Encodya (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 27.02.2021 2

Review for Encodya on PC

Developed by Chaosmonger studio in collaboration with Nicola Piovesan, renowned Italian film director, and published by Assemble entertainment, Encodya comes to PC. Releasing on multiple digital storefronts this title is a point and click adventure seemingly connected to Nicola's animated movie Robot Will Protect You. This unique cyberpunk world looks set to steal gamers' hearts with its colourful cast and story.

Nina, a nine-year-old orphan, and SAM-53, her robot guardian, are the titular heroes of Encodya. They must traverse a rich, detailed cyberpunk world reminiscent of Blade Runner to thwart the evil-doers in Neo-Berlin and save the world from "grayness". The developers have the game down as being inspired by Studio Ghibli, the aforementioned Blade Runner as well as Monkey Island. The clearest inspiration being the Monkey Island feeling that is produced by the gameplay. The rest of the world is quite cute with an obvious grunge applied with seedy characters and dirty street corners. The city of Neo-Berlin is split into areas that can be traversed using travel tickets. Each area has its own feel, for example the Crossroads area has a few Asian themed buildings including a Japanese-German fusion sushi restaurant. All these add flavour to what would otherwise be a fairly standard world.

Screenshot for Encodya on PC

Visually all of the elements are well themed and built. Nina and SAM are the main characters and unfortunately their first impression is unusual. They don't appear to have much rapport which is an important part of a dual main character adventure game. Individually however they are fairly interesting characters with unique personalities and designs that emphasise their characteristics and advantages. For example, SAM, being a large robot, can reach things Nina can't and can interact with something that could be considered too dangerous for humans without much concern. Nina sometimes flexes her age to apply leverage on certain characters to gain items for free where adults may have to pay. An early example of this is in the sushi restaurant where she can get some of the fish as a sample by complimenting the chef. Luckily, as the game progresses the interactions between SAM and Nina are really rather charming and endearing.

Screenshot for Encodya on PC

The gameplay is following the traditional point and click formula. Clicking on the ground will make the team walk over to that area and double clicking run. Interestingly this game allows for a few options when clicking on an interactive point. Both Nina and SAM can interact with items with some being specifically for one character. For example, near the beginning Nina has to interact with a hole in the wall as only her hands are small enough to reach inside and later in the game SAM is the only character able to interact with some adults or robot characters. It is a pretty cool setup especially as it gives both characters their own interactions, creating a more cohesive and individual feeling team.

Screenshot for Encodya on PC

Most of the puzzle design is excellent and makes logical sense, for example coaxing a cockroach out of a hole using expired food in a bottle. That was pretty neat and needed a lot of player agency, however not all good things are consistent. The puzzles flip-flop between great and the age-old try everything on everything. Luckily, the developers included a handy function on the spacebar that identifies all of the interactive points in the current screen, making it quite easy to find missing points. It is sad however that this is almost a requirement in some scenes due to the density of scene detail making objects hard to discover.

This has a huge impact on enjoyability as it slows the pace of the story which is already criminally slow. Movement is handled well with a single click playing out an almost comically slow walk cycle or double clicking a point to either run to it or teleport to a new map area. It is fine overall, but the puzzles really could be a bit more consistently fair. As alluded to above, the story is dreadfully slow. It takes ages to get started, characters interact in an almost tired way and the walking speed is painful. When the story is exciting the pacing picks up and feels almost satisfying but it is between these moments that Encodya drags its feet.

Screenshot for Encodya on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

An interesting world full of cool ideas sadly hampered by its story and gameplay pacing. Encodya has a great variety of content and puzzles to baffle and test players of all skill levels that make the game worth the price of admission. If point and click adventures are of interest, then this title should be on a wish list as it presents a unique experience and story that would have benefitted from a little bit more feedback and a patch.

Developer

ChaosMonger

Publisher

Assemble Entertainment

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

Comments

the visuals and art direction look amazing 

Insanoflex said:
the visuals and art direction look amazing 

Fair! I didn't find it all that great but it's so subjective XD

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