A lot of gamers would say that point-and-click games are not really games, but merely interactive stories that have a minimal level of clicking around disguised as gameplay. This seems to be a cynical way to describe the genre, and perhaps a rather limited way to look at video games in general. Storylines have made the medium richer throughout the years, and the foundations that adventure games have laid down from years ago. Primordia proves that in these recent times, when graphics and physics are said to rule the mainstream.
Primordia is a point-and-click adventure game that takes place in a bleak sci-fi world where survival is the main objective. The post-apocalyptic setting is pretty cool, as well as the story that accompanies it. The story begins with the world coming to an end, perhaps alluding to the title as things head back to how it was in primordial times. Amidst the destruction, robots survived and found a way to thrive like their human creators before them.
Two such robots are Horatio Nullbuilt v5 and Crispin, who are inhabitants of what is now a wasteland. They live in a derelict airship that still has power to sustain whoever is inside. However, everything is suddenly in jeopardy as the power core got stolen by a behemoth who’s armed to the teeth. Despite the danger, they must brave the threats ahead and recover the core. Horatio is the bigger of the two and does most of the work, while Crispin serves as an adviser, giving Horatio tips on whatever obstacle they face along the way.
Players will find the puzzles quite simple and relatively sensible, letting you use items to solve them and some even make you come up with more creative solutions. If you’re stuck, you can ask Crispin for some hints, which actually does help most of the time. This is perhaps one of the better parts of the game as the hints come smoothly and goes well with the rest of the gameplay, making players not feel like they’re cheating if they do ask for Crispin’s help.
There is a good bit of dialogue with decent voice acting, a soundtrack that fits the atmosphere of the gameplay, and a visual style that works well in low res. All of this is bound together nicely by a well-written story with good pacing and intrigues players without showing all the cards in hand. Also, learning how to play this game is easy enough, thanks to the well-designed integrated help system that comprehensively shows you how things work without being too much of a hassle.
There are a few hangups though in this game. The inventory may be a bit of a hassle, so you’ll have to sift through more closely in order to find what you’re looking for. Also, as with point-and-click games, some objects are hard to see and interact with, even though this isn’t exactly Where’s Waldo. Pixel hunting is unavoidable in this game, even though the developers seem to have done their best to not have the game end up that way, and Crispin’s hints don’t help much at some crucial parts.
But perhaps the biggest flaw can be seen in how the characters act. They’re supposed to be robots, so you’d expect them to be like those in the movie WALL-E, but they actually act quite human. Perhaps they do have some advanced AI that has become rudimentary at those times, but they’re a bit too human here. It’s not like they were programmed at all, even if you’d account a learning algorithm into the equation.
Aside from that fault that may have just been from the writing of the story, the gameplay itself is that of a solid point-and-click adventure game. While some may sigh at the thought of yet another point-and-click title, Primordia could be a candidate for one of the only ones you’ll ever play in your entire life.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7.5/10