Goodbye Deponia marks the third and final entry in the Deponia adventure series. Since the first title, Deponia, the games have been praised for their humor and wonderfully drawn worlds and characters. Presenting a spin on the traditional adventure formula, the Deponia games have always been about more than just pointing and clicking. Elaborate puzzles for the players to solve across many screens are common as series’ “hero” Rufus blunders his way towards saving the world. But does Goodbye Deponia mark a high point for Daedalic Entertainment’s trilogy? Find out below in our review.
One of the biggest caveats with Goodbye Deponia is that it is important to recognize it as the final chapter in a series that is two games strong. With that in mind, there are going to be plenty of callbacks and in-jokes for long time fans. Fortunately enough, newcomers won’t hit a brick wall in terms of familiarizing themselves with the world and general premise. In a matter of minutes, players both old and new will get wrapped up in the goofy, exciting world of Deponia.
Yet again, Rufus and Goal are trying to make their way off the junk planet of Deponia and to Elysium, a prosperous floating city above Deponia. The problem? Deponia is going to be destroyed soon and Rufus needs to find a way to stop that from happening. The overarching joke in the series is that Rufus is most likely the biggest threat the world and its inhabitants face.
Being an adventure game, Goodbye Deponia can suffer from some of the traditional pacing issues found in those types of games. Large and elaborate puzzles are often full of characters to meet along with things to see and do, but sometimes it means the story won’t advance for long periods of time. While this can be a disaster for some titles, it’s prevented here because the puzzles and general atmosphere of the game are blended so well. The plot might not advance but characterization does, pulling the player deeper into the world. And when the story is in full gear from the beginning to where Rufus is able to solve multiple problems at once to the satisfying conclusion, it never ceases to thrill.
Pointing and clicking are the fundamentals behind any adventure game. Goodbye Deponia does it just as well as any other. A puzzle is presented to the player and they must solve it by picking up items, combining them and using them to interact with other objects and characters. The game starts out with a very simple tutorial to acclimate any and all players to the basic mechanics. From there, a couple simple, single room puzzles are given to the player to solve. This offers a gentle learning curve to the player, acclimating them to what kind of challenges the game will present.
Like some of the best adventure games, Goodbye Deponia doesn’t rely on complicated menus and enormous inventories. A simple move of the mouse wheel brings up the inventory menu, a left click talks to people and interacts with objects, and a right click analyzes everything. It’s all very simple but in no way means that challenges in the game are easy to solve. As mentioned, Goodbye Deponia features some elaborate situations for Rufus to get himself out of. This often means travelling through several screens to work out solutions. Often the answer seems completely obvious but the method of solving is quite complex. Occasionally this will lead to frustration as the answer is so obvious but the right combination of items might not be. But when the player finally figures out that one little trick, everything usually falls in place like dominoes with that magical “Oh duh!” moment. And just wait until Rufus is tasked with completing three major jobs all at the same time in completely different locations.
To keep the gameplay from getting stale, Goodbye Deponia is peppered with little mini-games throughout most areas. Instead of the usual pointing and clicking, these tiny challenges liven up the gameplay with smaller and more traditional puzzles. An homage to Surgeon Simulator, a tooth brushing game, a disco inspired floor tile puzzle and more tax the player’s brain in different ways. In this case however, some of the mini-games work better than others. Though they still use the mouse as the primary method of control, it doesn’t always mesh well. For those who don’t want to take part in them, an option is instantly available to skip the challenge and continue on with the normal course of the game.
Graphics & Sound
Without a doubt, Goodbye Deponia is a gorgeous game. It truly looks like a worthy step up from the already impressive Deponia and Chaos on Deponia. Animations and tiny details for all the characters and environments are noticeably enhanced and feel more complex because of it. In the visual department, Goodbye Deponia would be a great starting point for newcomers because it provides them the optimum way to experience the world. Deponia and its inhabitants have a great art style that is never too childish. It’s a place full of strange creatures, different ethnicities of people and lots of stories. The Visionaire Engine used for the game has certainly made it look great but at times the game can stutter a bit. Transitions from cutscenes or mini-games might cause the game to pause for several seconds. Scenes that are heavy on the animation can be prone to lag at times as well. These issues never break the experience but are noticeable enough.
Exceptional is one of the only ways to describe both music and voice acting in Goodbye Deponia. Considering how many hundreds of lines of dialog there are in the game, the entire cast holds up great. They never miss a beat when delivering the humor when visual cues aren’t always incorporated. This is especially apparent during the countless times when the fourth wall is broken. The one complaint that could be had (and which also holds true to about every voiced adventure game) is that dialog can get repetitive when stuck in a complicated puzzle. Clicking everything multiple times triggers the same lines of dialog over and over where they will just be skipped with even more clicking; it can be borderline annoying, but that is par for the course. As great as the voice actors are, they are almost bested by a particularly wonderful soundtrack. Special recognition must first be given to the original songs that accompany each chapter of the game which are sung by a man with a delightfully thick accent. Sure, they are silly but will have every player laughing as a result. Very few sections of the game aren’t accompanied by music and everything to be heard is astounding. It isn’t just typical instrumental stuff either. They take on a life of their own and touch on a heap of genres.
Goodbye Deponia excels as a game because it provides a welcome use of entertainment and challenge. As far as adventure games go, there is a worthy amount of challenge for hardcore fans and those just easing themselves into the genre with things like The Walking Dead. What will attract any potential consumer are a hilarious script and a unique goofiness that can only be found in Deponia. The game is also quite kind to newcomers. It never alienates them but it also provides enough callbacks for those who have been invested in Rufus and Goal’s tale since the beginning. Hopefully we aren’t truly saying goodbye to Deponia.