With such amazing titles like the Monkey Island franchise and Broken Sword, the point and click genre is still going strong with a large assortment of games for PC, though many never get to see the light of day on consoles. Well, Deponia is one such title which released back in 2012 on PC, but the good news is it’s one of the few point and click games that made the transition to PlayStation 4.
Deponia tells the story of Rufus, a self-centered egomaniac trying to escape his homeworld of Deponia for the glory of Elysium. Deponia itself is a garbage planet. The entire surface is cluttered with garbage with people simply trying to get by by scavenging and building anything they can to survive. Rufus hates his life and believes he deserves to live in Elysium: a society of the upper class who live in the sky and live like kings. Rufus compiles a plan to sneak aboard a train using a catapult to launch himself.
This is where the story really begins. Upon landing on the train Rufus discovers Goal who is taken hostage by a group calling themselves the Organon. By his sheer clumsiness Rufus sends Goal falling through a garbage dump down to the surface before falling himself. Rufus, thinking he has saved the girl and is destined to be with her, sets out to help her get back to Elysium and take him with her. It wouldn’t be much of a great story without a big conspiracy which sees Rufus battle through this emotions but in a more comedic way.
One of the things that makes point and click adventures so great is their writing, and Deponia is no different. The writing is top notch and the voice overs perfectly suit every character. The large cast of characters Rufus encounters on his journey are all likeable and provide great humor throughout, while the narrative drip-feeds information to help you solve the game’s numerous puzzles very effectively.
One of the downsides to the narrative is the lack of any impact your choice has. During conversations, especially key story sequences, Rufus has the option to answer however he wants, but none of it really matters as the the game simply defaults to the dialogue choice it wants you to make. Sure you can answer however you want but most of the time sees Rufus respond with a joke or that he was kidding around with his responses.
For those who don’t know, point and click adventures are not action games. As a matter of fact almost none of them have any playable action sequences. The bread and butter of this genre is puzzles. Puzzles are everything to the adventurer and Deponia sure doesn’t disappoint with an array of hard puzzles to really get you thinking. Deponia requires you to figure out how to make some unique items such as a Cappuccino; and how do you make a Cappuccino when you don’t have any coffee beans or clean water?
Combining items and examining them is how you get through most of the game. Talking to citizens gives you tips on how to acquire certain items but sometimes you will have to figure it out on your own. This, unfortunately, is one of the most annoying things about the game. Sure, you don’t want your hand held the entire time, but sometimes the hints you get just don’t really help you. I spent almost an hour trying to figure out where to get a certain item which drove me to the brink of insanity eventually forcing me to turn to the internet for help.
Graphicly Deponia is very pleasing to the eye. It’s hand drawn world is packed with detail and the animations, especially when depicting the various character’s personality traits, is perfect. One of the downsides to the animation is just how slow Rufus moves, which can be annoying when you’re forced to backtrack. Rufus’s movements need to be a faster – it’s as if he’s simply walking everywhere even though he’s in a running animation.
Deponia does suffer from the common point and click stigma. It’s a short game lasting about four hours depending on how quickly you can solve the puzzles. The other problem is in the replay value, and truth be told the only reason you would go back through it when you finish it is for the sheer enjoyment you had going through it the first time. Deponia also doesn’t do a good job of telling you how to combine or use the inventory system properly, which took me a while to figure out how to examine items and combine them.
Deponia is a fun game for those looking to put their brains and problem solving skills to the test. It tells a charming story with a likeable character in Rufus. It’s puzzles are challenging but rewarding in their own right It’s just a shame that exploring the world is so slow paced and key features probably should have been explained better.