Once Morph, With Feeling: Dominique Pamplemousse

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

I kinda want a plasticine laptop

Like The Neverhood? Like Sam & Max? Like charmingly ropey singing? Then you’ll have some sort of feeling about Dominique Pamplemousse, a point and click adventure game which I feel joyfully compelled to call Claymation Noir.

Dierdra Kiai’s down-on-her-luck gumshoe use-thingy-on-thingy game is endearingly ramshackle, and while my time with the demo suggests meaty puzzles perhaps aren’t in great supply, this is all about the plasticine and monochrome look. And the sudden outbreaks of exposition via Moldy Peaches-esque song.

You can play the demo in your browser here, but while it sets the scene and sings a song or two there isn’t much to it. This trailer perhaps gives a better sense of what to expect from the adventures of the titular, perennially misspelled Dominque Pamplemousse.

Not for everyone due to the unabashed silliness on show throughout, I’m sure, but it made me smile. And I only got three hours’ of sleep* last night, so making me smile is a pretty tall order today.

The full game costs a mere £3.39/$4.99, and is available for PC, absurdly expensive PC and absurdly expensive telephone/absurdly oversized telephone-like device.

* For boring reasons, not boozy and/or sexy reasons :(

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14 Comments »

  1. Rikard Peterson says:

    I can very much recommend this one!

    I’m also curious (since I’m working on one of my own): is this the first example of a game musical or does anyone know of something else?

    • GameCat says:

      Epic Mickey 2
      Bard Tales (these new, 3D ones)

      • Rikard Peterson says:

        I don’t have any consoles, so Mickey will have to remain an unknown thing to me, but I guess I should look into The Bard’s Tale, which I don’t think I’d heard about before. After a quick look on its Wikipedia page, it does look interesting (music should be good at least, with those composers on board). Is it a good game?

        • sabrage says:

          You may never read this, but I spent an hour or so with it last week:
          -Voice-overs are excellent, and the writing is hilarious. Much in the way of irreverence and 4th-wall-breaking.
          -I’ve seen one song (in cut-scene) so far, and it was mildly amusing if perhaps a verse too long.
          -Plays a lot like any other action-RPG. Torchlight is perhaps the closest comparison, as a lot of the gameplay revolves around your companion. There’s no random drops, though. You either get gold, or your old, crappy gear is replaced by something better. At least as far as I can tell. You may want to use a controller as the weapon/spell-changing system is shit.
          -There’s a loading screen every time you enter a new area. Every. Single. Time. The length of the screens isn’t overly ridiculous or anything, but it can get annoying if, for example, you’re looking for a specific NPC and running in and out of buildings around town.
          -It seems to come with the original three Bard’s Tales (I just saw the option in the menu, and do not know anything more than this)

    • Tagiri says:

      Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon wasn’t really a musical, but the lead character was a folk singer and a few of “his” songs are in the game (Sung by Callahan’s author Spider Robinson, I believe).

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    Her writing is generally pretty decent*, so might check this one out. :)

    * Unlike RPS, who still have not dug up any info about Doug TenNapel’s new game being made by a bunch of the original Neverhood team… grumble grumble jab jab stab jab grumble.

  3. djbriandamage says:

    This game is super adorable and very creative. It’s about half an hour long and is utterly unique. I’d really encourage any adventure game fan to check this out and support an ambitious indie developer.

    Serious music fans will appreciate the soundtrack – she plays all the instruments herself and uses some peculiar time signatures and clever syncopation.

    This really is something special, folks. If nothing else, try out the demo.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      And if you try the demo, you should know that it will only get better after that. The second half is where it really shines.

      • djbriandamage says:

        It’s great throughout its short length but I must admit it’s hard to top the first impression one gets from a black and white claymation and cardboard musical adventure game!

        • bigredrock says:

          I loved it. “Claymation Noir” is spot on, and the charmingly ropey singing is more relevant to the story than it first appears.

          Unique and gloriously odd. Well worth it.

  4. cloudnein says:

    Bought for me iPadsies. Awesome just for the total kitsch.

  5. Wonkyth says:

    Singing purposefully off-beat; still sounds better than Skyrim’s bards.

  6. Soldancer says:

    This looks completely fun and unique. I must have it!

    Also – the Bard’s Tale is very good and it features the late, great Tony Jay as the snarky narrator and Cary Elwes as The Bard. It’s on phones now, too I think. Android at least.

    Also Also – The opening line is so very much this:

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ItIsPronouncedTroPAY?from=Main.ItIsPronouncedTro-PAY