The Apotheosis Project


Genre:   Adventure

Developer:  Screen 7

Publisher:  Midian Design

Released:  November 2014, April 2015



by flotsam


The Apotheosis Project

Screen 7/Midian Design

B Grade cheesy science fiction romps have a place in this world, along with all sorts of other cheesy things. They aren’t (insert the name of your favourite bit of serious science fiction here) but they aren’t trying to be, and approached in the right way they can provide a light hearted bit of silly fun.

This is definitely the way to approach The Apotheosis Project.

Who better to tell you what this point and click adventure is about than the makers themselves:

“Penelope Barker and Aaron S. Reid are agents of the extra-governmental Pandora Global Corp, which works in parallel with the CIA. Unbeknown to them, they are also guinea pigs in an ambitious and dangerous project. The corporation is experimenting with a modification to DNA that is capable of altering the faculties of the subjects, thereby granting them powers beyond the ordinary.

Unaware of their condition, they set off on one of the missions intended to realise "Project Apotheosis", the implications of which are unknown to all taking part in it save Pandora Parlow, the president of the organisation. When they meet their contact and his colleagues, things escalate: the money in their possession is found to be counterfeit and they end up being taken to a place that strongly resembles a prison.

Now that they are locked up and no longer being administered the antidote, their powers will be reawoken and will enable them to escape, at least from the prison: escaping from the island will be much harder. A complete absence of equipment, the parallel dimensions that impinge on reality and a severe lack of help, given that the island is sparsely populated, will make the task seem impossible - until of course, YOU take control of the agents...”.

If that all sounds a little over the top, you haven’t factored in the giant cockroaches, floating robot sentries, a fish man called Howard running a curio store and a cranky talking typewriter. Not to mention pyramids, relics, aliens and alternative dimensions (actually they were already mentioned).

Or the ending, which is the cherry on top you have to get to yourself.

The plot is convoluted beyond belief, so just go along. There are some extra-large gushes of exposition at several points, and lots of beavering about as Penelope and Aaron in between. You can switch between each at will, and doing so is necessary. Each will at times have to achieve different things, or work together to find a solution, and they can occasionally give each other items they collect. As well, each may ask another character different things, or find different items of interest when rummaging through garbage, so it pays to double up.

Most of the puzzles involve finding and using things in the right way, although there a few out and out puzzles. It lacked direction at times, and the help button seemed similarly lacking when pressed, (“I can’t see anything relevant” says Aaron, when the card reader he needs to use is right in front of him), and there are some very small hotspots, so a walkthrough may be required. It certainly was for me, which made sure things kept trundling along.

Like all such games, you can look at objects as well as try to interact with them, and it pays to do so. Some progressions won’t trigger unless you look, and look as both Aaron and Penelope, so again it pays to double up. It can also produce some amusing comments, and there is some humour to be had, and some mildly bad language as well.

The voice acting of Aaron and Penelope is fine, and goes downhill after that, but theirs are the voices you hear predominantly throughout so it isn’t really an issue. You also wouldn’t expect Shakespearean thespians in such a romp, but even in that context, Pandora Parlow has a mercifully short part. The score is in keeping with the overall tone.

It has a rudimentary graphic style, and is punctuated by cutscenes. Moving the curser to the bottom of the screen pulls up the inventory ribbon and the icons by which you can switch between Aaron and Penelope. There is also an icon to get the characters to follow or not follow each other, but they seemed to end up together or apart as the game required and I don’t think I used it once. The help icon is also down there should you want to use it.

Doing stuff will get you points, and a little scribbled note will emerge top right of the screen telling you when that has occurred. I got 710 out of 1000 so clearly you don’t have to do everything to get to the end.

I dipped in and out of The Apotheosis Project over a lengthy period, mainly to see where on earth (or elsewhere) it was going to end up. It is what it is, and isn’t trying to be anything else. I have rated it in that way.

Grade: B-

I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB


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