is a post-apocalyptic point and click adventure game from independent
developers Wormwood Studios, published by Wadjet Eye Games.
With humankind long departed and
now in a world full of machines, our protagonist, robot Horatio
Nullbuilt and his compact airborne companion Crispin, are aboard their
stationed airship the UNNIIC in a desolate area of the Dunes. Their main
energy source, the ship's power core, has been stolen by an aggressive
robot from the nearby conflicted city of Metropol. Beginning a sequence
of adventures and mishap, Horatio and Crispin set out to claim back what
is theirs. Neither robot is prepared for just how difficult this will
prove to be, as not only their future but that of those around them is
“The city of glass and light”
The game opens aboard the UNNIIC.
The graphics are retro, '90s style, muted and sepia. We meet Horatio,
who is serious and mysterious, and now unhappily delirious that his
ship's power core has been swiped by a degenerate robot. His dialogue
with Crispin is a mismatch made in heaven. Where Horatio is intense and
enigmatic, his tiny creation is, well, quite frankly, a pretzel short of
a full bag. This leads to some amusing scenes between the two and with
the other characters that they meet. The voice acting here is stellar,
the writing excellent, the story itself a thoughtful, philosophical and
The Dunes are a barren land,
piled with junk and debris against the warm reds and orange of the sky.
Metropol, on the other hand, is a sprawling and bustling industrial
city, rusted and decayed, grey and morose. Apparently it was once a
majestic city of glass and light, but that is no longer the case. It is
ruled by the all-powerful Metromind, who over time has become corrupted
and censorious. We learn of Metropol's troubled and complex history, and
of the governing Robot Council. Primordia's minor characters are
entertaining individuals with distinct personalities and talents and
attitude. And boy, do they have attitude! Not everyone is happy to speak
with us; they tell us in no uncertain terms to clear off and stop
bothering them. Other robots might be willing to help us, but
only if we help them to do this or that first. The queue of tasks and
problems soon stretches out behind us.
plays in third person, with an inventory accessible by either the I key
or by moving the cursor to the top of the game screen, which is also
where the menu options hide out. There are full subtitles and unlimited
saves, and dialogue can be fast clicked through. Horatio doesn't like to
run, and screen exits cannot be fast-tracked, although there is a useful
map with major hotspots. The music is appropriately electronic, with
synths and blips, atmospherically floaty. The player has the option of
in-game hints, and not only is there an Achievements page for goals
reached throughout the game but also an interactive Commentary option.
The commentary features Dave Gilbert as well as the writer, programmer
and 'art guy', and is full of interesting game facts and additional fun
'bloopers' from the voice actors.
By the end of the game, we are
met with multiple possible endings, the good and the not-quite-so. A
game choice made early on can affect the final outcome. One to replay,
then, if not for the bonus of the commentary then for the curiosity of
how a different action might eventually play out.
“Strange robot, go away!”
puzzles make their focus upon the dialogue and inventory. There are few
standalone puzzles, concentrating primarily upon finding the right tool
or item to fix this or that robot or machine. Inventory items must be
combined and occasionally dissected or examined in closer detail. (The
right-click is your friend, remember this!) As such, there are no timed
sequences, no mazes, sliders or other infuriants.
The tasks that we are given are
challenging, often requiring much thought and experimentation.
Finger-snap 'Aha!' moments are satisfying indeed, and I had many of them
while playing this game.
“You glitchy son of a
If the player is expecting to be
served up a graphics platter of the high-tech super-whizzical, then they
won't find it with Primordia. But I found that the charm of the
story and its characters more than compensated for any shortfall.
Due to the complexity of the
puzzles, gameplay is satisfyingly long. My playthrough, with only a
couple of outside nudges, came in at around seven hours.
I experienced no problems with
the download or installation process, and gameplay was smooth and
To sum up, I found Primordia
to be a thoroughly entertaining, witty adventure. Recommended for man
and robot alike. Go forth in sepia, and conquer!
I played on:
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1
AMD A6-3650 APU @ 2.60GHz
4.00 GB of RAM