You know what? I love talking about Kickstarters. I mean, I love talking about the ones that cover video games. My love for these Kickstarters honestly started with one lone adventure game, Armikrog. It was the first official Kickstarter I put some cash on, and I am so happy to see that such a game exists. Here is a little history. The game is being made by a studio called Pencil Test Studios, and is led by the famous artist, Doug Tenapel. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he is the guy behind Earthworm Jim, the universe of The Neverhood, and Boom Bots. So then, how about I finally give this game some face time and give my thoughts on Armikrog? Let’s get started!
The story revolves around Tommynaught, voiced by Michael J. Nelson of “Mystery Science 3000” and “RiffTrax” fame. Tommynaught ends up crashing on an alien planet along with his best friend/blind dog-thing Beak-Beak, voiced by the always entertaining Rob Paulsen. After said crash, they get attacked by the local wildlife, and are forced to take shelter inside this giant fortress called Armikrog. It is up to Tommynaught and Beak-Beak to find their way out of the fortress and get off this crazy planet.
Armikrog is an adventure game in the same spirit as The Neverhood. You will travel across this giant fortress as both Tommynaught and Beak-Beak. Tommynaught is, of course, bigger than Beak-Beak and can hold a multitude of inventory items inside him, as well as move heavier objects. Beak-Beak is smaller than Tommy, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, and can go through areas Tommy can’t go through. You can apparently feed Beak-Beak a certain item for him to grow wings and fly around. Just like a lot of inventory-based adventure games, you will need to make sure you have what you need to solve the puzzles in this weird world. The types of puzzles in Armikrog include environmental puzzles, first-person puzzles, puzzles that affect more than one location, and puzzles that may not be required to finish the game, but will help engross you into the overall world that you are on. In the original Kickstarter, they talked about features that could be implemented into the Wii U version, like using Beak-Beak to see things that you can’t, or being able to use the GamePad to fix rails that are broken. Overall, it looks like this adventure game will be complex, and bring the player a good challenge with the puzzles.
How about we move onto the graphics? I love with a passion that this game uses claymation. I know we just got the recent Wii U hit Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, but you don’t see many games that have claymation as their art direction. It’s definitely worth using the word unique to describe this game’s claymation and art direction. The entire world is weird and has a sense of the unexpected in terms of what Tommynaught will find next as he traverses the massive tower. Of course, no world is complete without a soundtrack to envelop you even more into the game’s world, and who else to compose quirky and weird songs for the world of Armikrog, but The Neverhood composer and famous musician, Terry Scott Taylor. If you want to get some idea of what the potential soundtrack will be like, I would highly recommend looking up the soundtrack for The Neverhood or Skull Monkeys. It’s some of the strangest, but most memorable music you will ever find.
Now, I do have some concerns about the final product. For example, one concern is about the pace of the puzzles, and how the game should have fluid momentum to it without stumping the player too much, which halts everything. However, I will not talk about any of these concerns. You know why? Well, I will be able to play this game in the very near future at the SXSW gaming scene here in Austin, Texas. Since I am going to try the game out myself, I will move onto my final conclusion!
I don’t think I need to further explain my excitement for this game. I have put it onto my most anticipated lists from last and this year. It’s a game that stands out from the rest, from its art style to the overall vibe of the game. Make sure you prepare your PC, Wii U, or PlayStation 4 for this game, because it’s coming to all three systems with the help of Versus Evil, the publishing company behind Stoic’s The Banner Saga. Grab yourself some Aardman stop-motion films, and be prepared to play Armikrog!