Primordia

Primordia

This is the sharpest adventure game since Machinarium, which is fitting, because it’s practically the same subject matter approached from a different angle. Primordia is a much more cynical game, but not to the point of obsession. Spots of humour frequently pierce the haze of its decayed setting, making many of the characters instantly likeable. The dialogue is top-notch regardless of the tone it’s carrying, and the narrative it conveys is stellar. It tackles many of the themes that NieR: Automata would later be praised for, but stuffs them into a much tighter package. I especially appreciate that there are few disposable characters – nearly all of them have significant histories to suss out.

Primordia also avoids the usual adventure game trap of having to ignore the gameplay to enjoy the story. The puzzles are clever and surprisingly varied, requiring nearly as much codebreaking and syntactic logic as inventory management. Furthermore, hints are neatly integrated into the scenario as the main characters naturally discussing what they should do. The primary thing holding Primordia back is that it’s just an adventure game. Outside of small additions like using your tiny, floating sidekick as a puzzle-solving tool, it’s a pretty bog-standard AGS product. It also looks like deep-fried shit thanks to its miniscule resolution, but at least that’s offset by a beautifully subdued electronic soundtrack.

7.5/10
7.5/10

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