Armikrog is a stop motion, clay animation point and click adventure from the creators of Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood, where players take Tommynaut and his sidekick Beak-Beak on an adventure to uncover the mysteries of the fortress Armikrog.
Being of a certain age, hearing that Armikrog is a stop motion clay animation game bought back memories of Trap Door and Morph, a couple of cult claymation cartoons here in the UK, not forgetting the likes of Wallace and Gromit, and I was hoping that Armikrog would give me just as many fond memories as the aforementioned cartoons. I definitely wasn’t disappointed as the opening cutscene, along with the few that pop up throughout the game are on par, and I couldn’t help but smile, although that is as far as it goes, as I explain further down.
It is classed as the spiritual successor to The Neverhood, although it’s a game I’ve never played. You can definitely see the similarities, the same goes for Earthworm Jim, as you can draw similarities between the characters. On to the gameplay, and Armikrog is as classic as you can get when it comes to point and click, there’s no hand-holding when you start, you’re just thrown in and left to figure it all out for yourself, and this may put some people off. Having a good memory is a must as you’ll be given clues for some puzzles early in the game, that you’ll need to remember much later. Unfortunately there’s only one puzzle that is randomised, that being the very first one, meaning if you wish to come back and play through again the game will become much easier.
The puzzles do feel quite varied when you first start, but you will find them being repeated over when you get so far in to the game, making it feel a little tedious, namely the ‘toy’ puzzles and the ‘door’ puzzles. There’s some puzzles where clues are given within the game’s scenery, so paying attention is a must. The same goes for the story, if you’re not paying attention, then you’ll miss what is going on and you just won’t get it. The game is not all that long, and can be completed in around 4-5 hours.
Being able to take control of Beak-Beak adds a small bit of variety, as you’ll need him to go through tunnels to gain access to certain puzzle pieces, but again, these become very same-y after the first couple of times, even when you gain the ability for him to fly.
It would have been nice to see a little more variety in the puzzles, along with more of the claymation cutscenes as these are what make Armikrog stand out, and it just falls a little short in both areas. The most memorable things are the opening cutscene, the music which is quite quirky and fits the game’s style well, and if you manage to follow it, the story.