Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:44

Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest Review

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Developed by Pavel Kostin and published by HeroCraft, Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest is a 2-D point-and-click game with a retro twist. It follows engineer Odysseus Kosmos (Oddy) who’s lived aboard an enormous spacecraft for years and who has for only companion a snarky robot named Barton Quest.

The introduction to your hero comes with Barton trying to find the elusive character. Which makes sense. It’s a massive ship, though we’re only given a small glimpse in this first episode. When Barton finds Oddy, you learn he isn’t the most motivated individual unless he puts his mind to something meaningful. Such as, reconfiguring the atomic synthoreplicator to make coffee while having a perfectly good coffee maker in his room. Barton, on the other hand, has more of an edge to him. There we find him standing at the doorway looking begrudgingly, like an impatient mom blocking the door until you have completed your chores (see also wife)...which is when the whimsical repartee and shenanigans in the form of somewhat obtuse puzzles begin.

Fantastic art and dialogue a given, enigmas.

A puzzle game is a constant balance between being challenging and solvable. You may need to do some mental gymnastics but once figured out you need be able to understand why it made sense. Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest, like many puzzlers, is a sliding spectrum based on the individual task. On the one hand, you have fun mini puzzles when repairing equipment or flying craft through space that doesn’t belong in it. On the other, you’ve got more difficult problems to work through which takes a specific order. Here is an example of this, without spoilers of course. The text says ‘This whosiwhatsit needs a dillybopper.’ Well, that’s convenient because you have both of those things. So you take the dillybopper, put it on the whosiwhatsit and it’s no good. It won’t work. However, after walking around the ship for a while, you take the whosiwhatsit and put it on the dillybopper, and THAT works. The moral of this story is 1. Don’t let me name things in your game and 2. If you’re sure that these things go together, try them every way possible such as putting something down first and then combining them.

One thing that helps in your quest is the ability to press space bar which will show you all the interactive objects in the room. In many cases, if you’re stuck, you'll want to inspect or interact with everything in the area and will find something that’s required. Usually this is a frustration for me in games, as it's more about luck than logic, however, Oddy is portrayed early in the story as a person who loses items because he just leaves them lying around.  Since this aspect of the character is handled within the story, it's somewhat excusable. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen so often that it’s a significant problem. Another nice touch is the ability to double-click on room exits which will immediately leave the room rather than wait for him to mosey on over. Oddy doesn't show any signs of being in a hurry, even though several of the systems are falling apart, but have no fear…

The doughnut reserves are OK!

Most of the care and attention to this game was put into the dialogue between Oddy and Barton. This interpersonal dynamic between an impolite robot and an unmotivated engineer is the best part of the game. It's also the only way we get any character building and backstory. You get from Barton that Oddy is lazy because Barton pointedly asks why he is that way, which tells of the robots nagging characteristics. Then while solving problems on the degrading ship, you also find out that there were others on board the ship… You hear of an incident… The information is sprinkled sparsely through conversations that can be quite lengthy, and while the temptation may be strong, do not skip them. You’ll run the risk of missing some critical details.

Ultimately, the game’s visually appeal is what makes it work.

It harkens back to the olden days with classic point and click puzzlers such as Space Quest, yet looks sharp and updated. The model for Oddy is the exact visual representation one would expect from a person motivated to get work done by an offering of doughnuts, of whom I consider myself to be in similar company. Characters and sprites complement the backgrounds perfectly.

**Note: As of this writing there are three ways to purchase the title. There is the full game on the steam store, Episode 1, and a Season Pass bundle. It’s a little confusing, but I did the legwork for you. The full game item in the store includes all episodes as they are released, the season pass if for those that only wanted to purchase episode 1, and then want to take pick up a bundle for the rest of the episodes.**


The Verdict: Good

Odysseus Kosmos and his Robot Quest is a charming title and a solid first entry into an episodic series. The old school pixel graphics and humorous banter give the game a human touch, while it gets hurts by dialogue that feels long winded at times. As a narrative-driven point-and-click the story is paramount, and while the puzzles are interesting there isn’t much character development or narrative so far. Just enough to keep you hanging on for further episodes.

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Joel Hendershott

You merely adopted gaming. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see 64 bits until I was already a man". I've been gaming since the early days, playing everything from commodores and Atari to Current Gen. I'm a flip-flopper of the worst kind, constantly jumping back and forth between consoles and PC. I can play most any games, but RPG's, racing games are my jam. I also enjoy the simulator games far more than any one man should. One day I decided to not just play larger than life characters but attempt to be one myself and jumped into training for Strongman and powerlifting. Now the biggest struggle in my life is do I spend more time on Games or Gains?