#566 Samorost

Posted: 3rd March 2013 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

221st played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Jakub Dvorsky
Publisher: Amanita Design

Another entry in our internet gallery, for reasons we discussed a few days ago.

When leafing through the book, we see a lot of screenshots of the different games – not all have one, but a lot do. Most can be fairly generic – you know, for a shooter a couple of standing with their guns out, in strategy games soldiers in a top down view. In space RPGs… yeah. Some are more interesting than others, and while some are generic, they do give some idea of what the game is and what to expect.

Some, however, are more obscure and give you less of an idea. Samorost is one of thoese. It might just be a generic green coloured screen with some brown blobs at first – you scan the page, don’t look what’s on there – but a good look does make you wonder. Green hills, an Asian-looking man (also based on dress) and people working in the background. What is going on?

Our Thoughts

That was quite an experience. Samorost, on its own, is a fairly simple adventure game. Point and click, like Myst or Sam & Max Hit the Road, simplified to not have an inventory or actions, it really comes down to finding the right spots to click on the screen. There’s a few places where it’s difficult to find the right place to click, but it’s easy to work out what to do, assuming there is much to do. No need for hints, just keep trying.

The story, to be honest, is as simple. Your character looks out the window of its spaceship and sees another approaching. You need to make sure it moves in another direction so you don’t crash. For some reason, you can’t change your course, no, you have to change the other ship’s direction.

To do so, you go on a long journey around this asteroid/space ship. It’s covered with grass, plants and trees, its hills inhabited by all sorts of people (such as the previously mentioned person) and creatures. You don’t interact with them beyond their (usually slight) involvement in puzzles, making them far more part of setting the atmosphere.

That atmosphere is really the reason for playing. It’s stylized, bizarre, at times a bit frightening. It feels insane, but most of all, beautiful. It’s worth experiencing, that’s for sure.

The question is, though, whether it’s worthy for the list. There’s more games like this out there, with more interesting puzzles, possibly a better design. Still, according to the list, it’s supposed to have revived it – a claim I can no longer verify, but can believe. As such, perhaps a historical curiosity. Beyond that, nice, but don’t expect much of it.

Final Thoughts

This is another game that is over in a flash but I for one can see it’s position. The slightly collage look adventure game has become such a staple of free gaming that even BBC Bitesize has a version interspersed with literacy and numeracy questions for SATS revision. It’s well worth playing the ‘sequels’ if you like more of the same.

  1. […] Take a developer known for creating eclectic adventures like Samorost. Add in cute robots and rusty cities. Get some Rube Goldberg contraptions and make larger puzzles […]