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Armikrog - Claymation from the Past

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Let's start off with a walk down memory lane. If you, like I, were born in the 80's and grew up in the 90's and sported a far-out awesome 486 PC running DOS 3.1 then you just might recall a game called 'The Neverhood'. The Neverhood is a 1996 point-and-click adventure game developed by The Neverhood, Inc. and published by DreamWorks Interactive. If you are like me and you remember this game then you're no fool for thinking that the above image of the newly released game 'Armikrog' looks strikingly familiar. Indie developer Pencil Test Studios in partnership with indie publisher Versus Evil, have released Armikrog, the spiritual successor to the classic clay animated point-and-click adventure game The Neverhood. 

You play as Tommynaut and his faithful pet Beak-Beak who are embarking on some sort of space travel. This voyage is cut short as they crash land to find themselves imprisoned in a sort of strange fortress riddled with puzzles that litter the path to escape. In a single player co-op style, you will be able to switch to the two different characters as you see fit to tackle some frustratingly tricky puzzles. The puzzles themselves are fairly straight forward but with very little actual advice on how to work them out makes them a lot harder than they appear once you get them done. Like other games in this genre, the game length will be totally dictated by how well you can work out the puzzles. Don't be surprised if you find yourself visiting the same locations over and over for hours to see what small detail you've missed the first 30 times you visited.

It's not exactly obvious how the game works, so don't beat yourself up if this isn't very clear at the start. Tommy is a kind of marshmallow man with an inventory storage design not too dissimilar to our very own Australian kangaroos. Tommy stores found items in his chest and will automatically call on the item required when you find their correct use. Beak-Beak is an alien dog creature that is blind but has a kind of Predator like vision that allows him to see things that Tommy cant with his normal human like eyes. Essentially you will be switching back and forth from Beak-Beak to get the clues for Tommy to then execute a puzzle.

Armikrog's visual style is amazingly crafted and it should be known that almost all of the in game elements and characters are real world items which have been hand crafted and painstakingly photographed one frame at a time to achieve the stop motion style to the animation. The sound quality is where the production appears to be let down. The quality of the recordings appear to be inconsistent throughout the different areas of the game. Dialogue often sounds echoed although sometimes it sounds nice and clear. The voice acting is good and the humour is definitely there to be appreciated.

Armikrog, like most games these days suffered from a significant delay in release, however it still looks like there are some wrinkles to iron out. These wrinkles however don't break the game, rather add to its Indie charm. Overall Armikrog is a respectable successor to the game of its past and will serve those that enjoy these point in click style adventure games. 

If it sounds like you will like Armikrog then you probably will. Give it a go. I dare you.

Lucas (LewkOne)
















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