character, dressed in some sort of odd-looking onesie, at his house. His house is a large tower with a telescope, which you can actually look through and maneuver to view stars and planets. You then get introduced to the gameplay controls and even this simple design choice looks wonderful. It uses a unique hand drawn style that suits the overall look of the game. Once you learn how to move about the world, through clicking and dragging the mouse to move the screen, you can begin to explore the world around you.
You can click on animals and objects to interact with them. I then came across some strange illustrations that seemed to instruct me to build a rocket ship. The game is purely about exploration and creates a sense of freedom and wonder, that sees you journey through beautiful and varied environments. Samorost 3 is an adventure game that uses the “point and click” style gameplay to interact with objects, talk to various creatures and solve puzzles.
Most of the puzzle elements in the game involve pulling levers, moving objects or simply talking to quirky characters. The world feels alive and full of interesting things to explore, which you can do so by clicking on areas to reveal hidden things. The game has a strong focus on rhythm and subtle music, which changes as you interact with the world. The puzzles are genuinely fun, as each scenario is different and full of imagination. They are more about the experience than actually completing and kept me absorbed in the beautiful world around me.
The sense of discovery when playing through the game is what kept me immersed throughout its duration. The characters you meet are wonderfully designed, I especially enjoyed meeting an odd character who picks mushrooms. The characters are well animated and almost look like they are puppets moving around the environments. The game also does a great job of subtly nudging you in the right direction without feeling intrusive or forced. It becomes very important to not only explore the world but also pay attention to the small details and environmental clues that can be found.
I enjoyed the puzzles, like one where you have to put a series of cards in order that reveal charming hand drawn animations about cavemen hunting for food. The various environments, creatures, and characters seem mostly indifferent to your existence as you carelessly wander about the world. There is so much to explore and I loved the amount of detail put into the world, you can click on trees, rocks and other items that reveal interesting things that have no impact on the overall outcome whatsoever.
The world is divided up into static screen sections that you can move around. You can also click and drag to pan around the screen. The sections are varied and all have unique design choices and things to see. You will one moment be climbing rocky walls before heading into beautiful green jungle areas and even scrap yards, that still look amazing and well designed. It’s not only the visuals of the game that look great but the sound design is top-notch and is also an essential and core mechanic of the game. The most important gameplay mechanic is your use of a trumpet that serves as both a listening device and musical instrument. Many objects and areas around you subtly pulsate, meaning you can use your trumpet to listen in. The soundtrack is stunning and helps set the ethereal tone and immersive experience. The music adapts and evolves as you move through the world and interact with things around you.
The puzzles and tasks in the game are varied and in my opinion always interesting. Each puzzle scenario requires slightly different thought processes whether its movement, logic, common sense, sound or a number of other components. Several of these puzzles require interesting use of your environment and manipulation of the world’s ecosystem. The only real issue I had with the game was that I found myself having to do a lot of backtracking and often for quite long distances, which can be frustrating and time-consuming. The game is also fairly short, but as I have said before, I like a game that feels like a compact, concise and well thought out experience.
Overall, Samorost is quite simply one of the most beautiful games that I have played in recent times. It’s a game that encourages you to explore every nook and cranny and discover unique characters and areas. The combination of the beautiful animations, hand drawn visuals and joyful soundtrack make for an experience that is breathtaking. I would simply stop at times just to look at how well the world is designed. The puzzles are great and feel varied enough to keep gameplay fresh. I really love this game and I would recommend it if you like point and click adventure games or experiential games.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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