For those of you who are long time readers here at GiN, I would like to say hello and thank you for being a reader for so long. As the online editor, I have been having to do a lot of administrative things behind the scenes which has cut into my review time. Well, dearest readers, this year I am taking more time to do reviews so I can connect with all of you awesome people. Hell, I might even start a Twitter account just for you guys to talk, debate and, let’s be honest, insult me on video games. But enough about me, you are here about the Deponia review for the Nintendo Switch.
For those whippersnappers who were not reading GIN back in 2013, I did the initial review for Deponia on PC. It got a very high 4.5 GIN Gems and that marked the first of many games I would review from Daedalic. Well, Daedalic got ahold of me again recently and asked if I could review a couple games on the Switch which have been specifically remade for that platform. The first was Silence: The Whispered World 2, which was phenomenal. The second was Deponia. Deponia has, well…not aged well to be honest.
The game is exactly as I remember it with the goofy character Rufus and all of the double entendre quips that Daedalic uses. Before I go too far down that rabbit hole, allow me to pull back for a moment. Deponia takes place in a land of garbage that looks straight out of the movie Idiocracy. I’m realizing how old my references are now and I think I found a gray hair in my beard. Rufus, our plucky main character has hatched a plan to escape Deponia. Anyone from a small midwestern town has heard the “I’ll leave this backwoods town, this time” before the person ends up moving back in a couple months.
Now that the brief, spoiler free recap of Deponia is out of the way we can get to the review. So the graphics are still perfect since they are meant to be cartoonish and timeless. As an aside, I have never played a Daedalic game that has had bad graphics. When the Switch was detached as a handheld was when I had the most fun with this game since my TV is so far away that I can’t see anything without the Hubble Space Telescope. When docked or undocked, I did not notice any drops in framerate or overall quality, so feel free to play as you feel most comfortable.
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Where the game did not age well is with the gameplay and the fun factor. After spending time with Silence and the beautiful hand painted backgrounds and a story that flowed just right with the puzzles built in, it was jarring to go back to Deponia.
Deponia is the more of the classic wander around and collect everything until you find the random items that solve your current puzzle kind of game. In other words, one of the “bad” kind of puzzle games that really hurt the genre back in the height of its popularity. For Deponia, this wandering and trying random things lead to a lot of repeated audio cues that started to grind on my nerves (probably because I’m getting old) that wasn’t there during my first playthrough. Porting Deponia was an interesting choice to the Switch, which is sort of becoming like Steam with the prevalence of indie and non-AAA titles available.
Overall, it was a great opportunity to do a re-review of a game I played five years ago. To be honest, playing Silence first did this game no favors at all, as I feel Silence is where puzzle games are going. It’s a much more modern puzzle game while Deponia is still unevolved. Still, if you want a time consuming puzzle title with tongue and cheek humor, check out Deponia.
I do wonder if this porting means the sequels will be ported as well. It would be interesting to see if a Deponia bundle becomes available for Switch, one is already available for the PlayStation 4, as that might up the value score, especially for those who appreciate this old school style of gameplay.
The remake of Deponia earns a final score of 3.5 GiN Gems, just a little bit lower than the original. Not that the game has changed much. But gameplay trends and preferences have advanced, and it kind of makes Deponia stick out as old school, and not totally in a good way.