What have we here?

Trash. Rubbish. Refuse. Garbage.

That's the life of everyone in town. But Rufus has had enough - he's an inventor (a very poor one, if his friends' comments are to be believed), and he wants to invent a way to escape Kuvaq, the town of trash.

Deponia is another point and click adventure from Daedalic Entertainment; one of the current batch of very active European adventure development houses. Their best known previous outing was with The Whispered World.

Notes from a short journey

The story begins in Rufus's home. Or at least we assume it is to begin with. However, it soon becomes clear that the house is shared with Toni. In fact it's her house, and she just barely tolerates the presence of Rufus anymore. This doesn't seem to bother Rufus, who is only vaguely aware of the consequences of his, shall we say, 'relaxed' attitude to communal living?

Anyway, we have arrived at the point where Rufus is about to attempt his grand escape from Deponia, he just needs to gather a few things from the house, complete his escape capsule, and take off. I've only played the early part of the game, but I can state that the results of Rufus' escape attempt are, errmmm, mixed, to put it politely. From this point on, Rufus has to find new objects and tools around town (in typical point-n-click adventure style) to effect the rescue and revitalization of a princess.

Regarding some of the technicalities of the game, Deponia is a colourful game, with a soundtrack that fits the junk-yard feel with plenty of clangs and clashes in the melodies. The graphic design is similar in style to The Whispered World, again, with added trash. Maybe you're picking up something of a theme by this point.

Control can be achieved completely via the mouse, though there are some options concerning how you access the inventory; mouse scroll-wheel or the 'i' key, that gives the lie to the first part of this sentence. Pressing the space bar briefly shows all the hotspots, so there is no pixel hunting. There's no indication of mazes or difficult sound or colour differentiating puzzles - the not-very-subtle palette of colours in the game as a whole would seem to suggest that my impression is not likely to be overturned either.

The preview of Deponia that I have been playing was described by the developer as having 'rough' English translations, however, if this is 'rough', the polished version is going to be very, very fine. Perhaps the cliché of German perfectionism in engineering applies to computer games as well. Anyway, with a little more seriousness: the only problem I could find with voices was the occasional problem with the lip synching between characters and the dialogue, and a few variances between the spoken word and the subtitles.

Jumping to conclusions?
During the story so far, it seems that our "hero", Rufus, is a bit of a dreamer; and a dreamer who can't see the effects of his actions from the perspective of anyone else. All the same, it will be interesting to see how such a train-wreck of a character can be made loveable enough to drive forward this story. Maybe there's just a little self-knowledge, or guilt perhaps, at our own little selfishnesses that makes it possible to associate with him and his desire to escape the trash heap of his life.

Deponia looks like it will be a fine, fun, game, worthy of following The Whispered World in the Daedalic Entertainment catalogue.

Deponia will be published in the U.K. by Lace Mamba Global. For more information, visit the official website, and read the full review by Becky.

Edited by Becky (10/27/12 11:43 PM)