Deponia invokes feelings reminiscent of playing those old adventure games from my youth. I played through the game without object highlighting, because only a defeated man makes use of that particular button of cowardice. Visually, Deponia excels. The characters and environments are consistently good throughout the entire game. While the humor does fall flat at times, the overall tone and presentation of the game harkens back to a time I remember with nostalgia. Rufus, the main protagonist in the game, is a deeply flawed character. He’s not a hero, but he’s persistent, goal orientated (haha), and in a weird way, endearing. And the puzzles. Modern adventure gaming, I feel, has become too streamlined and simplistic. Objects in many of the newer games have obvious purposes and the puzzles are too easy. This is not the case with Deponia, at least initially. The first “act” of the game takes place in a town filled with interesting objects to interact with and puzzles whose solutions are not readily apparent, but still approachable.
However, the quality of the puzzles, and to some degree, the game itself, degrades when you progress to the “second” and “third” acts. Certainly, Deponia gets progressively worse, as the environments become more linear, and the puzzles become more of a chore than an engaging game play element. That’s not to say that the more advanced stages lack puzzles that will give you some pause, they just don’t have very many of them. Without spoiling too much, the story and characters seem to suffer the same depreciation in quality to an extent. Furthermore, there’s a mini-game type puzzle at the end of the second portion of the game where I encountered a glitch that would not let me proceed, even though I had the correct solution. Luckily, I received a steam achievement upon configuring the solution, so I was able to overcome this glitch after several repetitions using the same configuration.
Overall, I would recommend Deponia to any fans of old adventure gaming, because many of its more charming elements have their roots in the old titles. I like the environments, puzzles, the artistic direction, and many of the characters. It is not a perfect game, nor is it the best in the genre, but if you can pick it up for half of its retail price, the game is worth looking into if you like point and click adventures.
Posted: February 7th, 2014