This week I got the chance to review Primordia, a point and click adventure game developed by Wadjet Eye Games. I usually don’t play Indie games or point and click adventure games, and when I mean usually don’t, I mean never. Needless to say, I came into this review with an open mind since I haven’t played a game like this is in over 10 years.
In the opening scene of the game you watch as the robot Horatio, the main character and his “sidekick” Crispin work on their telescope on the roof of their home, the UNNIC, a crashed space ship. The two heroes hear an explosion downstairs and decide to take a look. To their dismay they find a much larger and very uncooperative robot trying to take the powercore to their home. Horatio tells the robot to leave, but is shot by the intruder, thrown from the ship and shuts down. A few minutes later Horatio wakes up to find Crispin floating over him and he tells him that the robot made off with their powercore. Horatio now has to repair the emergency generator or he and Crispin will run out of power.
The emergency generator that they have is broken and was supposed to be fixed by Crispin, who forgot. Horatio is very skilled at crafting machines and tools out of nothing and has to fix the generator out of the junk and scrap he finds around his home. When you examine something that is broken Horatio will explain what is wrong with it and what he needs to repair it. The generator needs a cable to attach to the ship, a spark plug and a conduit to get it back up and running. As the player you have to find all of these items, attach some of them together in your inventory if needed, and place them correctly into the generator. Finding these items is by far the most difficult part because there are little to no hints where things are and most are very well hidden.
I really enjoyed the opening of the game because there is no over the top ridiculous problem they have to deal with or a bland walk around to introduce you to 50 NPC’s you don’t care about. They start off with a problem that is life or death and you have to fix it. There is also the distant goal of getting the powercore back, which is now fresh in your mind and always seems to stay there, even in the later parts of the game.
Gameplay is simple as simple can get. Click to move, examine items or pick up items. You have an inventory, data pouch that holds information and you can even call on your companion Crispin to solve a problem you cant…you’d be surprised on how many times he is needed. It took me about 30 minutes of play to realize that I can ask Crispin to reach items I cannot because he can hover while Horatio can’t really do anything other than walk. Crispin has no arms so he is limited in his abilities, but you can tie things onto him, such as a cable that he can hook onto other objects to have Horatio climb up on or he can fly up to retrieve smaller items.
After the generator becomes operational Horatio and Crispin must take off to find their powercore. They need to find it soon or they will run out of power in a few days because their generator after all is just for emergencies and not for long term. Using a console in their ship to locate power sources and their telescope to see if the spots are safe for them to travel too, Horatio and Cripsin make their way to each of the two locations that have powersources. One of the locations is a giant robot that is buried neck deep in the desert, it has a closed mouth that you have to force open. The other location is a shrine, but is actually a giant bomb that has been mostly untouched over the years. Watching over the bomb is a robot named Ever-Faithful who won’t let just anyone see the “shrine” and asks you three questions to be allowed to get close to the bomb. It’s kind of pointless to have any kind of trivia in Primordia because it auto-saves every time you enter a new area and you can just save right before any trivia and have unlimited tries.
When you finally figure out what you need to do (If you thought for a second I’d tell you what you needed to do to get out of the first area, you’re delusional because no one told me and I sure as hell won’t tell you) you find yourself buying a one way ticket to the city of Metropol, a place Horatio was sure never existed and never wanted to go. I don’t want to say too much more because I feel like this would turn into a walk-through instead of a review.
I really enjoyed this game and I’m actually still playing it right now. I liked Horatio, and Crispin complimented his serious demeanor well with comedy. The other characters in the game were annoying and were nothing like Horatio or Crispin. They either talked in riddles, made no sense, didn’t say anything at all or give you vague answers that you can’t have them repeat and force you to click on Crispin a million times for him to give you a hint. Graphics aren’t amazing, sound is alright, gameplay is very simple, but has a good story behind it with good main characters to boot. Solving the puzzles takes a lot of thinking and figuring it out on my own gave me a sense of accomplishment that I haven’t felt while playing a game in a LONG time. A better walkthrough for the beginning of the game is needed and is my only major complaint. I didn’t know I could combine items in my inventory, have Crispin grab items for more or ask Crispin for advice until about half an hour to an hour into the game. This game is a brain teaser with a good story and if your looking for a good Indie game to play this Holiday break I’d recommend this.
I like to give anything I’m reviewing a sentence or two as a score and give a number score as well for those people who enjoy judging an entire videogame by a number.
My Score: Great story-driven brain teaser, head scratching is expected.