CL AY MOTION
Pingu, Wallace & Gromit, or Chicken Run are just some examples of what the technique called Claymotion, the animation using environments and / or characters made entirely of clay or clay, has given us. And in video games?
Surely some think of an old and forgotten platforms called Skull Monkeys for the first PlayStation. Although the most direct antecedent of this Armikrog is the remembered The Neverhood, idea of a former employee of
Virgin named Doug TenNapel who had created with David Perry none other than Earthworm Jim, and that at the time he got something truly unique with
Neverhood, because he had never made a game using the Claymotion technique with play dough. Endorsed by Spielberg and his first Dreamworks Interactiv e, The Neverhood was a classic point and click full of humor and a fascinating visual section.
No wonder the Armikrog Kickstarter benefited from it, as the fans set out to put together an old-school adventure at a time when Telltale triumphs –
though Daedalic, the reissues of Lucasarts classics and even Tim Schafer they keep trying that the old Point & Click does not die. But once with the game in hand, and having waited patiently to patch it properly – the version released a month ago was a mess full of bugs – we sat down this Halloween to be carried away by the Claymotion spirit.
The result? Great in everything related to the audiovisual, semi-disappointment in terms of the gameplay. Armikrog breathes the work of TenNapel, that is very clear, but several design decisions hamper a development that could have been an ode to the genre.
Space Buddy Movie
If something has this indie of almost a million dollars is a strong start, first in a sequence animated with a song that already warns us of the bizarre that the music of Terry Scott-Taylor (another veteran of Neverhood) will be. And from there to a scene already
with claymotion in which we are presented to the hero and his fellow dog alien – to define it in some way – in a moment that assures us that these two are going to give us one of those duetos of actions and exchange of dialogues like
Ratchet and Clank for example, or Jack and Daxter … Well no, unfortunately it is not like that, since here we find the first stumbling block. Tommynaut and the mascot Beak Beakthey enter the story forcefully, but during the adventure – strangely very
short indeed – they hardly exchange dialogues beyond a few moments and cinematic, so that silence dominates too many passages and leaves these two protagonists hardly developed. The same thing happens to the bad guy and the plot itself, which he fulfills but TenNapel turns into something merely secondary that makes the puzzles work and unite until the final stretch, more lavish in narrative.