Developed and published by Daedalic Entertainment, Deponia is an adventure game that harkens back to the old point-and-click journeys many gamers used to play when a 56k dial-up connection was a revolutionary wonder. In our current landscape filled with fast paced, action-filled marquee shooters that value twitchy reflexes above many other skills, Deponia fills the void with a quirky and beautifully detailed quest fueled by curiosity. If you’re looking for an oddball game that plays out like a living storybook, welcome to Deponia.
Rufus is our well-meaning hero with a tendency for wrecking everything he touches – an impressive feat on the junk planet of Deponia. After a rocky relationship with his girlfriend Toni reduces him to nothing more than a tenant living among the trash heaps, he longs to leave the world behind for Elysium. With Rufus’ antagonizing friend Wenzel serving as a guide and foil, he tries to make his way off the planet but is mixed up in some messy business saving an Elysian beauty that goes by the name Goal. Rufus’ tale continues to unfold as he interacts with the characters around the vibrant city, finding clues to solve various goals and progress the story along.
As much praise as I give Deponia for trying to be unique, that sense of forced charm also proves to be its ultimate drawback. Many of the game’s interactions come off as a cross between deadpan dialogue and outright over-the-top cartoony humor. Combined with the inability to quickly travel between points to find items needed to progress the story (often used in illogical fashions), Deponia may prove a little too stressful for some gamers. With a deep breath, patience, and open mind, all of these qualms can be overcome.
If you enjoyed such games as The Secret of Monkey Island, then Deponia is definitely worth a playthrough. Rufus is no Guybrush Threepwood, but he does play the role of a halfwit hero perfectly. With that in mind, Deponia just might be a modern day injection of the nostalgic point-and-click adventure genre you’ve been looking for.
Deponia is available now on Steam.