Primordia (iOS) Review

By Lex Firth 29.09.2016

Review for Primordia on iOS

It's not rare to see a popular PC game make the jump to other consoles, with mobile devices and tablets being a natural fit for a lot of the indie games found on the likes of Steam and GOG.com. Particularly easy ports are the point-and-click titles that populate online storefronts - where the likes of Broken Age and Grim Fandango have done well on iOS, 2012 post-apocalyptic adventure Primordia hopes to find the same success.

First things first: Primordia is stylish. Set in a dystopia populated solely by robots, the browns and dark greens of each screen create an entrancingly miserable landscape that signals for a dark, grown-up tone, while protagonist Horatio and his droid sidekick Crispin have gorgeous designs. They are also surprisingly well-voiced: Horatio, in particular, is played by Logan Cunningham, known to many as the captivating voice of the narrator in Bastion.

It's a shame, then, that the stylised pixel art of the PC original has been toned down so much for this mobile port. Where sprites were chunky and clear in the 2012 release, they appear much blurrier here, meaning that it's often difficult to tell things apart in the vast brown desert landscapes. The finger is also no substitute for a mouse pointer; it's hard to work out what can be interacted with, and it's not rare to end up contorting your hand to read text while keeping a button pressed. Of course, this isn't game-breaking by any means, but it's important to take note of when choosing what platform to buy the adventure on.

Screenshot for Primordia on iOS

The style is also spoiled by the dialogue - it's packed with attempts at humour: sometimes landing well, mostly falling flat, and almost always feeling like a bizarre choice for such a brooding environment. The biggest offender is Crispin, a wise-cracking sidekick designed as the antithesis to Horatio's antisocial personality, whose constant fourth-wall breaking and popping up at particularly emotional story moments make him a real drag.

As for the gameplay itself, it does have its moments. In typical point-and-click fashion, nothing is ever simple, and there's a constant chain of puzzles to be solved, some of which make sense in the world of the game and can be solved with relative ease. Too many, however, are obscure and frustrating, such as the first one - a hunt for back-up generator parts that consists of squint-inducing pixel hunting, with very little direction from the game to help.

It would be okay if this was simply a weak puzzle in a good bunch, but it's sadly a good hint of what's to come. Too often is the player forced to spend far too long hunting for a specific object, with Crispin's optional hints often being too vague or even non-existent. Of course, being a four-year-old game, there are plenty of Primordia walkthroughs available online for stumped players, but those planning on going it alone should expect to get stuck on far too many occasions.

Primordia certainly isn't a game for the impatient, especially on mobile devices. That said, those who do stick past the slow opening and frustrating puzzles will be rewarded with a decent story - not ground-breaking by any means, but one that's populated with twists and turns (some surprising, some predictable) - that's well worth the asking price.

Screenshot for Primordia on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

As point-and-click adventures go, Primordia doesn't innovate much, and it fails to take advantage of the platform, but that doesn't mean it should be dismissed. Players who can look past the dud moments will enjoy discovering its numerous endings, and will be captivated by the stylish environments and well-crafted characters.

Developer

Wadjet Eye Games

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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