Claymation still reigns supreme.
Armikrog is like jumping back into the past, in both good and bad ways. From the creators of the original Neverhood, it has a Claymation style which I absolutely adore. It’s a point and click adventure game that inspires plenty of mind racking puzzles, but is it worth the trip? Charm can only push people so far, and unfortunately it’s usually not enough to stand on its own.
Fun with clay
Armikrog will no doubt be remembered at least for its visuals. Claymation is an art style that was super popular years ago, and with CGI, the art style has been a bit lost. Very rarely do we see films or movies with Claymation anymore. When we do though, they bring with them a complete sense of awe and marvel. Armikrog has this working in its favor, and it’s wonderful to look at. Even though what transpires in the actual gameplay doesn’t look quite as good as the movie clips, these story moments along with the gameplay work well together.
Price I’d Pay: $5.99
How long to beat: 3-5 hours
Story wise, it’s a bit lacking though. I had expected perhaps a game that took place over various locations in a bigger scale, but instead it’s mostly areas all tied together in this Armikrog fortress. Not a bad thing, but with the idea of the plot, featuring a way to save a home planet, it just felt like it would have been bigger then it turned out. That’s alright, as the characters offer some funny lines and charm to an otherwise typical story. The real meat and potatoes of any point and click game is the puzzles though, and it’s a bit hit and miss.
One aspect that really hampers point and click games for me is the use of extremely obtuse or odd puzzles. Amikrog is sort of littered with these. One that comes to mind that drove me absolutely nuts featured a baby like mobile I had to reconfigure in order to stop a baby from crying. It would just cry, cry, and cry some more. I almost had to turn my volume off to stop the insanity. Another aspect is backtracking, which is normal for most of these games, but with how small the game feels in scope, I’d think this wouldn’t be a problem. Then one puzzle had me trying to figure out signs and symbols, only realizing later I saw these all over the various areas I had been to previously.
It was now time to go back once again to these spots as I couldn’t remember them. It became a bit frustrating to say the least. The world itself is interesting to look at but very little is interactive. It’s a pro and a con. As there isn’t a million different pixels players have to pick on to try and figure their way out of the puzzle, and that’s nice. At the same time there isn’t a lot to view or check out, which sometimes is half the fun in a point and click game, especially when one features humor and the various dialects that prove interacting even with non-essential items, fun and silly.
Amikrog gets a lot of praise for its ease of use, its visual style, and soundtrack. Yet its puzzles seem lacking or confusing. Some are just frustrating. None of the puzzles felt really inspired or gave me that “AHA” feeling. Instead, it just felt like I was going through the motions or getting lucky. In a zany and crazy world that Armikrog takes place, I’d expected perhaps a bit more then I got. I was charmed from the start, and that never really changed as Armikrog has heart in its oddness, just the rest seems a bit squandered in its full potential. When I’d rather watch the game more than feel compelled to play it that poses a bit of a problem.
Favorite moment: The whole look of Amikrog is something I loved, but the odd creatures or weird ways of traversing the levels was my favorite’s elements. Like weird vines or carnival like bucket ride.. Otherwise the actually Claymation story scenes totally had me.
Worst moment: Getting extremely stuck, with no hint system, and a screaming baby rattling in my ear for minutes on end. MAKE IT STOP!
Review copy of game provided by publisher.