Meet Rufus, the protagonist of this point-and-click adventure. He’s a lazy, egotistical, self-centered dreamer (emphasis on dreamer, as you can see) who thinks he will make it big and get out of his junkyard homeworld. He constantly makes dangerous plans which involve launching himself high enough into the sky to attach to a passing dump truck from a much better planet to hitch a ride. Needless to say, he’s failed a lot, but this time will be different. This time Rufus is gonna get off of the trash world Deponia and he’s gonna get a cute Elysium girlfriend and he’s gonna show everyone who’s better than all the rest.
Not that they ever doubted… Right?
Rufus actually reminds me a lot of Guybrush Threepwood from the Monkey Island series. Actually a lot of Deponia reminds me of Monkey Island in a fun, nostalgic kind of way. The game is lovingly hand-drawn and stylish and gives the game a lot of personality and character. All the characters that star in this game are sarcastically and selfishly unique in personality and looks – I guess that’s what it takes to survive in a whacky world that’s literally made of trash.
It’s clear from the start of the game why Rufus is so desperate to leave his planet behind – he’s got no job (but that’s because he chooses not to work), people aren’t so nice to him (although that could be because he’s blown up a lot of innocent people in his previous escapades) and to top it off he’s got a seriously ill-tempered ex-girlfriend constantly barking at him (okay, well he could help clean up every now and then).
Okay, that’s good enough for me. Let’s help get Rufus out of there and achieve his crazy dreams! Deponia doesn’t stray from the point-and-click adventure formula: click on everything, identify a problem, collect items in your inventory, combine items and solve the problem. Rufus supplies commentary for everything you can observe and most of the time they’re sarcastic and smirk-worthy. There are fun little puzzle games too. Everything you’d want in a point-and-click adventure game.
Sometimes you find yourself a giant environment and you aren’t sure what you can and can’t click on. That’s okay, Deponia helps you out. By holding space bar or the middle mouse button little icons will pop up highlighting what’s clickable. What an incredibly delightful function! It kept me immersed in the game and cut down the amount of times I got frustrated over thinking I might have missed an item or an entrance to another screen.
The writing in this game is superb. It’s off-beat romance has it’s own charm and while there is a lot of cheesy, dry and sarcastic humour it actually fits the universe of Deponia. Rufus may be selfishly annoying at times, but you can’t help but end up finding him likeable eventually. He might not try hard in being responsible in conventional ways, but he chases his dreams with such fervor, at least he’s trying in something. The voice actors for the characters did a fantastic job, I particularly liked Toni, Rufus’ ex; you could just hear how fed up she was with Rufus and his highly improbable dreams and ego. I also fearfully respect a woman who would actually trap her bedroom door with a guillotine so no one can get in.
The soundtrack in Deponia is just as off-beat and funky as the world it represents. One of my favorite tracks has got to be the one that has a hip-hop back beat – something I didn’t actually expect in a game like this and it just fits so well. The artstyle is what hyped me up to play Deponia in the first place. It reminded me a lot of my favourite point-and-click of all time The Curse of Monkey Island. There is something about 2D adventure games I absolutely adore. It has to be something in the hand-painted details. So much time and detail has gone into the environments in Deponia, you can really see that each screen has been carefully designed and it makes for an amazing experience for the player.
The gripes with this game come with any point-and-click adventure game. Sometimes you have an inventory full of items, and you have a logical idea of what needs to be put together and where it needs to go. But nothing works. Sometimes the game has you put together things in unconventional ways to make things interesting, but because of that you have no idea what goes with what and where so you just randomly click things together until it works. This can get really tiresome when you have a lot of things you can interact with on one screen, plus everything you have in your inventory.
Overall Daedalic Entertainment’s Deponia is a solid adventure game. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but it tells a wonderful and interesting story with unlikely likeable characters. The world presented to the player is absolutely gorgeous and lively and actually makes you want to explore everything it has to offer. If you were a huge fan of the Lucas Arts series you should really give Deponia a go. If you’ve never really been into point-and-clicks before, Deponia is a wonderful place to start. Really, this game has a lot to offer for anyone willing to give it a chance, so if you can, grab a copy now from Steam!