ferry;;sadhonker;;adams;;armikrog;;point 'n click;;adventure;;puzzle;;pencil test;;versus evil Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams

ARMIKROG *** UPDATED ***

By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on October 5, 2015 & by Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 6, 2016 (update)

*** UPDATE ***

Almost a year ago, we told you all about the awesome time we had while playing Armikrog. Back then, this 'out-of-this-world' game was only available for PC, but now Armikrog makes its way to our consoles! As of August 23, 2016, it's finally possible to play this great adventure on your PS4, Xbox One or Wii U. I wanted to know how the Wii U version would work, so this update is all about the Wii U version.

Let's immediately start by saying that the Wii U version / console version is every bit as good as the PC version. The story and the puzzles are the same awesome ones as you come across in the PC version and the game still looks absolutely amazing! The one thing that I definitely like better about the console version of Armikrog, is the fact that I can use a controller. I always prefer to use a controller rather than a keyboard and a mouse, so I often try to play PC games with a controller and pray to God that these games have controller support. So, for me, a console version is always a better option, because then I know it will definitely work.


When playing Armikrog on the Wii U, you control the main protoganist Tommynaut and his faithful spacedog Beak Beak by using the Wii U gamepad. You can easily switch between the two characters, using the Y or A button. Controlling the cursor arrow goes really well with the left stick. And you can perform your basic actions by pressing the B button. You can, however, take a different approach and use the stylus and your touch screen to navigate the mysterious world of Armikrog. The latter of the two options does come in especially handy when trying to solve a puzzle where finesse is key. You are free to use whichever method you like, or to just combine the two.

I had to find this out for myself, because just like in the pc version of Armikrog, the console versions do not feature any controller hints or tutorials. Luckily, there aren't many buttons in the control scheme and, as we've already mentioned already in our original review, it does really take you back to the time that the old school point and click adventures were king. At every turn, we had to find out what to do ourselves and that, ladies and gentlemen, is part of the charm.

Armikrog for consoles offers you the same amazing game as the PC version. The awesome clay-mation designed world an its cool characters, the humor and awesome controls. Pencil Test Studios and Versus Evil made a wise decision, bringing Armikrog to our consoles and did a hell of a job creating the game. So, as far as I'm concerned: Two thumbs up!

*** END OF UPDATE ***



When travelling through the vast universe, we come across the planet Ixen. Now, usually, this is a fun and healthy planet, but not right now. You see, Ixen is currently in a somewhat of a sorry state, and its inhabitants face almost certain doom. Luckily, there is a ray of hope on the dreary horizon in the form of a mysterious substance named P-Tonium, which can help the planet endure and safeguard its survival. There is only one downside to P-Tonium; it's the rarest of substances known in the entire universe, and can only be found on the strange and distant planet, Spiro 5. The hopes of the entire planet now rest on the shoulders of three astronaut brothers: Vognaut, Numnaut and the youngest sibling, Tommynaut. Vognaut and Numnaut kick the galactic bucket, which just leaves Tommynaut to save the planet... And I think I speak for the entire population of Ixen when I say: Oh my god, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Nevertheless, our brave astronaut sets off for Spiro 5, together with his companion, a color-blind spacedog named Beak Beak. Alas, shortly into their travels, disaster strikes and the spacecraft of our two heroes is struck by an asteroid, sending it into a tailspin and plummeting towards an unknown planet. One thing leads to another and our heroes are trapped in an ominous looking fortress named Armikrog. Not knowing where they are or what dangers this place might hold, there is only one thing left for our heroes to do: get their bearings and try to make their escape from the fortress.

Although something like this might sound strange or far-fetched to some of you, it is the basis of Armikrog, a brand new point 'n click adventure game from the creators of Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood: Doug TenNapel and Pencil Test Studios. And what a game it is! Yes, it had its fair share of start-up problems and bugs, but those have been mentioned numerous times and frankly, I don't think the game deserves another whining review about these issues which, by the way, are solved by now. So instead of pointing them out, let's talk about the game itself!


Let me get this out of the way first, I absolutely love Armikrog! It's really cool to see such an ambitious project actually get off the ground and turning into a terrific game! Armikrog is an absolutely awesome looking point 'n click adventure, featuring fantastic clay animation characters and environments. Everything in the game is beautifully hand-crafted and the stop-motion animation is expertly done. The soundtrack is cool and quirky, and perfectly matches the atmosphere of the game. A lot of comedy is incorporated in the game, making it not only cool to play, but also really, really funny. I truly love the voice acting, done by a star cast of actors. For those of you who are into movies or shows like: Napoleon Dynamite, Pinky and the Brain or Mystery Science Theater 3000, the voices in Armikrog might sound familiar. Jon Heder, Rob Paulsen and Micheal J. Nelson have done an excellent job bringing the characters to life and giving them that certain "Je ne sais quoi? (I'm sorry. I'm not trying to sound pretentious, I've just been watching a bit too much Frasier lately...)

The controls of Armikrog are pretty straight-forward. You control Tommynaut by clicking your mouse in the spot you want him to walk to. Same goes for interacting with objects in the environment. Just click on them and Tommynaut will interact with them. The game let's you freely switch between Tommynaut and his friend and ally, Beak Beak by simply clicking on either of them. Why, you ask? Well, because at certain points in the game, you can't access specific parts of the environment without the help of Beak Beak. Sometimes it will be enough for Beak Beak to sit on a switch in order to enable Tommynaut to enter a certain area, but at other times, you'll have to take Beak Beak on a little adventure of his own and make your way through tunnels that are too small for Tommynaut. When this happens, the screen goes into an inverted black and white mode. Now while at first this may seem like a strange thing to do, please keep in mind that dogs are usually color-blind. So, in a way, changing the color scheme when playing as Beak Beak kind of makes sense now, does it? As for the inverted part? well, he's a space dog, why wouldn't he see things inverted? And although he can't see colors, Beak Beak does recognize visual wavelengths that Tommynaut does not. I personally think this is a cool feature and adds to the overall weirdness of the game. And a touch of weirdness is something I can greatly appreciate in a game!


So yes, I think Armikrog is easily one of the best games in the point 'n click genre that I've played in a while.That being said, Armikrog might not be the best choice of game for the fledgling adventure gamer. Firstly, it's certainly not the easiest game in the genre and secondly, it has a really minimalistic interface. No points of interest, no distinct glow or text labels appear when you hover your mouse over an object to show you which objects can be interacted with and which objects are only scenery. Usually, when playing an adventure game, we expect to see a hand icon when we are able to interact with an object or another icon to point out that a specific action is required. Armikrog, on the other hand, just uses the standard Windows pointer as the game's cursor, further increasing the difficulty of the game.

Now, don't think for one minute that any of the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph are in any way something I would classify as drawbacks in any way. Nothing could be further from the truth! I like a decent challenge and Armikrog certainly had me quite stumped at times. But with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking and a fair amount of back-tracking, I managed to work my way through the games' sizeable amount of brain-frying puzzles. Quite a bit of point 'n click experience does come in handy at times, though. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is about Armikrog that reminds me of the adventure games I used to play when I was younger, but it did. Playing the game felt like slipping into an old pair of sneakers; it made me feel comfortable. Combine this with beautiful hand-crafted environments, a cool soundtrack, hilarious characters and well-devised puzzles and what do you get? Nothing short of a masterpiece!


So is Armikrog a game that everyone can play and finish? I honestly don't know. Is it, on the other hand, a game that everyone who loves point 'n click adventure games and likes a decent challenge should try? To that question, there is only one answer: most definitely! Armikrog made me laugh, it made me pull my hair in frustration, but most of all, it made me hugely enjoy myself. And hey, every game that can challenge you to this extent and put a stupid grin on your face at the same time is a winner in my book!


available on:

ARMIKROG
Pencil Test Studios & Versus Evil
September 30, 2015