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Rating by btague posted on Jan 21, 2013 | edit | delete

Primordia is a Very Solid Adventure

This game is very solid. The graphics work to add to the element of decay and despair with having no humans left as they were destroyed awhile ago. The story and plot are very satisfying, and the developer really took the story to try to hit on some themes and make you think. I love games that make you think. Without giving away too much of the story, you are a robot and you have a robot companion. You get attacked and you are trying to find out what is happening with the power in the city and to find the truth of how the humans were wiped out and how many of the robots could follow. It is quite a good plot and the graphics and sound add to the story. The puzzles are very good and thought out. This is an awesome game and one of the better science fiction games out there.

Time Played: 10-20 hours

Rating by Antrax posted on Jun 23, 2013 | edit | delete

Falls just short of greatness

Primordia is almost a five-star game. The writing, voice acting, plot and some of the puzzles are top-notch. However, it’s held back by its length and some reliance on poor puzzling conventions.

As the graphics would suggest, Primordia is a game in the spirit of the old classics. In particular, an instance of the “straight man and comic sidekick” a-la Sam and Max. The game pulls it off wonderfully. Both Horatio and Crispin’s dialogue is very well written, Crispin delivering witty comebacks and sarcastic observations with perfect comic timing.

The plot itself is also quite good, though it’s easy to predict from early on. This is handled well in-game though, so there are no instances of Horatio acting too stupid to live in order to justify the “twist” ending.

The game offers multiple endings, but all can be experienced in a single play-though, meaning there is one divergence point at the end from which you’re free to choose your ending. Some puzzles have more than one solution, but that only affects achievements and not the story path, as far as I can tell.

I normally don’t comment on the sound department, but voice acting for this game is above and beyond. This is one of the few games where I didn’t find myself skipping ahead in dialogue when I was done reading the subtitles, simply because the delivery and the voices themselves (modulated human voices, of course) were so uniformly excellent.

Beyond multiple solutions, the puzzles are for most part well-made. Being a builder, Horatio spends his time building and/or repairing machines, which implies puzzles around finding pieces and putting them together, i.e. inventory.

There are also some dialogue puzzles (where there’s probably an alternate solution, because refreshingly, you don’t get to try over and over again until you pick the right answer), and some environmental puzzles.

Puzzles are well-integrated and are usually quite satisfying. They’re slightly more difficult than is common today due to the inclusion of red herrings and doing away with some conventions for signposting. One particular puzzle, a virtual scavenger hunt of sorts, seems to divide reviewers - I personally found it challenging and fun.

The big issue about the puzzles is an over-reliance on pixel hunting and some arbitrary item appearances. The latter is what took me the longest to overcome, but it only happens twice that I’ve noticed, once in an optional puzzle. The pixel hunts, however, occur often. This time it’s not about finding a small area colored slightly different - inside a junkyard, you have a continuous area labelled “junk”. Turns out some areas of that junk are worth looking into. It’s slightly alleviated when it comes again later (the interesting hotspot has a very slightly different name), but in all instances, it’s just not fair. There’s nothing fun about clicking around the screen over and over again, and there’s no in-game reason to expect to even find anything there.

The other issue is the game length, though this is as much a compliment as it is a point of criticism. The game is very good, and when it ends rather abruptly, you wish it’d have gone on for longer. It still took around 4 hours, so there’s value for your money, but it just seems they could’ve done so much more with that setting. I truly wish we’ll see another game in the same universe some day, expanding on the same plot outline and characters.

Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Rating by allthings posted on Mar 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Highly Recommended

Primordia is a must for anyone who is a fan of old-school point & click adventures.

The tale follows robot Horatio and his floating companion Crispin as they try to retrieve a power core stolen from them by a boxy robot with lasers in a post-apocalyptic style world - however, the story is much more than this basic premise. One of the central questions the player wants answered is what exactly happened to the humans who presumably once inhabited this Earth and created the robots left behind. Added to this is a tapestry of moral and philosopical themes such as the meaning and existence of free will, individuality, progress, and what constitutes the ‘greater good’. These sometimes rather heavy themes are pulled off through excellent writing, and are offset by a quirky humour that runs through the whole game. This off-beat humour and occasional breaking of the fourth wall are reminiscent of some of my favourite, genuinely old-school games such as Simon the Sorcerer, and I think anyone who was playing this kind of thing in the early 90’s will appreciate it. The worldbuilding and background detail is fantastic - my one gripe is that the game just doesn’t go far enough. There are hints of exciting other locations that we don’t get to visit, and the larger philosophical themes are never fully explored.

As this is a game and not just a visual novel, I should probably mention a bit about the gameplay - it’s pretty much standard of point & click games, and uses the traditional inventory system. Nothing stood out as unique, but equally nothing was inconvenient or jarring. The puzzles are not particularly challenging, and there’s plenty of hints on hand from Crispin if one chooses to press him for them (it’s also pretty fun to hear him getting annoyed and snarky when you try and use him too many times). I prefer simpler puzzles so the flow of the story doesn’t stall, but others might find this game too easy.

In terms of visuals, the pixel art is gorgeous, and the colour palette of browns, rusts and muted golds perfectly realizes the dusty, disued world. The audio content is also great, from the music to the voice acting. Even minor characters are voiced, and the robot voice effects are pretty cool.

Overall a 9/10 for this game. The presentation is beautiful both visually and aurally, and beneath this is a solid story rooted in a world that feels like it really could be our future. Horatio and Crispin are likeable and memorable characters to journey through this tale with, and their easy banter creates the emotional anchor to this crumbling planet. Points are lost for the sense that the game could have been bigger both in terms of the number of locations, and the philosophical ideas that never seem to be explored quite as far as you hope. Regardless, ‘Primordia’ is highly recommended!

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Rating by Niclas posted on Dec 15, 2012 | edit | delete

First of all I must say that this game has the most beautiful pixelated graphics ever. Also that production values are extremely high. Voice acting is top notch as alway from the regulars of the Wadjet Eye crew. The story is quiet average, but the fun and satisfying puzzle design and interesting main characters keep the game interesting. The only reason why I am not giving this game a higher score is that the story is quiet average and it starts out quiet slow. Don’t take me wrong it is not bad, it’s just that it is nothing particularly epic. The puzzles are pretty fun, and some of them are quiet challenging, however they are always logical to the game world. I only had big problems with one puzzle that was a little bit too far fetched and consisted of finding the right word patterns in a data engine search. I must admit that I had to look in a walkthrough for this puzzle. Overall this is an awesome game that every Adventure Gamers must own and play. If you are a fan of high production retro graphics Adventure Games, this is a must play.

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Rating by Somnifer posted on Feb 3, 2013 | edit | delete

Rating by peterdk posted on Sep 2, 2013 | edit | delete

Rating by cygma posted on Sep 29, 2013 | edit | delete

Rating by guildenstern posted on Oct 26, 2014 | edit | delete

Rating by certmcgurt posted on Jan 24, 2015 | edit | delete

Rating by Khan4 posted on Aug 3, 2015 | edit | delete

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