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Game Info:

Deponia
Developed By: Daedalic Entertainment
Published By: Daedalic Entertainment
Released: August 6, 2012
Available On: Windows, Mac, Linux, IPad
Genre: Adventure, Indie
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Number of Players: Single player
Price: $19.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you =Vanille_Fan= for gifting us this game to review!

The planet of Deponia is one huge garbage dump and Rufus hates living on it. In fact he hates it so much that he intends to build an escape pod that will transport him to Elysium, an orbiting spacecraft where the elite of society live. The local townsfolk in Rufus' hometown, Kuvaq, and even Rufus' ex-girlfriend are more than happy to see him go as they can't stand him. Right before the escape pod launches into the sky, it malfunctions, jettisoning Rufus onto an Organon cruiser. Here he witnesses an encounter between Organon officials and an Elysian named Goal. Goal discovers the cruiser is dumping trash down onto Deponia. As Goal argues with officials, Rufus tries to save her. However, in attempting to do so, he inadvertently dispatches her along with more trash down to Kuvaq while knocking Goal unconscious. Can Rufus revive Goal and rescue her? What are the horrific intentions of the Organon officials for the people of Deponia? Time to put your thinking caps on for this offbeat adventure into the world of Deponia!

Deponia is a third-person interactive point-and-click game where you play as Rufus, an unemployed and self-centered slacker known to make the wackiest of inventions. Each new situation he finds himself in makes for the investigative as well as inventive process that is the foundation of the game. 

There a short tutorial at the beginning which also introduces Rufus' friend Wenzel. Here the player learns the basics of the game. This is a simple interface where only the mouse is needed. There are several uses for the left-click: it controls Rufus, allows to click on objects, and when available, combine items. The right-click functions as an investigative tool. The scroll wheel enables access to the inventory as well as save option. Scroll down to access it and scroll up to close it. Pushing on the scroll wheel will highlight all objects in an area. This serves as a handy aid when stuck.

Deponia
Highlights:

Strong Points:  Challenging puzzler, simple interface, crisp and cartoony Steampunk-inspired 2D graphics, oddball characters, humorous cutscenes, strong story arc & character development, original soundtrack
Weak Points: Long dialogue sequences, main story takes time to develop
Moral Warnings:  Lots of minor swearing, brief nudity, yoga pose and chant, alcohol

The game is separated into three acts with each in a specific location: Kuvac, Garbage Mine, and Lower Ascension Station. In each act, there are multiple areas in the environment that require interaction in order to find items. For example, in the first part, Rufus merely needs to pack a suitcase and leave his ex-girlfriend's house. He starts off in his room where the suitcase is. Here he has a list with four items needed: provisions, a toothbrush, a pair of socks, and a bolt cutter. Acquiring these items is the objective and will allow Rufus to leave the house. It is not that simple to get these items however. Within each area, you move the mouse identifying items that are stored in the inventory. Some items can be combined. Then as you close in the inventory, you can test that item in a particular area in the environment. A correct response usually yields a short animated sequence. Rufus typically says something sarcastic during an incorrect interaction. 

The graphics have a cartoon appearance and very Steampunk-inspired. And even though the land of Deponia is littered with trash, the landscapes as well as the people are pleasing to the eye since everything is crisp in detail. Each character aesthetically looks unique and coupled with an interesting personality too. The voice acting is excellent and is laced with humor. Rufus really stands out. As stated previously, Rufus is selfish and really does not have a concern for anyone else. As I continued to play, I kept hoping for a spark of hope for Rufus to change his ways. He is not someone you take a liking to immediately. Character development occurs for Rufus, but I won't mention when or how. I'll just say Rufus learns a hard valuable lesson which is one of the reasons I enjoyed the story so much. 

All dialogue is subtitled. And the amount of dialogue in the game is staggering. There's a sarcastic response for every interaction; either with an object or with people. While most of the responses with objects are short, dialogues with people are drawn out and become tedious after awhile. Dialogues cannot be skipped but can be quickened by left-clicking on the mouse. I found myself doing this frequently as I just wanted information to help complete an objective. 

Deponia
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 94%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 87%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 75/10
Sexual Content - 6/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 13/10

There are really no mistakes you can make in the game. You can't combine two items to make something that cannot be used. Likewise, a successful combination can only be used in the environment correctly. Everything fits in place so no wrong moves can be made. The game is still time consuming as you're constantly experimenting to see if items combine correctly or hovering the mouse over the environment for details or items to pickup. I began using a notepad to help keep track of everything. Logic and thinking "outside the box" are beneficial to progress the game. There are a few mini-puzzles in the game as well. Thankfully the developers provided an option to skip them as they can be challenging. They do, however, add another element to the game.  

I use caution to younger players due to the large amount of minor swearing. Words such as cr*p, d*mn, h*ll, *ss, d*mmit are littered throughout the entire game. I only found one use of strong language (sh*ttng) and that was briefly spoken by an NPC. God's name is taken in vain once as well. Another area of concern is the use of yoga and alcohol. To write about the controversy regarding yoga is not for this review but there are many Christians who strongly object to it. The use of yoga in Deponia only occurs once and is very funny. Rufus needs to "meditate" in order to relax due to stress. Afterwards, he immediately drinks alcohol then performs the required task. Also worth mentioning is the brief part of nudity. Early in the game, while Rufus is searching for Goal, he finds his ex-girlfriend Toni instead in the shower. It's only from behind and is brief as she covers up quickly. 

Despite these hindrances, Deponia is a challenging, yet lighthearted and amusing game. I laughed a lot out loud numerous times due to the dialogue as well as the entertaining cutscenes. I applaud Daedalic Entertainment for successfully interweaving critical thinking with a fantastic story. The ending is original and delivers a good moral lesson. It is well worth the wait and made me crave for more of Deponia. 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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