Pubblicata: 13 dicembre
The only correct word to describe this game is "Charming." In this age of advanced graphics and immense budgets, it is difficult to find a game that is atmospheric enough to immerse you in its world or setting as well as Samorost 2 does without the aid of state-of-the-art 2010's cuputing technology (That is not to devalue such games; there are masterpieces among them).
I must begin by stating that, although, for all intents and purposes, it is a "G-rated" game,
it is NOT just for children. In theory it is suitable for them, but young children would become frustrated by it's difficulty. In hindsight, it probably isn't suitable for children, as it does contain a man who smokes wild, touch-sensitive mushrooms. So there. Not a children's game. You can play it. No-one will laugh at you.
I rarely play point-and-click adventure games, but I must concede that this one is making me re-consider the credibility of the medium as a whole. As you can see from the screenshots, the game's visuals are comprised mostly of backgrounds created from stitched-together phoographic elements with meticulously hand-drawn aimated elements in the foreground. The game is not wholly 2-Dimensional, however, as certain interactions will cause the characters to move further away or closer. This art style in combination with the varied and highly atmospheric ambient music gives the game an excellent "feel" when played for the first time, and the clarinet in particular is put to good use in portraying the mood of the characters.
The puzzles are challenging but not impossible, and most require you to think "outside the box," with a few involving the need for careful timing or requiring you to complete steps in a certain order which, although often unclear to begin with, will have real consequences, causing you to have to repeat an often difficult section if you fail to execute the steps in order or in time. The solutions are often amusing, and the cut-scenes that follow equally so. However, I must admit to consulting the walkthrough occasionally. Mostly this was due to my own inability to see a solution, but sometimes it was because it is not clear what can be interacted with and what cannot.
This leads me to my one real complaint: The fact that it is not always clear what can be interacted with and what cannot results in same "pixel-searching" on the part of the player, whereby one clicks systematically on every object visible on the screen before proceeding to click on every five-millimetre-square section of screen-space boustrophedonically starting in the top-left corner, regardless of whether or not it contains an object or not.
What surprises me the most is that both this game and it's prequel managed to be so art-like, atmospheric and high in quality, despite being made so long ago and utilising only the capabilities of Adobe Flash Player.
+Amusing solutions to some puzzles
+As much as it pains me to say so, the characters and story can be described accurately as "cute"
+Price (I bought the Amanita package on sale, but even even at $5.00 for 2-3hrs per play it's still better value than a rollercoaster or a movie. And it can be re-used.)
-Small game-window size on high-resoluton screens
-Every time you start the game you are reminded of the unwelcome but necessary presence or Adobe Flash Player on your computer http://www.orison.biz/blogs/chall3ng3r/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/flash_update1.png -at one point you have to push a baby animal off a branch (It hurts inside)
-it's way easier to think of criticisms than praise
Disregard those Pros and Cons and take my word for it: If you have any appreciation for subtlety of design, art or music, you will enjoy this game. It is good in the same way that the French short films series "Minuscule" is good.