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Review of Armikrog. by Joakim

Stars - 30

Rating by Joakim posted on Mar 16, 2016 | edit | delete


True art, but falls short of the good game


Armikrog is spiritual sucesor to “The Neverhood” from 1996, a classic visual masterpiece, good old game, cult classic I’d say. So Armikrog is not an expansion for that game, it is completely new game, but the visual style and feelings of these games are the same, it’s claymation !

Now, to the game, Visuals are exceptional, I guess most of the budget was spent on visuals (claymation, stopmotion). Characters are cool, loveable, the villain is cool, kinda really scary, characters are well done in general. Backstory is something special, very good. This is some real art, it is rarely seen, this kind of creativity in both writing and visuals. Soundtrack is great, just great. So, great visuals, great characters, great story and great soundtrack, why did I give it 3 out of 5 stars ?

The thing is I would not give it even 3 stars if I did not have respect for these guys and what they did in the past. With this game they did not leverage the potential they had, normal player will hardly be motivated to go through this game.

Story is not integrated well into the game, it s just weird how they did it, you have this wall at one place and that wall contains a mini literature masterpiece. But it is completely disconnected with the game ! It’s like, oh such a cool story but… now I am back to this weird frustrating gaming experience, I would like to feel that story throughout the game, see it come alive… but story is actually really dead until the end of the game when it is all revealed… bad design, frustrating, you see I did not finish the game, almost did, I thought it would last much more, then went on youtube and saw I was near the end. But because of this disintegration with story it was not really interesting for me, just wandering around…
The game has a good writing behind it and it wants to tell it, but it does not do it in an efficient way.

And even more important than story problems, game mechanics are screwed, you can just feel that lack of smart cursor.

Game design is weird, I guess they went for this compact-simple-weird-cool-integrated-artsy-nonconventional game design, I respect that, kickstarter funding allowed them do that and it’s cool they did try to make something different, but man it did not work… its frustrating… Even main menu has unconvetional design without a visible reason, putting save/load game under options section, leaving out the volume control…
The game is also a bit buggy (newer versions should be less buggy) and… In the end it turned into just wandering from room to room solving puzzles, remembering pictures, taking pictures with phone so you can use them later. You have this puzzle where you must switch rooms like 15 times in a row, click smth in one room see what happens in the other… dooh…

I dont play adventure games because of puzzles, this game might have some good puzzles but I only love puzzles integrated with story, with purpose… I would like to know why I am solving the puzzle, I m not the sudoku type of guy.

Alltogether, this is not a game I would recomend, sadly, because I respect this guys and I respect what they do. The game virtues fell apart because simply game design was not good, did not work out. Though I can feel what they were aiming for, but this did not work out. I hope the guys will learn from this and next time balance the creativity and efficiency.

I advise you to read official adventure gamers review by Becky Waxman, I think it is a good review.

Joakim


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Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

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