I have a love/hate relationship with point and click adventure games. Many times, the story would be compelling and witty while the game play dragged down my experience with slow moving puzzles and progression walls. Goodbye Deponia offers up that witty, clever story and still manages to frustrate me up a wall.
Goodbye Deponia is the third and “final” game in the Deponia series. Rufus and Goal are trying to devise a plan the enter Porta Frisco. Of course, Rufus completely destroys the group’s original plan and ends up stranding them at a hotel located on the rail tracks. This time around, Rufus uses his “cunning” and “intellect” to disguise himself as his snobby nemesis Cletus, in hopes to board a cruiser and enter Porta Frisco from there. Of course, this is all done through a series of puzzles and hijinks.
The game breaks down into standard point and click adventure style. Players will move Rufus around, interact with things in the environment, combine and obtain new items and speak to NPCs. Everything is done with the mouse and is very simple to understand.
The problem I had was with the actual puzzles and item combinations. Too many times, I found myself stuck for 30 minutes trying to figure out that one combination or item I needed to use on someone or something to progress the story. Even when I did finally figure it out, I realized what I just did really made no sense to begin with. These aren’t some small puzzles that have to be completed either. With an inventory that can take up the entire screen, some of them have numerous items and combinations that have to be used. The lack of a hint system is really what drags it down.
The unfortunate thing is, Goodbye Deponia is a well thought out, rather funny experience. The story and world are interesting and the characters are very entertaining. I wanted to see what would happen next, but I had to trek through an hour and a half of trying to figure out a nonsensical puzzle just so I could progress the story.
The voice acting is great and really makes the characters shine. The overall presentation is up to par as well with a cartoony art style and comical animations that fit with the story and characters. The environments and backgrounds looked just as nice. It fits well with the interesting world.
The first part of the experience is what drags on. It’s a slow burn until leaving the hotel from the very beginning, and it picks up rather nicely. Still I would hit those walls of scratching my head while shuffling through my inventory and clicking on every piece of the environment trying to find out what to do next.
Unfortunately, Goodbye Deponia is an interesting game wrapped up in a rather frustrating point and click adventure. I loved the characters, the look, the voice acting and the story, but it was all brought down by the puzzles and progression system. Still, it does offer up a decent conclusion to the Deponia series. Granted, it may not be the last one; only time will tell on that. Hardcore point and click adventure fans will be the ones to get the most enjoyment out of Goodbye Deponia, but with the lack of a hint system, casual players will find themselves lost and frustrated rather quickly. If you can power through the game play walls though, there is a decent and rather funny story to be had.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.