Deponia Doomsday

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Deponia Doomsday Game Poster Image
Wacky, fun, sometimes crude adventure with tough puzzles.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Profound questions raised regarding action, choice, consequence, but motives of slacker main character are often selfish. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hero is a lazy, shiftless type -- harmless but childish, self-centered. In spite of that, sometimes he does things for other people, greater good. 

Ease of Play

Point-and-click controls simple to learn, but a few puzzles are frustratingly misleading.

Violence

Characters shown falling from sky, presumably to their deaths, but impact isn't shown. One scene features offscreen bar fight. 

Sex

Suggestive language regarding "getting a leg over"; a pimp and a prostitute character (both fully dressed, only shown standing still); a cross-dressing character. One puzzle has hero's girlfriend exposing her breasts/shaking them (while wearing pasties); a prop joke features a hand extending its middle finger. 

Language

Occasional expletives, including "s--tbag," "hell," "ass," and "crap."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Hero talks about "snacking" on drugs, smoking weed, seeing pink elephants. A drunken monk character, characters drinking cocktails, a puzzle mixing alcoholic drinks. One character shown rolling a cigarette.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Deponia Doomsday is a downloadable adventure game with some mature themes. The main character is a slacker with a flexible moral code; as such, there's mention of drugs, drinking, and mild references to sex. There's some exposure of female breasts to solve a puzzle, but they're covered during play. The hero's childishness also means occasional potty humor with fart jokes, occasional profanity, and a bathroom scene featuring exaggerated groans coming from a man with diarrhea. There's vague reference to violence (an offscreen fight, threats to the hero, mention of an ongoing war), but other than a slug being ground up in a blender, no actual violence is ever shown. 

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What's it about?

Fans of Deponia might have thought their favorite series was done, but DEPONIA DOOMSDAY cleverly allows them to revisit their favorite junk planet through the use of time travel. This fourth chapter in the Deponia saga sends its hero, hapless slacker Rufus hurtling through history in an attempt to break a destructive time loop. The problem starts when a strange scientist appears, creating a slew of problems for Rufus and his motley group of friends. Players explore surprising locations, talk to bizarre characters, and solve challenging (and often hilarious) puzzles in hopes of keeping planet Deponia from once again suffering a terrible fate. 

Is it any good?

This unexpected fourth chapter in what should have been a complete three-part series is surprisingly good. Rather than pump out a tired add-on just to make money, Daedalic Entertainment creates a quality adventure game by couching serious moral questions inside a colorful, irreverent package. It does this by adding time travel into the mix. Time travel is endlessly fascinating, especially in games, because games let players disrupt the time continuum and experience the Groundhog Day-like after effects. Doomsday takes full advantage of this by adding new dimensions (pun intended) to puzzles and creating solutions that span multiple time phases. This makes for some really clever puzzle design that includes traditional item-based brainteasers and weird, guffaw-inducing mini-games. Occasionally, cleverness slides into unfairness when some of the puzzles become misleading or even nonsensical. On the whole, though, fun overshadows frustration thanks to great writing and a cast of eccentric characters. Nice music and sound design help, too (notwithstanding an annoying singing flower and horrible hobo minstrel), as do the fantastic comics-style graphics. Deponia's art team goes hog wild here and jams the game with fun details and beautiful things to look at while you work your way through its thought-provoking story line. No question about it; once again Deeponia Doomsday proves—with its signature blend of off-beat humor and challenging puzzles—that the adventure genre is as relevant as ever.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about remembrance and regret. If you could change one thing you'd done by traveling through time, what would it be? 

  • Think about other movies, TV shows, or books that feature time travel. Did time travel have any negative consequences? 

  • Discuss the real-world potential for time travel. Do you think it will ever become possible? 

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