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PRIMORDIA from WadJet Eye Games and Wormwood Studios

From the game site:
What happened to the humans?

Set in a post-apocalyptic world strewn with cast-off machines, Primordia tells the story of Horatio Nullbuilt, a stoic robot who values his solitude and independence. Horatio spends his days studying the Book of Man, sparring with his droid companion Crispin, and tinkering with the airship they call home — a peaceful existence that becomes threatened when a rogue robot steals the energy source that the pair needs to survive.

When Horatio and Crispin’s search for energy brings them to the dazzling city of Metropol, the simple quest to recover their stolen power core leads to unexpected discoveries about Horatio’s origins and a new understanding of the legendary humans who walked the earth before him.

Features:
An epic storyline about the extinction of the human race
Voiceover work starring fan favorite Logan Cunningham (Bastion)
Gorgeous post-apocalyptic setting
Optional puzzles – learn more about the world the more you play

From the internet (including Wikipedia):
Primordia is an award-winning point-and-click adventure game developed by Wormwood Studios and published in 2012 by Wadjet Eye Games. It is the highest user-rated adventure game on Steam, and one of the highest user-rated adventures on GOG.com and Metacritic. It has been translated by fans into Russian, French, and Spanish; Korean, Portuguese, Polish, and German translations are also in progress. In 2016, Primordia was released on iOS devices.

Life has ceased. Man is but a myth. And now, even the machines have begun to fail. Lead Horatio Nullbuilt and his sarcastic sidekick Crispin on a journey through the crumbling world of Primordia, facing malfunctioning robots, ancient secrets, and an implacable, power-hungry foe.

  

WADJETEYE Games have cornered the market in retro style point and click animated adventures, and with PRIMORDIA on Steam  they have created an Award-Winning sci-fi (post-apocalyptic - it's getting hard to tell the difference between them now) adventure like no other.

The main characters are Horatio, a robot that you control, along with his mini and compact R2D2 style droid known as Crispin. Horatio can use Crispin to check areas, do certain tasks etc and they have that C3P0/R2D2 camaraderie and humour. 

The game begins with our intrepid pair looking as if they are on the surface of a planet next to a crashed space-craft but as they are also next to a huge telescope it is possible they are still within the confines of their disabled ship; wherever, we soon learn that they are at least longer than 10% power away from Metropolis City, where it is said the streets run with free power and everyone is fancy free; though Horatio has little doubt that this is an untruth.

If you are into point and click games where you need to continually maneuver the cursor up, down and across the screen until you hit a hotspot then you are in luck with Primordia for it surely is a game in that genre. Get ready to continually hear the phrase "There's No Time For That" whenever you attempt to activate, open, search, look at or otherwise investigate just about anything that Horatio fancies a gander at; this makes it amusing and comedic for some and not so for others.

  

I am quite fond of some point and click games and I cannot disagree that Wadjeteye are more than competent with their stories, backdrops, locations and characters, and this game is full of them in their excellence, it's the retro gaming I can't get my head around. I suppose it could be because the blocky characters and vehicles are what I grew up with (well actually "grew up with" is pushing it a bit) or more like I was around when home PCs became popular and throughout the growth from Pong through to the exotic CGI and animations we have now. In the old days it was brilliant, wonderful and amazing that you could make a character walk across the screen. That he (or she) looked blocky and walked only in one of 4 directions didn't matter, it was a technical miracle as far as we were concerned.

PRIMORDIA falls between two stalls, modern technology and retro gaming, though leaning quite heavily towards the retro side so to enjoy it you need to be a fan of the point and click genre, a fan of detection and puzzles, and a fan of retro technology. As I am a fan of detection and puzzles, don't mind point and click (50/50 tbh) and am not keen on retro games, I bravely pressed on; also I have to admit that the locations, the funny little Crispin droid and the sarcastic style of humour held my interest. Horatio makes a reasonable straight-man to Crispin who is a sort of cross between Marvin, R2D2 and Robbie the Robot, amalgamated from all the best bits and their creators sense of amusement. 

Crispin isn't just comedic light relief though, he can be used and utilised for all manner of actions so one of the first things you have to understand is when Horatio is the number one character and when you need Crispin to take the lead, and of course you have to brace yourself for the grating "There's No Time For That" every time you click on something that looks interesting but is actually just eye-candy, or at least it is until you need to examine it. 

  

One thing that you will notice is that during the game you will find objects and stuff and collect it in your inventory but unlike most other games many of that stuff you find has more than one use which endured me to the game a little more as I have often been frustrated when I wanted to use something only to find that because I tied a handkerchief to it or used it to poke a hole in something a while back it was no longer available to me - I always thought to myself "it's not money, I haven't spent it, it's a stick, stone piece of paper etc" - and so this is a breath of fresh air. In Primordia the world is populated by droids and bots, the Bible has been replaced by The Book of Man, and any humans still alive are seen as gods. 

A noise from below alerts the dynamic duo that something is wrong in the bowels of their ship. After a quick exploration you help them to discover another robot attempting to steal the power core of their ship. Nevermind, help is at hand and Horatio is soon on the scene, and the power core disappears with the rogue robot.

Throughout the adventure you will find sets of numbers and letters (or codes as they are known to people with brains - so numbers and letters then ?) and you should make note of them. Later you can plug them into your telescope and thus discover the unusual method of map-travel the game uses for convenience and speed. The more you travel the more the story unravels and the more you forget you are playing 8-Bit graphics on a £2000 PC with 32GB of GFX card memory - gah!

Seriously guys, if you like any of the three gaming genres I mentioned earlier then stick with it and you'll have a memorable and enjoyable experience.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015