Linux Operating System: Ubuntu 14.04 or greater (64-bit only) Processor: 2.5 GHz single core or 2 GHz dual core Memory: 2 GB RAM Video: Open GL 2.0 compatible graphics card with 256 MB RAM Hard Drive: 1.8 GB Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
Mac OS X Operating System: Mac OS X 10.7 or greater Processor: 2 GHz dual core Memory: 2 GB RAM Hard Drive: 3.5 GB
Windows Operating System: Windows Vista or greater Processor: 2.5 GHz single core or 2 GHz dual core Memory: 4 GB RAM Video: Open GL compatible graphics card with 512 MB RAM Hard Drive: 5 GB Sound: DirectX compatible sound card DirectX 9.0c or greater required.
Deponia is a point and click graphical adventure game developed and published by Daedalic Entertainment. It was released in 2012 first in Germany then translated into English from German later. According to Wikipedia where I researched the game, “Deponie” means “landfill site” in German, which is where the game gets its name.
In Deponia, the player plays the role of Rufus, an adventurous rogue who wishes to leave the junk pile town of Kuvaq he finds himself in to start life anew in the glamorous city of Elysium. He has everything all planned out; nothing could possibly go wrong. The game begins with a brief tutorial on the game mechanics, but those familiar with graphical adventure games from the past several decades will have no issue getting up to speed quickly.
Following the tutorial and some intro music and game credits, the first task the player must accomplish requires helping Rufus pack his suitcase for his trip to Elysium. Perhaps this was the actual tutorial since you cannot leave the house Rufus is in until you collect all of the things that are on the packing list. Game introductions like this leave me feeling claustrophobic and are off putting. It served to reinforce how the game is played and what general puzzles I could expect, but seriously failed to scratch that world exploration adventure itch I typically play adventure games for. This beginning packing scene is worse than the one in the beginning of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.
Rufus is an unsavory character. He’s pompous, arrogant, gross, and seems to care little for those around him. During the tutorial I found myself rolling my eyes thinking this would be another mediocre graphical adventure that would receive a mediocre first impression. As the game progresses, however, I came to realize that Rufus’ character was calculatedly created by the game developers and meshes extremely well with the other characters throughout the story. The voice acting turns out to be quite superb and the characters feel like they have a depth I would not have expected from just a few short hours of gameplay.
It was initially frustrating to play as Rufus because next to nothing Rufus feels compelled to do in Deponia is something I would ever do myself in real life. While playing as a despicable character it makes sense that you would be required to do despicable things and think in despicable ways. Thankfully, plucky comedic karma is in full array in Deponia and it is satisfying to see Rufus get paid back in full for his negligent and ridiculous actions.
Deponia does not appear to be a good title for those who enjoy seeing linear progress across a clearly defined story line. The plans Rufus makes fail, catastrophically, which changes the direction of the game at every turn and keeps the player on their toes not knowing what will happen next. Very frequently I’ll feel like I’ve done something unsavory that messes things up for a character in the game that I wish I could undo, but clearly the game was designed to be this way. It appears it will be a bumpy roller coaster ride from start to finish and it’s meant to be enjoyed for what it is.
Once Rufus has packed his suitcase, he must load his belongings into his escape pod and configure the escape pod in such a way as to make his escape. Once this has been accomplished, there is a mini-game puzzle that must be completed in order to aim the pod at the track for when the regal carrier from Elysium goes by. This particular mini-game is similar to chess puzzles using the knight piece where certain moves of the knight are restricted in the player’s objective to move the knight toward a desired position on the chess board. It appears difficult mini-game puzzles can be skipped by those who would rather not spend too much time thinking through them and are eager to progress the story instead.
After solving or skipping this first mini-game puzzle, Rufus has a run in with his ex girlfriend Toni, lights the fuse of the rockets that will propel his escape pod and does his best to make his escape. His plans don’t turn out as expected, of course, but he finds himself on the Elysium craft. There he sees a fair lady from Elysium named Goal distraught about a conspiracy and being threatened by some unsavory figures among the Organon. Rufus does his best to rescue her, which includes dumping garbage on her head and pushing her out of the garbage chute. In response to his tragic blunder, the villains kick him overboard as well and he falls back into the town of Kuvaq from which he had been attempting to escape.
It is at this point that the game finally opens up to more thorough exploration. It turns out Goal was picked up by the town’s people and is being attended to by the local doctor, Gizmo. When Rufus goes to visit her, he finds her asleep and unable to awake. Gizmo sends Rufus to go get some extra strong coffee to get her to wake up. When Rufus brings up his dilemma with Lonzo the local bartender, Lonzo reveals his secret project to build a massive machine from ancient documents he has scavenged called an espresso maker. At this point it is revealed that Rufus needs to collect all of the items in Kuvaq needed to make espresso to use to wake up Goal.
Thus far Deponia plays very similarly to classic point and click adventure games from the 1990s. If I had to place it on a spectrum I would say it is funny like The Secret of Monkey Island, but more crude like the movie Spaceballs. It appears to be around the same difficulty as Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers thus far.
I have experienced many of the same nostalgic feelings playing Deponia as I had playing adventure games growing up, both entertaining and frustrating. While thus far I have always been rewarded when I progress in the game, there are places where the game seems to drag on and on in getting to the next pleasurable scene. I have found myself hovering my mouse pointer over every pixel I can to see if I missed any secret item I can use to progress just like I did with the most frustrating adventure titles when I was younger.
As far as adventure games go, Deponia appears to be of moderate difficulty, which might make it more difficult to approach for younger or less experienced adventure game players. I also wouldn’t recommend this game be played by younger children if for no other reason than Rufus is a horrific role model and I would be tempted to whack my son if he ever started acting like him. It’s all a joke in the game; Rufus and the world he inhabits is so bizarre and strange it works well in fantasy, but would just be annoying in real life.
It surprises me how much I have really warmed up to playing Deponia. I think this one will be on my list of games to attempt to complete this year because I really want to see how it all turns out. With all of its flaws, it’s still proving to be quite addictive and supremely entertaining. I think I would recommend Deponia to any hardcore adventure game fan, and anyone else who is very laid-back, patient, and loves what is thus far a well crafted story.
Treasure Adventure Game is an action adventure platformer released in 2011 for Windows PCs. It was developed by Stephen Orlando and published by Robit Studios. The music was composed by Robert Ellis.
An evil demon attempts to wipe out all magic from the world. A young apprentice called Huayin, who was training to become a wizard, gathered 12 enchanted items with which he used to face the demon. Though Huayin was ultimately successful in defeating evil, the battle between himself and the demon caused all the land of the world to break up into small islands scattered about the world.
Centuries later, an archaeologist by the name of Baggus, along with his friend Gagwin and his son, go on a quest to find all 12 lost enchanted items from the epic battle fought between Huayin and the demon with the intention of opening a museum to house the lost artifacts. Upon finding all of them, Baggus opts for them to retire with their treasures while Gagwin convinces Baggus to press on in order to find the temple that can only be accessed by the one who has possession of the 12 artifacts. Gameplay begins on the island supposed to have the location of the missing temple. The player takes control of Gagwin’s son. They enter a cave and then the player’s character wakes up to his grandmother in her home.
Grandma gave me a boat.
The player’s grandmother presents him with a boat and encourages him to seek his fortune as an adventurer. Traveling to the east, the player very quickly meets up with Baggus in his shiny new museum that is soon to be opened. Baggus vaguely recognizes the character but doesn’t give it much thought. He tasks the player with finding the three essential items all treasure hunters must have, a hat, a compass, and a sail. Once the player finds these items, he may return to Baggus for additional training.
Treasure Adventure Game plays a lot like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The game is quite clever and to its strength doesn’t take itself too seriously. That being said, I have seen this action adventure platformer formula in many sorts of games released for the PC spanning decades. There is nothing revolutionary here and not much new. If you enjoy this tried and true game formula however, you will have fun with Treasure Adventure Game.
Treasure Adventure Game Setup
Treasure Adventure Game serves up an extra bit of nostalgia in one way I never expected nor wished for. In order to change the game controls there is a companion Setup.exe file installed along with the game, like many of the DOS games from the late 80s and early 90s, instead of being an option in the game’s main menu for some unknown reason. This is also the tool that must be used to change the size the game graphics take up on the screen. When in game and you are told to press any key to continue, the game actually means it will only respond to any key currently configured on the virtual gamepad. Pressing any other key does nothing but increase the frustration of the player. Though I have been stubbornly playing Treasure Adventure Game using the keyboard, I would imagine it’s far more fun to play with a gamepad given its action platforming style.
Always save your progress. Save early, save often.
Treasure Adventure Game plays like a PC game that really wants to be a console game. There are extremely verbose scrolling text dialogs to convey the story everywhere throughout even where it doesn’t make sense to have them, much like what you would expect from a 16-bit title. The player may have at most three save files, which is pretty standard for many console titles. Perhaps most frustratingly, Treasure Adventure Game also implements save points. These save points are shiny blue orbs you will encounter in various places throughout the game. When they are used, the player’s progress is saved and health is restored. You will want to keep your eyes peeled for these and make use of them each and every time you see one. While playing, I would ignore one eager to move on to the next area only to be faced with creatures in the new area I could not quite handle. When you die you go back to the last save point and lose all of the progress made since the last save. To my knowledge there is no autosaving mechanic anywhere in Treasure Adventure Game.
Running with my parrot friend.
In the beginning of the game, it is important to look out for the jumping fish in the waters between islands. They will tax you one point of health any time they jump out of the water and touch you. This isn’t so bad when you are at full health, but when you’re trying to get back to another island to save and heal, it’s bad news. My strategy has been to move directly toward the fish until they jump, then pull back just enough where the arc of their jump falls short of my boat, then push forward quickly before they have a chance to jump again.
Outside the local 6-Fifteen. I’m assuming this is a play on 7-Eleven.
Treasure Adventure Game doesn’t seem all that original, but my brief encounter with it thus far as been enjoyable. While it’s not at the top of my gameplay list, I do want to continue further in it and keep playing. At the time of this article’s publication, Treasure Adventure Game was being offered for free on GOG.com in celebration of the release of its sequel, Treasure Adventure World. I would recommend picking up a copy; this is a cute game worth playing.
DuckTales: Remastered is a Disney licensed title published by Capcom and developed by WayForward released in 2013 for Valve’s Steam platform. It is a remake of the classic DuckTales for the Nintendo Entertainment System. While I was concerned that Capcom and Disney might be attempting to market this game simply to capitalize on the nostalgia of fans of the classic game, this game appears to be a solid single-player platformer for Windows 7 era PCs. Fans of the show will appreciate getting reacquainted with all of the characters and the plucky humor is true to form for the series.
DuckTales: Remastered Intro Level Tutorial
Upon loading the game you are greeted with a title screen with the town of Duckburg in the background. The DuckTales instrumental theme music plays and I couldn’t help but sing along. The original game went straight to a level select screen. This remastered version however begins predictably in the spirit of the animated show with the Beagle Boys breaking into Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin. McDuck, played by the player, must make his way to the money vault and defeat the boss. This level acts as a sort of tutorial to help the player get familiar with the game’s controls.
For those who are not familiar with playing DuckTales, the player controls Scrooge McDuck throughout the game. Like most platformers, the player may run in the horizontal directions and jump in a vertical arc. The player may also have McDuck use his cane like a pogo stick to get a jump with increased distance or to crush an enemy beneath him. He can also use his cane like a golf stick to whack items in the game.
DuckTales: Remastered First Boss
When I was growing up, having a few friends who owned DuckTales for the NES, the general consensus was that the game was really hard. It appears my concept of hard has changed over the years. I wouldn’t call this an easy game, and it’s probably harder than the original Super Mario Bros., though that may be an apples to oranges comparison. That being said, the game feels fair even while I’m losing, and thus far at no point has felt overwhelmingly difficult. Quite the contrary, every time I have died, I wanted to try again and keep on playing.
Upon defeating the Beagle Boys, it is discovered that they were after a particular painting that contained information hidden in its picture frame as to the whereabouts of large sums of hidden treasures. McDuck punches all of the data into his large treasure hunting computer which then provides the menu screen for the additional levels of the game, segueing into the familiar level select of the original.
DuckTales: Remastered Diving into Money
Just like in the original there are five main levels in DuckTales: Remastered: the Amazon, Transylvania, African Mines, the Himalayas, and the Moon. The player can choose to play these levels in any order, so of course I picked the Moon first being the sci-fi adventurer I am. But before I went on my moon mission, I had to take a dive into McDuck’s piles of gold coins. This is actually probably the best part of the game I have played so far. I must have spent several minutes just enjoying making Uncle Scrooge dive into his wealth, drinking in the satisfying jingles.
It’s Hard to Duck in Space
I was impressed to find the moon level plays almost exactly like it did in the NES classic. I’m surprised they did not include a feature where you could switch between the old and new graphics of the levels like they had with the remastered version of The Secret of Monkey Island. Maybe there is more new stuff here than I realize, but the similarity between the two games is shocking. Added to this remastered version are new cut-scenes that provide back story and giving fans of the show new material that fits in with the series.
DuckTales: Remastered Moon Gameplay
So far I would recommend this game to any fan of the DuckTales animated series and anyone who really enjoys a decent platformer. The voice acting is fantastic and the graphics have received a worthy face lift. While there is nothing here particularly groundbreaking, given that the platformer genre has seen a great deal of changes and innovations since 1989, the game play continues to hold up well and provides a great deal of entertainment in our current decade. The simplicity of the controls may also make it an obvious choice for those who are unfamiliar and new to playing 2D platformers.