Even though I’ve never really been good at them I’ve always loved point-and-click adventure games, ever since my dad’s friend handed me a CD-ROM of Day of the Tentacle back when I was a kid and said “Here, you’ll like this.” From that point on I followed LucasArts’ long line of great adventure games, despite only completing a few of them at the time. Then again, is anyone actually good at those types of games? I mean, the entire point of the genre is to take objects that have no business being in your current situation, and making them work despite the easier, more logical solutions at hand. Even those from Ron Gilbert and Tim Schaefer have some of the most insane puzzle logic ever devised, but this was part of their charm. Deponia, a more recent foray into the rapidly-shrinking world of point-and-click adventure games, attempts to copy the formula from these classics and put it into a brand new world.
Deponia follows the story of Rufus, a self-proclaimed inventor and genius, as he tries to escape from the junk-filled planet of Deponia. I’m going to admit, I didn’t like Rufus at all over the course of the game. His narcissistic attitude gets old really quick, and never really changes over the course of the story. The rest of the game, however, has tons of character and really resembles an adventure game you’d find in the 90s. Everything looks great, and the junk-filled world of Deponia manages to still look lively and colorful despite being made entirely out of garbage.
Where Deponia most resembles a classic adventure game is in the puzzles. Most of the puzzles in the game require outlandish solutions that really only make sense after you’ve banged your head on your desk in frustration a couple times. While initially annoyed, I remembered that this is really what the genre is all about. The games are never very long if you know all the solutions, so half of the game is actually rooting through your inventory, trying to mash any two items together until one more piece of the puzzle falls into place. While at times near-infuriating, Deponia manages to capture this feeling perfectly.
Deponia has an engrossing story, and despite the somewhat frustrating puzzles I still found myself bargaining that I’ll just finish one more before taking a break. The ending leaves an opening for a sequel (which has already been announced), and managed to keep me interested despite my annoyance with the main character. Aside from one glitch I encountered while trying to complete a mine cart puzzle (which, according to the devs, should be patched soon), I had a pretty fun time playing the game. While Deponia – much like its in-game counterpart – may have a few rusty, jagged edges, it is still a place I’d visit again soon.