Primordia (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 24.06.2022 1

Review for Primordia on Nintendo Switch

Wormwood Studios' debut video game, Primordia, is a surreal point-and-click adventure that juggles the genre's penchant for exploration and puzzle solving with mysteriously atmospheric storytelling. A layer of horror looms over the whole experience, lending the adventure an oppressive edge that sets it apart from its contemporaries. Puzzles require actual logic to solve, mitigating the trial and error the genre has a habit of stumbling into. Every screen is filled to the brim with detail and beautiful spritework that does the dilapidated world justice. Now a decade since its original release, Wadjet Eye Games have brought the nightmarish Primordia to its first home console: Nintendo Switch.

The point-and-click genre lives and dies on presentation. As inherently story driven experiences, the best point-and-click adventures make use of strong art direction and excellent audio design in order to round out their gameplay. Puzzle solving and exploration can only take a title so far if the premise or atmosphere just aren't strong enough. Fortunately, Wormwood Studios makes an outstanding first impression with Primordia. The opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the playthrough perfectly; an android and his robot overlook a lonely world in ruins from the top of a Giger-esque machine, thunder booming in the background. It's as atmospheric as it is oppressive.

Visually, Victor Pflug's art direction is a feast for the eyes. The colour palette is primarily made up of shades of brown, orange, and black. The world feels dark, hostile, and hollow. The end has already come and all that's left are remnants clinging to an illusion they call "life." Backgrounds are wonderfully put together, detailed sprites playing off unique lighting to offer each screen its own distinct mood. Nathaniel Chambers' soundtrack injects an introspective, almost foreboding, quality into the gameplay. His voice direction plays to the strength of the actors, putting Logan Cunningham and Abe Goldfarb's fantastic chemistry as Horatio and Crispin on full display.

Screenshot for Primordia on Nintendo Switch

Each screen is dense with visual information but not to the point where exploring and interacting with the game world feels exhaustive. There's so much to interact with in any given room. Descriptions offer insight into the lore, doing some decent world building that makes the story considerably more intriguing. Even flavour text carries real weight when it needs to, speaking to the script's overall high quality. Making even the minutiae engaging ensures that the gameplay never lulls and that players are paying enough attention for when puzzles inevitably pop up.

The puzzle design is demanding, but never unfair. Players are expected to pay careful attention to the environment, their items, and information relayed. It's important to be astute and observant, both to appreciate the depth lurking beneath Primordia and the actual puzzles themselves. It is worth mentioning that playing with a traditional controller isn't as fluid as using a mouse and keyboard, but the controls are plenty responsive. Players can also see every interact-able object on a screen with the press of a button. Everything is perfectly playable and completely comfortable on Switch.

Primordia is an excellent example of thoughtful puzzle design, rich atmosphere, and a dynamic story all working together in tandem. There are multiple endings stemming from the players' own choices. The plot's twists feel earned and its heaviest moments emotionally earned. Gameplay cannot be divorced from story in a way that only the best games can pull off. In a lifeless world on the brink of death, Primordia is a point-and-click adventure bursting with life.

Screenshot for Primordia on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Time has been kind to Primordia with the past decade only highlighting just how unique, surreal, and grippingly atmospheric Wormwood Studios' inaugural title actually was and still is. While playing a point-and-click with a controller will never be as fluid as using a mouse and keyboard, the control scheme translates relatively well to Nintendo Switch and the ability to quickly check everything that can be interacted with on-screen all but removes the need for random examination. Wormwood's storytelling in particular deserves praise for blending surreal lore and a horrific premise together into an engaging narrative with multiple endings. Every bit of world-building just makes the plot richer and better contextualises gameplay. Wadjet Eye Games have done point-and-click fans a favour by porting Primordia over to Switch. Don't miss out on one of the genre's highest highs.

Developer

Wormwood Studios

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

Comments

Amazing - glad you enjoyed it, Ren! Hopefully you'll enjoyed Unavowed, as well.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

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