"If you liked the classic LucasArts and Sierra graphic adventures, Daedalic has your number."
Tucked away in a little bar away from the glitz and glamour of the flashy show halls with strobe lights that made my eyes water was a gentleman with a laptop representing Daedalic Games. They showed off two fantastic looking graphic (point and click) adventures that Stephen and I grew very excited about. I will report on one called Deponia.
Deponia is a slapstick adventure that looks and feels like an interactive version of a killer Saturday morning cartoon. It stars a young man named Rufus who lives on a junkyard planet and is always devising plans to escape to the paradise of Elysia... all of which have a 100% failure rate. This doesn't stop him, though, as he attempts to gather socks, a bolt cutter, leftover food, and a runaway toothbrush for his next brilliant plan.
Rufus lives with his icy ex-girlfriend Toni; a neat freak who leaves post-it notes everywhere. Dragging the cursor over these notes brings nomenclature such as "nagging note" or "bitching post-it," and the funniest thing I saw was Rufus putting a giant pile of them into a stove to boil a pot of water to wash the socks for his escape plan.
The general plot involves Rufus' latest failure, which had a slight measure of success and involved an encounter with a girl from Elysia in his world. He wants to bring her back from Elysia, but of course, there are plenty of people and obstacles standing in his way.
The game's backgrounds are hand drawn and filled with detail. The character sprites look smooth as well. Everything looks like the best Saturday morning cartoons and is heavily influenced by those cartoony LucasArts adventures like Monkey Island. And like LucasArts adventures, Rufus cannot die, so players need not worry about cheap "Game Overs" and can immerse themselves completely into this loony world.
The interface is a straightforward point and click interface with some conveniences like pressing spacebar to highlight hotspots and even a puzzle-skip option for the more mini-game style puzzles. Of course, gathering materials, manipulating them, and combining them in the craziest of ways is still up to the player, and the leaps of logic required are the reason I love the genre in the first place.
Graphic adventure fans would do well to keep a close eye on Daedalic games. The games they showed us at E3 (Deponia and The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav) have us quite excited, and I want to check out their existing Edna & Harvey series. If you liked the classic LucasArts and Sierra graphic adventures, Daedalic has your number. Deponia's release date on Steam is still to be determined, but we definitely hope it's soon.