Deponia, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a point-and-click adventure series that’s very reminiscent of the Monkey Island series. It features absurd characters and a funny story, while puzzles move you along from place to place. This particular series follows Rufus, the horribly incompetent protagonist, as he attempts to escape the gigantic garbage dump of a planet that is Deponia. Goodbye Deponia is the third game in the series’, and continues Rufus’ bumbling adventures to escape Deponia and ruin everyone’s day along the way.
The demo that we were shown takes place somewhere near the middle of the game; Rufus’ love interest, Goal, has been transformed into a baby and – in an attempt to clone her (and learn the secrets of escaping Deponia) – Rufus has accidentally cloned himself. These three versions of Rufus were split up and the puzzles we were shown involved switching between all three clones to proceed. The first puzzle involved one version of Rufus being stuck in a dark sewer with a screaming Goal. Worried that her wails will attract monsters, he searches for a pacifier to silence her. This is where the other two Rufus’s come in; they have to work in tandem to steal a pacifier from another baby and drop it down a chute to reach their clone-brother and pacify baby Goal. Like most in things in Deponia, however, things don’t work out as expected and – when the three Rufus’ finally light up the darkened sewer – we find it was actually a monster that was wailing and that now has a pacifier stuck in its mouth, while Goal calmly floats nearby.
A second puzzle had one Rufus rotating posts in the sewer to turn solar panels on the surface, which – in turn – will turn on televisions and distract a guard in order for another Rufus to sneak by. Again, however, things take a turn for the worse when the first Rufus needs to once again turn the post, thereby turning off the television and getting the second Rufus spotted.
Adventure games, bar the excellent series produced by TellTale Games, are a rarity nowadays and so it’s refreshing to see another game take up the legacy of the once popular genre. Even better, we’re incredibly glad to see that Daedalic Entertainment is able to bring such humour to the genre. Nearly everything Rufus does backfires and causes harm in some way, and it’s a novel concept to play – not as a hero who tries his best to help everyone and save the day – but as one who is as completely and utterly self-entered as Rufus is. The developers explained to us that Rufus is a magnet for chaos and that his plans constantly backfire in a way that they call “Classic Rufus”.
It’s also worth noting that the entirety of Goodbye Deponia is hand drawn. This explains why the game looks like a classic Saturday morning cartoon and really helps convey the slapstick comedy that is found throughout the game. It’s wonderfully animated and Rufus has a wide variety of cartoonish facial expressions.
Finally, the developers have stated that even though the series remains PC-exclusive for now, an iOS port is in the works.