Wot I Think: Deponia Doomsday

The horrible Deponia series will not go away. Even after concluding its trilogy with a fairly final ending, somehow the repulsive Rufus is back once more in Deponia Doomsday [official site] to insult, demean and spoil your time. I bet you can’t guess wot I think:

What a wretched turd of a game. The previous Deponia trilogy was an unpleasant point-and-click graphic adventure series of almost impressively diminishing returns, that descended ever further into embarrassing, tawdry, sexist and arguably racist crap. It’s a story about an unpleasant arsehole called Rufus, who lives on a trash planet that’s about to be destroyed, and dreams of reaching the idyllic floating city of Elysium. The three games ended on a purportedly unhappy ending that saw Rufus falling to his apparent death. Hard to find that particularly unhappy after suffering through three games with the repellent shit, but that’s the background to this fourth entry.

Rufus wakes up and realises that the tales of his being some sort of clone, of working alongside two of his identical-looking nemeses, and of having a girlfriend literally called “Goal” who has a reprogrammable brain implant he programs to remove all the “bitch” from her personality, were all apparently a dream, or at least a vision of the future. This, sadly, includes his eventual faux-noble sacrifice.

Once he’s come to terms with all of that, a time traveller shows up and breaks Rufus’s original inexplicable girlfriend Toni’s crystal glass collection. The entire first act of the game is spent agonisingly repeating the same humourless or outright repulsive sequences and collecting the same inventory objects as you are forced to reverse time (at least) twice to find a way to prevent the glasses getting broken. Opportunities for clever time travel gags, or Bill & Ted style planning, are all ignored. Instead, you’re dragged down the obviously reductive well of shite that the writers seem to find so infinitely hilarious.

Along the way you encounter a series of stereotypes for Rufus to insult, which leads to one particularly repellently transphobic sequence. There’s a large, gruff, hairy character in a bar, who makes some remark about how, “You’d see me in a pink dress before I’d…” etc. Cue Toni kicking the shit out of him for something, and his emerging from the bar in a pink dress, wig, and awkward make-up, clutching at his groin. This, we’re asked to enjoy, means she’s come to realise she’s a woman. But HA HA HA! She’s so hairy and manly, not like a lady one bit!

Rufus can insult her in a series of ways, but the key one is to point out that her legs are too hairy for her to be a woman (no, really), and then, through a convoluted and ludicrous sequence of puzzles that your brain would switch off if I tried to plot out, you get her some wax in exchange for her “ladyshave” electric razor. You know, so you can shave off the fake beard you stuck to a child’s face and then got covered in bees. (On top deliberately insulting portions, the game is so astonishingly thoughtless. On encountering the very first non-white character in the game, one member of a mixed-race couple moving into a house, Rufus’s only remark on looking at either is, “Huh, there goes the neighbourhood.” I’m sure it wasn’t meant specifically, but fuck me, how did no one flag it up as a problem?)

The resetting of the story means we get to enjoy more of the wacky back-and-forth banter between Rufus and his furious mechanic girlfriend Toni, as she accurately points out what a selfish bastard he is, and he complains about her “nagging”. But then… mother-in-law jokes! Her mother is fat like an elephant is fat! She’s a “harpy”! She’s so fat she couldn’t break bones from a long fall! It’s like being trapped inside a 1970s sitcom hell. You’d have to really stretch a muscle to be offended by any of it, because it’s so pathetic. The only rational reaction is to feel sorry for it. To feel sorry for people who find this the height of wit.

It might be possible to see all of that as an annoyance if the game underneath were solid. But continuing the downward spiral for the series, the puzzles are increasingly ridiculous and dependent upon random stumbling. You need a band to play a song, but a man nearby doesn’t want them to. So of course you need the underwire from the bra of our trans friend (to improve her bust, apparently), and a potato that then needs to be chopped in half, and you have to think, “I know, I’ll combine a chopped in half potato with some bra underwire, and that will make a pair of earmuffs.”

Or, as is obviously going to be the case for anyone other than the designer of the puzzle, you’re going to randomly click objects in your inventory together until something combines, and then stare at the screen with your mouth hanging slack that this exists in the universe. There’s no attempt to flag if you’re doing the right thing at the wrong time (which could be too early or too late given the time travel and, no hinting that you might need to make one irrational leap to succeed at another irrational leap you’re currently trying to make. No structure, no thought at all put into how a player is going to encounter such entirely random situations.

Every scene, despite being lusciously drawn and animated, is barren of things to do. Highlighting interactive objects is necessary because there are so incredibly few of them in busy backgrounds, usually only two or three things in any screen. It certainly reduces the time it takes to click everything on everything, but makes it no less tedious.

I’m not going to pretend I finished the game. I played far more of it than any one should have to, especially after playing all three of the previous trilogy. So who knows, maybe there’s some extraordinary redemption story for Rufus awaiting, and all my problems would be wonderfully addressed. I suspect not. Not in a game that’s such a tiresome muddle that it contains lines as nonsensical as:

“A ghost town is a fairground compared to this place.”


“Either there are some flowers missing here, or a sandwich loaf parked its car really badly.”

Or a puzzle in which you must create a red bar for a colourful xylophone, by, er, pulling a key from a piano with a pair of pliers, then putting the piano key through a machine that adds sausage skin to objects, then stealing a heating lamp and placing it somewhere else, then holding the key-wrapped-in-skin up to the lamp to turn it red. Despite being a piano key wrapped in cooked skin, it works perfectly well on a xylophone. Yup. That’s really the level we’re working at here. Please don’t make me play any more. Please don’t tell me I have to carry on after that. What have I done to you to make you think that’s okay?

Clearly the Deponia series is loved by enough people for them to keep making more of them, so I’m sure this will be as gleefully received as the rest. But it’s a nasty, stupid, and most damningly of all, badly constructed adventure game. The animations and art are lovely as ever, the music’s great, most of the voice actors are decent enough, but good grief, please, no more. Just make it stop.

Deponia Doomsday is out now for Windows, MacOSX and Linux via Steam and Humble.

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  1. Edicus says:

    I actually felt compelled to register to this news website to comment about this article.

    First of all, the writer seems very passionate in his hatred of this game series, and I’d say that’s warranted after the racism of the previous game Goodbye Deponia. However I don’t feel you’re being fair to the game as a whole.

    Every new game should be held to it’s own standard. And Deponia Doomsday is a far better game than Goodbye Deponia was. It’s a game about struggling against your own fate, and coming to terms with what that fate means. The game does this though some admittedly absurd logic puzzles including one where you literally rip a star out of the night sky by clicking on it enough times.

    I felt compelled to comment about this article because the game left me with a lasting impression, and I do not feel this article does the game justice.

    • Pizzacheeks McFroogleburgher says:

      .. You’ve not fought your case at all well… I’m with John.

    • Beefenstein says:

      “It’s a game about struggling against your own fate, and coming to terms with what that fate means.”

      OK, go on…

    • Jay Load says:

      “Every new game should be held to it’s own standard”

      Nope. Games exist within layers and layers of context, be that social context, other games or even their own series. You *could* view that game in its own little vacuum but that means that sentences like “This Deponia has the best cartoon graphics ever” are both true and rendered completely meaningless.

      So in this case I’m with John. Bury the fucker in its own faeces.

      • Sin Vega says:

        That’s not entirely fair (or rather, you’re right, but so is Edicus). Games don’t exist in a vacuum, of course, but if a series is bad and clumsy and ignorant, that doesn’t preclude one entry in that series from bucking the trend and being, if taken as an isolated game, none of those things.

        Whether this applies to Deponia is a different discussion, but as a principle it stands up.

    • Nissedood says:

      Played trough all 3 first games.
      Most fun I had with a point and click game since Grim Fandango.
      Only bad thing about the series was the ending, that felt a little sudden.

  2. c-Row says:

    “A ghost town is a fairground compared to this place.”

    I don’t see how that’s nonsensical…? I can only imagine that it does not make sense in English, but directly translated back it makes perfect sense.

    • Babymech says:

      You can’t expect John to translate every line back into Ghost just to make sense of the game :(

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      It makes perfect sense. I’m a native English speaker.

      • Beefenstein says:

        Basingstoke is Windsor compared to this place.

        A courgette is an apple compared to this place.

        Oprah Winfrey is a windsock compared to this place.

        • Tannhauser says:

          A [empty place] is a [busy place] compared to this place.

          Is this some bizarre American/British English divide? It makes complete sense, even if it is a clunky sentence.

          • Aerothorn says:

            I’m a native speaker of American English and this sentence makes perfect sense to me. I was very confused as to why John thought it was confusing.

          • Baines says:

            Because John decided long ago that he utterly loathes Deponia, and only plays the games in order to find things to complain about in them? He made similar exaggerated complaints about the dialogue in the previous games.

          • jrodman says:

            I’m a native speaker of American English, and while I can sort of work out what the sentence is trying to say, it’s a strange and awkward way to express it. Encountering this in a game I would have to read it 4-5 times and then still feel uncertain that I know what it’s trying to say.

            It’s the sort of idiomatic construction that only really flows if it is familiar.

          • Shookster says:

            Middle class Midwestern white American male here, this made no sense to me either. Once I read the explanation above, I got it, but it still seemed a little bit pointless.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Simply put “I am dumb compared to this guy” is a horribly awkward sentence in the first place, and making things worse, “An [x] is a [y] compared to [z].” is technically a metaphor, and metaphors can easily confuse. The simplest way to rearrange the sentence and make it less bizarre would be to make it a simile: “This place makes a ghost town look like a fairground.”

            Even then, culturally, fairground conjures the wrong image.

    • Tacroy says:

      It’s understandable, but the sentence lands with a resounding, awkward “clunk”. I can’t imagine an English speaker okaying that turn of phrase.

      Spending five minutes thinking about it, I would suggest “this place is like a ghost town, except all the ghosts got bored and left”.

      • jrodman says:

        This alternative proposal is obvious. It’s also on the clever and entertaining sides, with a bit of the sarcastic about it.

        Next time, hire Tacroy for your localization.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Aye, now this is a well-crafted sentence.

    • aircool says:

      Makes perfect sense in English. It’s like a cake and arse party, but without the cake.

    • gunny1993 says:

      It makes sense, but it is clumsy as shit. Would be better to say “this place makes a ghost town feel lively” or something, removes a layer of comparison.

      • RedViv says:

        Aye. The sentence despite not being wrong English still manages to feel oh so very painfully German.

        • Chaoslord AJ says:

          Actually you wouldn’t say this in German at all. “Verglichen mit diesem Ort ist eine Geisterstadt ein Rummelplatz.”
          That’s literally translated and switched for better structure but still noone would say this.
          I’d actually have read sentences in English texts with Syntax compared to a, b is c. It’s a common complicated joke figure of speech which sometimes works and sometimes don’t depending on the a,b,c.

    • John Walker says:

      1) A fairground can be empty, closed. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used locations for ghost town-like atmospheres. The analogy is nonsensical.

      2) It’s a horribly clumsy sentence worthy of criticism.

      3) While this isn’t apparent in the review, the place contains at least five people, making it distinctly unlike a ghost town.

      4) Weird how no one’s mentioned the other example!

      • aircool says:

        What other example?

      • Saradi says:

        “A fairground can be empty”. Wow, that is your reasoning?

        When you think of a fairground, what image comes to your mind first, a noisy, people filled place with lots of attractions and rides or an empty and silent place?

        • jrodman says:

          Both, personally.

          I’ve probably seen many more images of empty fairgrounds than full, and I’ve almost never been to such a place in either state.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          “Carnival”, and I think busy
          “Fair ground” I think empty lot unless the sentence modifies it

        • Tacroy says:

          When you think of a fairground, what image comes to your mind first, a noisy, people filled place with lots of attractions and rides or an empty and silent place?

          I don’t know, why don’t we ask Steam

        • Kitsunin says:

          I’ve never heard the word used aside from in Scooby Doo and the like, referring to an abandoned fairground. If you were talking about a fairground abuzz with life, you would simply say “fair” or “carnival” because there’s never a situation where you are only referring to the grounds, unless those grounds are empty.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        Well, the second example is very clearly nonsensical, so they ignore that one.
        Makes it easier to attack your review of the bigoted game they like

        • wraithgr says:

          Because criticizing a criticism means you absolutely support the thing being criticized… What an inane view to have, mate…

      • c-Row says:

        As for 1. Google image search suggests that a fairground is a rather lively place buzzing with colours and people. If somebody is talking about ships it doesn’t automatically conjure up images of ghost ships in my mind even though ships can be abandoned.

        The second example didn’t really make sense to me either so there’s no reason to bring it up while I can still disagree on the first.

      • remon says:

        “1) A fairground can be empty, closed. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used locations for ghost town-like atmospheres. The analogy is nonsensical.”

        You’re clearly wrong here. Fairgrounds are shown empty to exaggerate a bleak atmosphere, exactly because they are lively.

        • Kitsunin says:

          But if it’s not empty, it’s not a “fairground” it’s just a “fair”.

          I know this isn’t technically true, but it is culturally true.

      • Bedlam11 says:

        You’re a fucking retard John.

  3. Allenomura says:

    Does the game have Director’s Commentary, like they added to the original trilogy?

    • pepperfez says:

      I would consider playing them if they added John Walker’s commentary.

      • Bedlam11 says:

        That would actually be hilarious, hearing his hysterical manchild shrieking over imagined slights every time a minority or woman appears on the screen. I would only buy it if he didn’t receive any of the profits though.

  4. Beefenstein says:

    I sadly have the first three games and now will not play them. Now I know why they were being sold so cheaply (£1 for all three or something?).

    It’s sad that over four games things have just got worse and worse. I hope the developers get diminishing returns in terms of profits as well.

    • Allenomura says:

      if you’ve got your reasons, fair enough. But they’re charming adventure games. I’ve finished the trilogy, enjoyed each hugely, and actually felt concerned I’d underpaid for the value and enjoyment they proved to offer.

      • Beefenstein says:

        Well then, I’ve underpaid to become convinced I never want to play them because they appear to be shit. I’m glad you enjoyed them though.

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Try the first.

          There are much worse games than the first Deponia. Just pretend that its ending ends the whole series though and it’ll finish on a decent high note.

      • yonsito says:

        I really enjoyed all three Deponia games, as well.

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      gritz says:

      Man, seriously. It seems like every damn Humble Bundle packs in six copies of Deponia that I’m never going to touch with a ten foot pole.

      • Saradi says:

        Your fault for listening to this biased review.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          What the hell is an unbiased review?

          It’s what he thinks, not a listing of the number of inventory items or something

          The next time somebody doesn’t like a thing you like, know that if you defend the thing by baldly asserting bias, people reading your comment will tend to dismiss it out of hand

          • Saradi says:

            Not falsifying examples by leaving out context in order to evoke a specific reaction conforming to your personal bias would be a good start for writing an unbiased review.

          • John Walker says:

            Ooh ooh, do give some examples!

          • Saradi says:

            You mean like bringing up the skin color of the character with the neighbourhood comment despite it not having to do anything with it? Of course you do not direcly say its racist, you only say that the game generally is and then bring up the example.

            Or when you talk about having to resort to randomly combining items despite the game telling you what to do? Or that you “forget” to mention that the trans lady actively asks about Rufus opinion what she can improve and that he doesn’t simply insult her out of the blue?

            And of course there is “fairgrounds can be empty”.
            Ships can be stranded wrecks in the middle of the desert, but that isn’t the first image which comes to mind.

          • Saradi says:

            Oh and I forgot to mention this little fact about Rufus insulting the transsexual, a scene you kindly included as screenshot. What you for some incomprehensible reason missed to say was that this lady asks Rufus if there is anything she can do in his opinion to be more ladylike…

          • malsha says:

            I’m sorry, but I really need to state something here. I’m a black girl and I find it really absurd, bashing and inappropiate to call this part of the game ‘racist’. Who cares, if you said “I don’t think they meant it like that but I’ll just let the word ‘racist’ here so everybody thinks I meant it like this, thehe”, you said it. In the context of reviewing this game. It’s especially weird, to project your own racism into a game you actually hate, just to make it look bad. You thought of it being racist, because a black woman was displayed, so doesn’t it make yourself a racist if you immediately have to analyse every little thing around a black person in a game? And try to interpret racism into anything that seems plausible enough? This is the main thing that really made me mad, sad and irritated the f*** out of me. To the part of the transgender Lotti in the game: I think she’s adorably displayed. I respect her as a figure in the game and LOVE her. A really famous German letsplayer asked his viewers whether they think that Toni or Goals ‘hotter’ or ‘cooler’. The most people wrote “LOTTI” in capslock. This alone should show you that no one (or at least the majority, can’t speak for everyone) loves this character just the way she is. Because they REFLECT on what they see, they REFLECT on Rufus’ decisions and think about it more. Just hope people read this and get a hold of themselves and their own hatred. And PLEASE guys, stop judging off of a review, are you serious? If someone tells some untrue stories about you and these ppl judge you without even spoken to you, you think that’s in any case valid? Nah. Just nah.

          • malsha says:

            *everyone instead of “no one”, sorry bout that folks.

    • Griffz says:

      So you aren’t even going to play it now to form your own opinion… instead you’re going to take another persons word for truth despite the fact that he writes like an ego maniac who literally pulls down his pants and shits on anything that doesn’t agree with his own tastes/beliefs? Who is number 1? I am not a prisoner, I am a free man.

  5. chase4926 says:

    Were the other writers taking the day off? You don’t seem like the right person to review this one.

    • Jay Load says:

      I doubt there’s a writer in RPS who’d have played that and given it an Optimus Thumb. I keep looking at that “Huh…there goes the neighbourhood” picture and my jaw just keeps dropping. It’s insane how that is actually present in a thing you can buy.

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        Risingson says:

        I am not a fan of Deponia myself, but the way John focuses all his hate gathered during x time on Daedalic is something that still surprises me. As well of being a theoretical fan of adventure games and thinking of everything related to “lateral thinking” as something as bad as eating little babies.

        On the other hand focusing your hate on a game series, design or developer is quite healthy. I do that all the time.

        • John Walker says:

          I’ve praised Daedalic games, and love how much effort they’re putting into giving small, unknown European adventure dev teams a chance to finish their games and get them published. I have no hate for Daedalic whatsoever.

          • Zohrdan says:

            Well, let’s talk about the (pink) elefant in the Room: John does not like the Deadalic games, that are natively german. Little know fakt: Most Deadalic games arn’t from german writes. As a german I play all gamesthat are not natively german in english Langues setting. Why? Because Translation sucks. Most voice actors sound out of place when the read translated gamescripts… that’s the same for every language. I don’t know why… german film voice actors are some times better than the original voice. But back to game: Rufus is a really charming character with very rough edges (egocentic, narcissistic but a childlike charm and somewhere a good heart) in the german version. In the english version he is an a***. Many jokes are based on proverbs that don’t have an english counterparts. The fakt that I had to google “proverb” allow shows me how very little they are used in english. Also the game in general play’s alot with german language…
            I the german version the character’s makes you ignore the 2 or 3 flawed puzzles. But I see why a game that’s humor and charm is “lost in translation” has nothing but flawed puzzles in John’s eyes… and creates hate with Rufus just being an a***

      • Saradi says:

        Of course John used a clipped screenshot which does not show the entire scene, nor does he mention the ridiculous behaviour of this couple so that people can’t even get the idea that the “Huh…there goes the neighbourhood” comment might not be racism (you know, what most players will think in this moment).

        • geerad says:

          Perhaps you missed the part where John says “I’m sure it wasn’t meant specifically, but fuck me, how did no one flag it up as a problem?”

          • Saradi says:

            I didn’t miss it, its just that the only one who would flag it as a problem would be John because he was looking for them to confirm his bias.
            And as he didn’t find any he had to misrepresent the scene to create a problem he could complain about.

        • John Walker says:

          I cropped it so the text would be legible. I also, dear God, wrote *that I didn’t think it was being racist*. Just that before I’d spoken to them, I ‘looked at’ the woman stood on the ground, and that was what he said.

          But yes, their struggling to choose curtains and being sycophantic sure ruins a neighbourhood!

    • DevilishEggs says:

      I thought Walker was the go-to for adventure games. He has a record of being more critical of more recent darlings (like Still Life 1) than the average Just Adventure crowd.

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        Risingson says:

        Yeah, well, I might have some problems on how John thinks of lateral thinking and stuff, but please, give me 1000000000 John Walkers instead of Just Adventure, Adventure Gamers and such.

    • Babymech says:

      This site has a number of decent and competentwriters, and one real talent with an actually unique voice. Any review he does is a boon.

      • RogerioFM says:

        The man is by far the worst review in any site. So oversensitive.

        • Beefenstein says:

          Hmm… who seems sensitive right now?

          • RogerioFM says:

            Uh, because I don’t like him as a reviewer? Wow, nice comeback.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            Well, you did declare him the worst game reviewer on the internet because he didn’t like a game you like. “Oversensitive” is a good word for that. “Touchy” at the very least. Perhaps “fragile”?

      • Mokinokaro says:

        But enough about Alex Meer…

    • Freud says:

      While he’s probably right in the game not being good, I have the feeling the bulk of the review was mentally written before he started playing.

      While rants might be entertaining and this is a game blog I wouldn’t base a decision to buy or not to buy a game on a review like this.

      • Person of Interest says:

        John’s a pro. All his reasons for loathing this game are explained in this review. And he repeatedly highlights the good parts (production values, art, music).

        I think he gave the game a fair shake before ruthlessly tearing it down.

        • Archonsod says:

          To be fair I think he did over-egg the pudding a wee bit. Beyond the mention of a couple of ‘moon logic’ puzzles the main gist I get is that John disliked the writing, which is fair enough, but there’s not enough regarding the rest of the game to tell if it’s something I’d still enjoy if that’s a non-issue for me. It’s a point and click, so I get that the writing is a large part, but it would have been nice to get a little bit more info beyond that – for example are all the puzzles as bad as the ones mentioned or are those just particularly egregious examples? The time travel mechanic is mentioned, but no insight into how it works or how big a part it plays.
          To my mind he could’ve condensed the entire review into the line about being trapped in a bad seventies sitcom and conveyed pretty much the same amount of information (although I guess he may have had to then explain bad seventies sitcoms for the younger audience. Which actually might have been more fun that reviewing the game).

          • Saradi says:

            The puzzles are not that bad when seen in context instead of just reading them in this biased review.

            Exchanging wax for the lady shave? Pretty logical as the character complained that the lady shave is dull. Shaving off the fake beard of a child? Well you gave him a fake beard in the first place to make him look older (not that anyone fell for it, they just gave in because you were so annoying). And as you used honey to attach the beard and keep it in place it is no wonder that the bees got attracted to it, bees you need for an item.

            As for the potatoes I already wrote what John didn’t tell, that the bra wire was clearly earmuff shaped, the protagonist comments on it looking like an earmuff and the character you will give the earmuffs to saying several times, in caps no less, that he can hear the band because he doesn’t have potatoes on his ears.

          • klops says:

            I actually wanted to see a walkthrough to see how those “horrible puzzles” worked in the game. Because your explanation was something I expected. Usually the point and click adventure game puzzle logic is mindless if taken out of the context (descriptions, things someone said, the letter size, graphics) but works if you know how adventure game puzzles work.

            I still want to avoid the game, though.

          • Saradi says:

            Hopefully not because of Johns review. If that is the case I suggest you read some more professional reviews, too to get a more honest idea of how the game is.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Seconded. This was an entertaining read, but I prefer to judge a game on a sober consideration of its virtues and failings, not a ideologically-driven rant.

        • aircool says:

          I’ll agree to that as well.

        • yusefsmith says:

          I missed the ideological parts?

          • thebigJ_A says:

            Haven’t you heard?
            You can’t point out racism, sexism, or any other bigotry these days, no matter how obvious, because if you do you’re an “sjw”, “feminazi”, or “ideologue” devoted to the religion of “PC culture”

            Never mind the irony of such knee-jerk dogmatism accusing others of being what they’re such obvious examples of

  6. Author X says:

    I have to say, I’m kind of impressed. I gave up on the series after the second game doubled-down on the worst parts of the first, and after reading your review of the third, so it’s surprising that they actually managed to make it worse still.

  7. whilesleepinghesaid says:

    I’ve played a heck of a lot of point-and-click adventure games in my time and this series left me asking questions about the relationship of myself and the rest of humanity. What I mean to say is that the article says everything I’ve ever felt about this series but couldn’t say because I was too afraid that my reaction was unique. Do people actually write games with main characters like Rufus?

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      Risingson says:

      AdventureSoft has being doing that for quite a lot of time and no one complained…

    • subactuality says:

      I’m sorry to be the first to tell you this, but some people are characters like Rufus.

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      alison says:

      Oh Deponia. Rufus is indeed a total and complete douchenozzle, and i spent most of the trilogy wanting to reach through my screen and punch him. On the other hand, the “ersatzkatz” dialog was the most hilarious thing i have seen in gaming for years and left me crying laughing (no idea how they translated that to English). The “remembering the knock” puzzle is the most ingenious puzzle i have ever encountered in an adventure game. The sitcom room was a completely off-the-wall and inventive idea. And then you find the pedophile caravan, and the appallingly racist dancing monkey section and you kind of want to throw up. But then the utterly silly mistaken identity/screwball sections make up for it. Platypuses, man! The schadenfreude of watching this complete asshat that is your player character inevitably fail is delicious. Deponia is an everything and the kitchen sink adventure game. It is peak adventure game. It is wildly inventive and funny, and it’s utterly outrageous and offensive, and i really want to hate it because the protagonist is such a jerk and some of the jokes are incredibly non-politically correct, but it’s so crazy and clever i kind of can’t. Looking forward to this new instalment.

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    Arnvidr says:

    Kind of ironic that I’ve avoided these games because I don’t like the graphic style.

    • tehfish says:

      Heh, that’s my favourite part. :D

      The story was passable but the main character was hugely unlikeable for me (not in a funny/amusing way either, more genuine arsehole).

      I played the first two games and kind of enjoyed them despite the MC, but eventually gave up half way through the third…

      If we could keep the art team but plug new writers in for a new series i’d be overjoyed!

  9. RogerioFM says:

    The games are fine, I guess John is just too sensitive. Sexism, racism , bla bla bla. Like all games should cater to his sensibilities.

    • Beefenstein says:

      Agreed: not all games should cater to any one person’s sensibilities because diversity is important.

      Therefore allow John to not like this game while you not like a game he does like. Fine.

      With that issue out the way: “Sexism, racism, bla bla bla.”
      I’m pretty sure you like social justice. You belong to a group, don’t you? Let’s say we decide we don’t like that group and denigrate them at all turns. Deny them educational and economic opportunity.
      That’s why it is objectively important to fight prejudice. I’m sure you understand because, of course, you value individual humans as entities deserving of respect. If you don’t, ha!, that would be ridiculous, because you’d be inviting me to come to your house and slaughter you. What’s sauce for the goose, after all, is sauce for the gander.

      • daphne says:

        “Let’s say we decide we don’t like that group and denigrate them at all turns. Deny them educational and economic opportunity.”

        This is not something that you do by playing, buying, or endorsing games. But it’s an excellent line if you’re fully convinced of your own powerlessness, and have no hope whatsoever that the political economy breeding the issues you refer to will ever change.

        Sure, don’t buy this game. Be a social justice advocate on the Internet.

        Because it’s all you can do.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          I gotta say, accusing social justice advocates of being weak and powerless is an interesting new angle. Usually you guys are moaning that the SJWs have too much influence and are ruining everything.

          • daphne says:

            I have no idea who you are referring to by “you guys”, but clearly it’s not me.

            They are weak and powerless in the same sense that the moaners are. What if they do influence game-making? What does it even matter if a triple-A game embraces diversity? Outside, in the real world, racism, sexism, and sheer economic inequality rages on. Let the idiots cherish their hollow victories just as the whiners complain of too much influence. Too much influence over a puff of mist, perhaps.

        • yusefsmith says:

          “Sure, don’t buy this game.”


          “Be a social justice advocate on the Internet.”

          lol what

      • RogerioFM says:

        No one is denying anyone education and respect. But this idea that everyone is so weak willed that any joke is so hurtful, that’s not true, at least for most of people it shouldn’t, we all create this defeatist and guilt ridden society where we believe we are to blame for the sins of our ancestors. So we have to be all serious, we can say a word as it has the potential to hurt someone. Please give a break.

        We cannot regulate art, art is not suppose to educate or to be controlled by what we think is right. And humor is not supposed to be for everyone. I know that you can’t review art a completely objectively but his biased views are a disgrace for anyone who believes himself a journalist.

        Soon no one will be able to speak in fear of hurting each others feelings, since everyone seems to want to become a victim more and more. Worst are the white people with their guilt of things they had nothing to do, and now believes they should protect others as a burden for their color.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Standard Internet Fallacy #571: “I heard you don’t like a thing. Not liking things is the same as censorship. Why do you hate free speech?!?”

        • Bernardo says:

          “But this idea that everyone is so weak willed that any joke is so hurtful, that’s not true”

          Who said that? John wrote that he isn’t even offended by it, because it’s just pathetic at this point. It’s bad storytelling if the characters are so irredeemably unlikeable that you don’t want to spend another minute with them, and the racism, sexism, transphobia and so on is just really bad jokes that John doesn’t find funny. I don’t, either. Not because I think they would hurt someone, but because they are literally hundreds of years old, smallminded and stupid.

        • Sarfrin says:

          Apparently you’re unaware that it’s possible to be funny without being obnoxious to people who aren’t white and male. By all means carry on thinking that,it’s a free country. But people are also free to disagree with you.

        • Bernardo says:

          Also: “Soon no one will be able to speak in fear of hurting each others feelings, since everyone seems to want to become a victim more and more.”

          So awful! A dystopian future in which people try to behave with basic empathy and decency towards each other.

          • aircool says:

            I find your sarcasm offensive and hostile.

          • TheAngriestHobo says:

            It’s amazing that some people believe that there is a possible future where all humans get along and no one ever hurts anyone’s feelings, let alone physically harms them.

            There will always be assholes in the world, because tribalism is the genetic inheritance we received from the primates we descended from. We are physically and psychologically designed to seek out advantages for ourselves and those individuals we unconsciously designate as being “like us”. Even if, by some bizarre quirk of chaos, a state of complete tolerance and equality were to descend on all 7.1 billion of us simultaneously, it would last for mere seconds before power began to accumulate once more in the hands of the few. No amount of education or propaganda will control all people all the time.

            This isn’t just a question of human psychology; it’s a natural consequence of entropy. Universal equality – on which universal decency depends – would be a form of stasis, as the slightest deviation from complete homogeneity in its application would destroy it. Nature abhors stasis, as demonstrated by the very fact that it doesn’t even exist: change is the one constant all things are subject to. Ergo, a world in which all people are good and decent is unsustainable at best, and unattainable at worst. You can get angry about it, but there it is. You won’t change the fundamental nature of things.

            I’m not saying any of this to advocate wanton douchebaggery. I strongly believe in the virtue of being respectful and polite. I do, however, think that some of the more vocally political people on this site could use a little mind-opening to try to understand why normal, rational people might take issue with their rather provocative application of their beliefs.

          • Anthile says:


          • Archonsod says:

            “So awful! A dystopian future in which people try to behave with basic empathy and decency towards each other.”


          • Bernardo says:

            “It’s amazing that some people believe that there is a possible future where all humans get along and no one ever hurts anyone’s feelings, let alone physically harms them.”

            Again, no one says that. I merely made fun of the overblown reaction to a rant about a bad, unfunny game where someone saw the end of the world approaching because John said he doesn’t find racist, sexist, transphobic jokes funny. No one called for censorship, no one wants to jail people for making offensive jokes. Some people will just tell you that you are an asshole, and won’t buy your game. That is not censorship.

            And I don’t know how you behave towards other people, but I usually make a point of not hurting others’ feelings.

            That said, yes, I actually think it is a politically viable goal to work towards a world in which no one hurts each other, physically or otherwise. That’s why we have Human Rights. Now, everyone involved acknowledges that Human Rights are a very imperfect instrument, and that they have actually been used to legitimize bad stuff. I don’t know anybody who thinks that we’ll actually have such a utopia (I mean, “utopia” means “non-place” after all). They still think we should try to get as close to it as possible.

            Now, what you describe as “human nature” is an old mainstay of conservatism. It’s been a fundamental philosophical difference between liberal/left-wing and conservative positions that the first posit a fundamentally “good” nature of humans and the latter a fundamentally “bad”. It’s perfectly legitimate to hold either position, but please spare me the evopsych pseudo-science.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      Where did he say all games should cater to his sensibilities?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I don’t think the reviewer is “too sensitive,” I just think he comes off as tone-deaf. Perhaps missing the point of some poorly articulated satire.

  10. geldonyetich says:

    I’ll go so far as to say Deponia has a lot of “heart” in its making, but not that it’s particularly good.

    It lacks the one thing adventure point-and-clicks need the most: genuine cleverness.

    Monkey Island (the original) had it. Ben There Dan That had it. Gabriel Knight didn’t, and neither does Deponia.

    Get ye a walkthrough and watch it unfold, but don’t bother with the puzzles when the logic just isn’t there.

  11. daphne says:

    I haven’t played any of the Deponia games, partly because the criticism has been so rancorous. But I have to wonder why you’re reviewing this game in the first place. By now it’s fairly established that the Deponia series is your personal Meg Griffin, and it shows — the whole thing reads like a cathartic release of an anxious man.

    And, if nothing else, you’ve been impressively consistent in never attempting to understand (or if you did, elucidate) what it is that makes this series apparently appealing to a certain group of people. So much that, as you said, the games keep getting made. Certainly it’s not the easy, primal YouTube or Twitch appeal. So what is it? Surely, by now you have an idea

    • John Walker says:

      I’m fairly certain I state it clearly in the review: dreadful people!

      And if you read my review of the first game, you’ll find that I found a lot positive about it. Hence the diminishing returns. I’d rather hoped they may have listened after the criticism of the last game – disappointingly they did quite the opposite.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        I agree. The first Deponia is a decent adventure game (and was early on in Daedelic’s career so you’d think they’d only improve.)

        I’ve heard 2 and 3 are mostly made from puzzle bits cut from the original plan due to budget reasons which would fit with the story flow and why the first is so much better even outside of the very off color humour. If that is true, the first was the best bits they had written.

  12. msd23 says:

    wow, so much hatred in the article…

  13. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    This review, like all of John’s Deponia reviews, is awesome.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      I must say that I find it rather hard tot match John’s more cynical articles with that inherently friendly voice he has on rum doings, but aside from this very weird dissonance I had a lot of fun reading this. Yahtzee would not be able to match it.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        And (bonus!) these articles are great for making sure my block button still works.

    • Premium User Badge

      aleander says:

      Hey, maybe that’s the plot twist? People make terrible, hateful games, so that we can get great reviews of them?

  14. Sardonic says:

    I made it through about 1/3 of the first one before bailing, glad I made the right decision. The main character was just too terrible to stomach, and the writing was too tim buckley-esque.

  15. Aevin says:

    I don’t know where all your hate comes from, and expect professionalism from a reviewer. It seems I’m looking at the wrong website.

    Deponia trilogy, despite being sold as three different games instead of one, was a good game, not a masterpiece but it did his job.
    You argue about insults, racism, sexism… I’m afraid I played a different game. What I found were little JOKES, nothing especially insulting. Everygame has some of them, about social established clichés. Maybe not the most intelligent choice, but hey, do you really think that makes the game deserve that crap you said?
    I read users comments and understand why they won’t play the original game thanks to your biased opinion. Probably they are missing a great game, or maybe they wouldn’t like it anyways, it’s their choice to give it a try, but your job should be guiding them into opportunities, not just making a list of: play this, don’t play that, because it offended me so much and I’ll vomit the first thing I can think

    Waiting to see better articles in the future

    • aircool says:

      It must be an age thing. I John actually old enough to have watched 70’s sitcoms? Does he not find Kenny Everett hilarious, and Hot Gossip… hot?

      Ok, there was some serious issues, such as domestic violence in The Muppet Show as poor Kermit was mentally and physically abused by a pig, but because it’s a female pig, it’s ok, it’s humour.

      I can understand why Les Dawson getting dressed up as a woman could be seen as offensive, especially with his ‘northern’ accent, because, y’know, all northern lasses are fat and stupid.

      • John Walker says:

        You don’t appear to know what a sitcom is. Nor indeed when the 70s were. But apart from that, you’ve nailed it!

    • Premium User Badge

      yhancik says:

      I think we can certainly agree on one thing: you’re looking at the wrong website ;)

      “Biased” opinions is what RPS is about, not buying guides.

      I’m also afraid you might be underestimating the power of “little jokes”

      • Khayness says:

        “I’m also afraid you might be underestimating the power of “little jokes””

        A cracked rib, muscle soreness the next day?

    • wisnoskij says:

      “despite being sold as three different games instead of one”

      What? They are all a decent length, why would you want a 30 hour game? Nobody makes games that long anymore.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      “Probably they are missing a great game, or maybe they wouldn’t like it anyways, it’s their choice to give it a try, but your job should be guiding them into opportunities[…]”

      This sounds dreadful.

      Remember to include the tilt factor!

      Also I think you confuse professionalism for milquetoast, bland and boring.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      I find it confusing how you think people are going to be missing out on something they would otherwise enjoy just because John said it was bad and they’re blindly going with that. John didn’t just write 0/10 don’t play it – he explained exactly the reasons why he hated the game. He elaborated on it with examples for each complaint. People are being turned off it because John has explained to them what the game contains not because he has proclaimed from on high that this is a Bad Game.

      • Aevin says:

        Just read all those “Thanks god I didn’t even try the trilogy” comments

        • Premium User Badge

          Oakreef says:

          Yes because John wrote informative reviews on what those games contained and people understood that what was being described did not appeal to them.

          • Hyetal says:

            “Yes because John wrote informative reviews on what those games contained and people understood that what was being described did not appeal to them.”

            Don’t be silly! That only works when the review is unbiased, and especially if it consists solely of glowing praise. Otherwise it only serves to silence developers and manipulate gamers.

            Sad, but true.

    • Ragnar says:

      I’m not sure why you’re claiming John isn’t being professional. Because he disliked something you like? He said what he thought of the game, stated the reasons for those opinions, and provided examples. He said what he thought the game did well, and what it did poorly.

      If you happen to like it, that’s fine, say what you like about the game.

      The game is racist and sexist, with ludicrous il-logic puzzles. If that appeals to you, great, enjoy the game. But saying that it’s not racist and sexist, just chock full of racist and sexist jokes, does not excuse the game, and there’s no excusing terrible puzzles either.

      • Saradi says:

        Except that most if not all of Johns examples are heavily biased and he keeps quiet about the entire context of them as that would make them seem far less racist/sexist/illogical than what he wants them to portray.

  16. aircool says:

    I think point ‘n’ clicks are painful to play these days. Yes, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Lucasarts classics and one or two others, but I find the whole pixel hunting and ‘these two things don’t work together’ puzzles just annoying.

    My mother bought me STASIS for christmas as it was on my wish list after getting such high praise. However, it just turned out to be a boring point ‘n’ click. Puzzles generally come in two flavours; ‘blindingly obvious’ or ‘stupid, but kinda make sense once you’ve solved them’.

    As for the political correctness, I’ll admit that I know fuck all about these games, so this is just gleaned from the review, but are transvestites somehow excluded from ridicule? Are we not allowed to take the piss anymore unless it’s a rich, white, over-privileged male?

    Perhaps the humour in these games is flat, but excluding certain types of people from having fun poked at them is a slippery slope into an Orwellian nightmare.

    Of course, I have my own dislikes; pretty much anything that involves killing certain animals (dogs, cats, wolves, rabbits, rats etc…) makes me extremely uncomfortable, but I’m not going to get all preachy about it…

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      Oh, but this is because some years ago challenge was good for you and now whatever little challenge a game faces you is some kind of a defect.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      First off, they’re called trans people. Not transvestites.

      Second, I’m going to translate your entire comment about political correctness as what it actually means: “Why aren’t you laughing at the same tired, meanspirited jokes we’ve been making about people who aren’t straight white cis dudes for ages? If you won’t laugh it’ll mean the start of a toralitarian state for some illogical reason!”

      • aircool says:

        Y’know ‘trans’ is just a shortened version of transvestite don’t you?

        • John Walker says:

          No, it isn’t. It’s an umbrella term that if anything is abbreviated from transexual.

          • BTA says:

            I’d add that in common usage it’s far more likely to be short for transgender now, but the idea that anyone could think it’s short for transvestite is mind boggling.

          • aircool says:

            My bad… I was thinking of tranny.

          • jrodman says:

            Tranny most commonly refers to people who are transgendered as well. Given the extreme informality, there’s more variation, of course but it most commonly means transgender.

          • Serenegoose says:

            It’s also a slur.

          • kael13 says:

            So… Not someone from Transylvania then?

          • phlebas says:

            Or one of those newfangled valveless radio gizmos?

          • noodlecake says:

            Trans isn’t a slur. It’s an overarching term that refers to anybody who identifies with a gender that differs from their biological sex.

            And also transvestites and cross dressers identify with it too even though they don’t really fit that description.

            I’m a transvestite but I generally just identify as male, even when I cross dress because it more just about rocking a dress and make up and looking fabulous. :P Which I do. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I could pull it off.

          • Fomorian1988 says:

            @noodlecake: I suspect Serengoose was talking about the word “tranny”, which is indeed a slur. Just poorly marked who they were replying to.

          • jrodman says:

            Agreed tranny is historically mostly a slur. It seems to be in the process of reclaimation though. I haven’t heard it used as a slur in my San Franciscan circles ever, and often have heard it used by trans people to refer to themselves collectively in joking manners.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      Stasis is a very poor example of a modern adventure game. It is incredibly beautiful and has spectacular sound design, but it suffers from obscure puzzles and a fairly hackneyed plot. There have been much better adventures put out in recent years, my personal favorite being Gemini Rue. I also found A New Beginning terrific. The best adventures have largely intuitive puzzles, great dialog and a story that resonates the same way a great novel does. Stasis was doing something different – trying to capture the action and body horror of movies like Event Horizon or eXistenZ in a point-and-click format. Interesting experiment, but failed, in my opinion.

      Regarding the tasteless jokes in Deponia. To be honest, and speaking as a trannie myself (not a transvestite), i was a little uncomfortable with the ignorant way Rufus reacted to the character in question, but since he was a total fucking asshat to pretty much everyone else too, i didn’t personally find it overly offensive. In the end i found the trans character had a fairly sweet storyline. But a lot of other setups in the trilogy come very, very close to crossing the line. I think the only way you can forgive the tastelessness (if indeed it is forgivable) is seeing the series more in the satirical vein of South Park, which i really hope is what the creator intended.

  17. Don Reba says:

    There John goes again with his social justice crusade.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      There an Internet commenter goes with their dismissal of someone else’s valid opinion.

    • John Walker says:

      I probably should have included a line that said something like,

      “It might be possible to see all of that as an annoyance if the game underneath were solid. But…”

      But no, I just wrote off this masterpiece because I’m a deranged SJW!

      • A Noid in the Void says:

        Argh, you social justice warriors have gone too far this time! How dare you spread your insidious message on this site you… helped… found…

        Never mind, carry on.

      • Don Reba says:

        No, I don’t think including a line that said something like that would have been nearly enough.

        • phlebas says:

          Quite. You’d need at least to provide some kind of reasoning as to why you didn’t believe the game underneath was solid.

          • Premium User Badge

            Oakreef says:

            You mean like the several examples he gave of extremely obtuse puzzles, the comment on the game’s repetitive nature early on due to the time travel plot or the mention of how highlighting intractable objects is necessary because the backgrounds are too busy and the few points of interaction fail to stand out?

          • Saradi says:

            You mean the extremely easy puzzle which the game basically tells you the solution of or the ones which are logical when you know the context, something John for some reason does not provide?
            And do you also complain about strategy games having control groups or console shooters having autoaim? Interactable items standing out are an eyesore so this is the best solution. Or do you really want pixelhunting like in the old times and call that a fun gameplay mechanic?

    • Ragnar says:

      Indeed! How dare John call out a sexist, racist game for being sexist and racist! First he wants us to be respectful towards women, then people of color, then trans people? When will the madness end?

      • onionman says:

        Definitely 7/10

      • Don Reba says:

        Could’ve noted that some might find the game’s humour in bad taste, no need for tar and feathers.

        • Sin Vega says:

          There’s no “tar and feathers” in calling boring unfunny shit boring, unfunny, or shit. John repeatedly made it clear that the devs have made better games and are likely capable of better still. If anyone’s overreacting it’s people making comments like yours.

  18. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    So, 7/10?

  19. Anthile says:

    It’s baffling this series is apparently made by the same people (though I imagine very different writers) who did the great and undertalked Memoria.
    In a way I was looking forward to this game’s release because I knew John would review it and I knew he would tear it apart. As entertaining as these scathing reviews may be, I wish he would have played Memoria instead.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      I personally suspect there’s a separate team at Daedalic working on those games, because it seems impossible that people who worked on The Whispered World and A New Beginning would make anything like we see above. I mean, those weren’t brilliant adventures, but they do seem like it compared to Deponia games.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        At the same time, it’s obvious there’s crossover between the Edna and Harvey series team and Deponia’s, yet Edna and Harvey are much better (though black as heck with their humor at times) games.

        • RedViv says:

          The psychotically deranged folk from these games are better people than the “hero” of this series here. It’s quite something.

      • pokinsson says:

        Actually I worked on all the games mentioned here. I did “Edna and Harvey: The Breakout” on my own when I was still a student, finishing it 2008, a year after we started the company. I came up with the story of “A new Beginning”, wrote most of the gameplay and characters before talented Kevin Mentz took over while I was busy writing the dialogue for “The Whispered World” which I co-gamedesigned together with Marco Hüllen and Sebastian Schmidt. The reason that you don’t see any parallels between those games and Deponia in Johns article is that he didn’t write about it, not that there aren’t any. Just the other day I was flattered to read a master thesis of a swiss student, who wrote about recognisable writing style in games and used the games mentioned above to make her point.

        • Elaine says:

          So who do I blame for the gross Easter Egg in The Night of the Rabbit that on its own ruins the game for any young girl that might want to play it?

  20. Deano2099 says:

    John – life is far too short to play games you hate this much (much as I might enjoy your rants) – they make good adventure games now, just go play Technobabylon and write about that again, doesn’t matter if Richard already reviewed it first…

  21. sfg says:

    My question is when will this wretched turd of a site and this pathetic excuse for a journalist go away? It’s about time, don’t you think?

    • jalf says:

      You realize you don’t have to read it, right?

      • Premium User Badge

        yhancik says:

        But somebody is WRONG on the internet! :((((

        • Fomorian1988 says:

          Worse – somebody has a opinion that isn’t mainstream! TEH HORRORS!

          • sfg says:

            Crying about racism, sexism and everything that’s in this “review” is having and opinion that isn’t mainstream?

            Wow, you SJW are even more deranged in the head that I could imagine. Oh poor you, I think you are even more discriminated than the groups you are fighting for, am I right? Surely you need some safe space too. Perhaps government help? Patreon money? Whatever you need so you’re not so ostracized anymore.

          • Fomorian1988 says:

            No, please, continue explaining how niche is being transphobic, racist and sexist. Also please continue putting words in my comment that I never wrote or even implied – it makes you seem so mature and completely not like a regular Internet commenter.

        • sfg says:

          Pretty similar with “But somebody said the WRONG thing in a video game let me cry about it and tell others not to buy it because I don’t agree with it therefore it’s WRONG FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!” wouldn’t you say?

          “Oh, it’s not because it’s offensive it’s because it’s stupid!!!” Ah, right, I’m sure, but you know you could also just ignore the game? Very easy thing to do! And it’s free!
          But of course that’s not possible, when you are pathetic human (and possibly a rich white one with nothing better to do) you’ll just go and pretend to be better than everybody else and assume you know what everybody else feels and what offends them.
          Pathetic excuses for humans with no self-esteem and no real purpose on this planet other than to be annoying assholes and promote censorship.
          That’s what this site and its readers are. The sooner your kind disappears the better the world and gaming will be.

          • klops says:

            I prefer a games journalist who reviews games s/he loves, hates and feels are average instead of a games journalist who ignores games s/he does not like.

          • Saradi says:

            If he does it with an open mind it is great.

            But that is not what happened here.

          • iucounu says:

            The cognitive dissonance you must have to overcome to type this stuff!

            “…let me cry about it and tell others not to buy it because I don’t agree with it therefore it’s WRONG FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!”

            There’s this underlying thing about people ‘crying about stuff’, in which there is implied a sort of terribly offended and upset John whose feelings have been wounded. Whereas the review makes explicit that the shit jokes in Deponia more often pitiful and naff than anything. The crying girly-man perma-offended SJW straw-man pops up all the time even when the criticism is tinged by anger or contempt or any of those other emotions that seem to be fine when they fuel rants like yours, in which you complain about your feelings being offended by a review.

            There’s also this weird thing about how the sobbing milquetoast is also somehow a powerful censor with the ability to prevent games from getting made or bought, even when the target of your ire hasn’t called for censorship or boycotts. I will grant you that John winds up this review with a “please make it stop”, but then you wind up with “the sooner your kind disappears the better the world and gaming will be,” so hey, maybe let’s not start bleating about the suppression of speech, mmkay?

            You could also just ignore the site? Very easy thing to do! And it’s free!

    • Stellar Duck says:

      You came to his site to say that? Or were you somehow forced?

      Because it seems to me the sensible thing for you to do is to go someplace else if you don’t like it.

    • GWOP says:

      If you keep clicking and commenting on the articles of a website (and encourage others to do the same), it will eat up the finite page views of the website until it shuts down.

      So keep it up!

    • KDR_11k says:

      It’s easier than you think, just press ALT-F4 and the site goes away!

    • Lacessit says:

      Piss off.

  22. Khayness says:

    Half the fun about the Deponia series is reading the upset comments on the Steam forums, so this article is like that, just up to eleven, thanks for the read.

  23. Stellar Duck says:

    I’ll never play one of these wretched things but I hope they keep making them and John keeps reviewing them!

  24. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    A lot of people do the angry shouty reviewer shtick but John is my favourite grumpy reviewer.

    • Saradi says:

      Most “angry shouter reviewers” are witty, but the only thing John here does is shouting sexism and complaining about very easy to solve puzzles being illogical because he didn’t even try to understand them and instead resorted to clicking everything.

    • Saradi says:

      Everyone is playing a different version than John. You will have a hard time to find another review of the Deponia games which goes into the same directions than the ones made by him.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      To be fair, cultural norms do vary by region. I’ve got German friends who’ve told me a lot of the more offensive humor in Deponia is fairly normal for their homeland. It’s basically South Park level humor for them.

      As for the puzzle design and other mechanics issues, Germans love their mundane simulator games so maybe they just have a higher tolerance for such things?

      • neoncat says:

        Well, South Park humor is rather shitty as well.

      • iardis says:

        I am a german and I, and everyone single one of my friends, found the humor in Deponia *highly* offensive. Therefore I’d very much like you to stop spreading the sentiment, that somehow for a german this kind of humor is okay… ;) (not that I’m offended or anything… It’s just not true, k? :) )

        It’s a real disgrace that some of these games got prizes…

      • Jekhar says:

        Another offended german here. I don’t know what shitty friends you got, but Deponia’s type of “humor” certainly isn’t the cultural norm here. Nor is it funny. So please stop spreading that generalisation.

        I unfortunately bought the trilogy as a bundle, based on Deadalics previous games. While the first one was passable, iirc, i really had to suffer through the next two games. I certainly won’t buy the fourth one.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Or maybe people simply didn’t play Deponia and didn’t know whether it’s a shitshow of bad jokes and dickery.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      Also, the german video game awards are like the spike video game awards. it’s a shitfest that nobody who’s interested in games takes any notice off or pays any attention to. ^^

  25. Buggery says:

    Alright John, enough with the dancing around. Why don’t you tell us what you really think.

    J/K this was a good review. I like adventure games but I’ve played enough bad adventure games to know that I can’t be bothered playing bad adventure games any more.

  26. John Walker says:

    For those getting their pants all stuck in their bumholes over my not liking the game they like, let me explain:

    No one else on RPS was going to touch this. It was me or nothing. On top of that, if you read my review of the first game, I found a lot that was positive about it, while not particularly liking some of the content. The second was derisory, dismissive and ugly, and the third was a stinking elephant shit of a game. The writer responded to my accusations of racism with some very poor arguments, and I think that discussion still appears in the comments under the review. I had hoped that as a result of the feedback from that arsebucket of a game that this new entry would see a refreshing of the series, build on the earlier strengths. It was with some genuine surprise that it proved to be even more wretched.

    For those who can’t read an individual criticising cruelty in the place of jokes without screaming “SJWs are eating my babies!” I suggest taking a stab at reading the words in the review other than the ones you’re pre-programmed to oh-so ironically be offended by. Like where I say it would be ridiculous to find the game offensive, and where I point out that the game’s real issues are that it’s simply a very poorly designed adventure game with terrible puzzles.

    • neoncat says:

      I apologize for all of the less-sophisticated denizens of the comments. :(

      We supporters love your work and all that RPS does, and I’m personally very glad that you call out the bad stuff when you find it!

      Here’s a picture of a kitten: link to 40.media.tumblr.com

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      Oh jeez. I typed up some replies here before reading through the whole sordid thread. You’ve really brought out the douchebro community. Personally, although i had a similar opinion of finding the first Deponia quite good and the next two pushing the tastelessness a little too far, overall i still found it a very clever game. I will be picking up the next one too, because i want to support Daedelic and Poki for bringing us Edna Bricht Aus and other great adventures like A New Beginning. But this backlash on your review is nuts. Please don’t think all the readers (even those who disagree with your opinion) are such interminable asshats.

      On a side note, i do wonder how many of the obscure puzzles are a result of the translation. In Edna Bricht Aus there were certain puzzles that only made sense because of the German wordplay involved in the item names or descriptions. Certainly Poki’s puzzles are from the wacky oldskool and aren’t intuitive like modern adventure games, but they usually include an in-game pun or commentary that makes the solution entertaining, even if you did get it from a walkthrough.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Hello, John. In one sense it’s unfortunate that your collateral interest in social justice induces so much irrational knee-jerking (often from commentors accusing you of irrational knee-jerking). However, although the focus of this WIT is clearly your take on what the game is like to play, rather than SJ issues, you can still take heart that the vile responses you get in comments are a sign you’re doing something right.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      I tend to agree with you on the quality of the gameplay, I’ve never enjoyed the Deponia games fully, in spite of giving them all a try (I’ve got about a thousand copies of each from various humble sales).

      However I would argue that the jokes in the games really aren’t that bad. Fair enough they aren’t brilliant jokes; maybe they get a little bit lost in the translation (or maybe they’re shit jokes), but I don’t see the problem with being a little bit mean with comedy. There are plenty of standup comedians (Frankie Boyle who is fucking hilarious) and shows (South Park, family guy), that use offensive jokes to great success.

      Not only that but they illustrate some important things about comedy: First, they’re only jokes, and second, that no one is safe. I find it equally ridiculous to take one’s gloves off over this as one would over Benedict Cumberbatch taking the piss out of transgender types in Zoolander 2; you have to accept that they are jokes and move on. I find myself justified in laughing at certain offensive jokes (again Deponia isn’t really my brand), because I think there exists a world where you can laugh at something funny, while seriously exploring the issues surrounding the same topic. Frankie Boyle is a good example of this – I don’t think for a minute that he thinks that mental illness in children is anything other than a serious issue which must be explored and addressed. However that didn’t stop him from making that joke about Katy Price’s disabled son trying to fuck her.

      I think the reason people are getting their double helix in a strip is because you have latched onto something that ultimately isn’t relevant – no one gives a shit about what one other person finds funny, they want something close to objective about the actual heart of the game which, while you touched on it somewhat, was mostly glossed over.

      All of this is imho.

    • lupinewolf says:

      If you work in an office you’ll know the “office funny guy”, the one that goes for the low-hanging fruit, who repeats pop-culture references, whose imagination when saying “funny stuff” is limited to taboo stuff for the quick laugh of the humor civilians.

      If you are into writing or humor, either by trade or not, you probaby hate this guy. But most of the office find him funny. Most also like Adam Sandler stuff.

      I know a guy like that. He loves Deponia. I never played the games but after reading the article, it all falls into place. Thanks, John.

    • mavrik says:

      Reviews like these are why I support this site (I don’t mean “negative reviews”, but reviews that don’t ignore the social aspect of the games and explain them).

      Don’t listen to children too much :/

    • quijote3000 says:

      82 in Metacritic

      92% thumbs up in Steam.

      Just saying, outside John Walker’s personal obsessions and crusades, the game seems to have gotten a good response both with critics and fans.

    • Bedlam11 says:

      “For those getting their pants all stuck in their bumholes over my not liking the game they like, let me explain:

      No one else on RPS was going to touch this. It was me or nothing. On top of that, if you read my review of the first game, I found a lot that was positive about it, while not particularly liking some of the content. The second was derisory, dismissive and ugly, and the third was a stinking elephant shit of a game. The writer responded to my accusations of racism with some very poor arguments, and I think that discussion still appears in the comments under the review. I had hoped that as a result of the feedback from that arsebucket of a game that this new entry would see a refreshing of the series, build on the earlier strengths. It was with some genuine surprise that it proved to be even more wretched.

      For those who can’t read an individual criticising cruelty in the place of jokes without screaming “SJWs are eating my babies!” I suggest taking a stab at reading the words in the review other than the ones you’re pre-programmed to oh-so ironically be offended by. Like where I say it would be ridiculous to find the game offensive, and where I point out that the game’s real issues are that it’s simply a very poorly designed adventure game with terrible puzzles.”

      Oh, no one else at this site wanted to review a decent game that they know their psychotic manchild boss hates? You don’t say.

      I just want to zero in on one thing you have done here. Cherry-picking a screenshot to make it seem like the game condones racism is LOW. Very low. Even by SJW standards, which are already at Trump-level. You are worse than Trump. You know, and I know, that the game is not racist and does not encourage racism. Let’s be fucking real.

      Imagine being someone who worked on this game, and seeing that a generally well-regarded website wrote a fucking smear article where they falsely accuse you of being racist. Worse yet, imagine scrolling down and seeing in the comments that these lies have cost you sales! You should be ashamed of yourself. We don’t need “critics” who try to tear down the industry with this kind of bullshit.

      You should not have a job, let alone be in charge of anything or paid to share your childish opinions and lies. You are a foul unprofessional failure of a person, and a liar, and every time I read one of your garbage articles I come close to refusing to visit this site again. If you had any real competition I certainly would stop coming here. I do make sure to have adblock enabled at all times so that makes me feel a little better about giving you page-views. You lying piece of shit.

  27. Saradi says:

    Looks like a social justice warrior got triggered and needs to get into a safe space.

    The complains about racism, etc. are vastly overblown and the only people who object to it are the ones who made it their lives mission to complain about everything. The rest of the world can recognize jokes.

    And when you are already overtaxed by putting potatoes on a clearly earmuff shaped wire after the character tells you IN CAPS that he can hear everything the band playes because he does not have potatoes on his ears then you should retire from adventure games and review the next Call of Duty instead.

    • Anthile says:

      Well, at least you know your buzzwords.

    • Scurra says:

      Whilst I don’t disagree with the concept that “the rest of the world can recognise jokes”, because I too live in the deluded bubble that believes that to be true, I am also all too aware that e.g. the character of “Al Murray the Pub Landlord” is frequently not seen as making fun of people who seem to believe the things that character says, but is embraced by them instead.

      It is entirely possible that this series is equally meant to be subversive and satirical. It’s just not doing a very good job of it, if lines like “there goes the neighbourhood” are to be taken as a representative sample.

      • Saradi says:

        This “there goes the neighbourhood” is a good example of how John misrepresents the game. It doesn’t “go” because there is a non-white character, but because this characters talk and behave in a completely overblown love couple kind of way, confirming their eternal love for each other in every 2nd sentence while picking the color of their curtains even though their home is decked out with every kitsch imaginable.

        Sure, if you see microaggressions in everything you will object that something not positive is said to a non-white character but most people will recognize that there is no racism involved there.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          Hey look another buzzword. You’ve been trained well.

          If you actually read what was written, rather than gotten all pissy someone dared to call something sexist, you’d see he specifically *didn’t* call that scene racist. In fact, he specifically said he thought it wasn’t their intent (I think he gives them too much credit). What he points out is how crazy it is that nobody realized how bad that scene could look.

          I guess your “biased opinion”, to use the nonsense terminology youve used in several of your dozen comments on this thread, has caused you to quote mine and straw man and buzzword buzzword as bad as those mean “sjws” and “third wave feminists” you can’t stand

          Just chill. People are advocating being less dickish, and you’re just part of the backlash. Odds are you’ll come around, or learn to live with it… or end up being that quietly bigoted old man people avoid talking politics to some day

        • Sin Vega says:

          By “misrepresents the game”, you presumably mean “explicitly states that he’s sure it wasn’t the intended message”? Or is reading the actual words instead of imagining some that are easier to argue with just too much hard work?

          • Saradi says:

            No, I mean the skin color not mattering in the scene at all and John only bringing it up so he has something to complain about and not mentioning the context of the scene as that would make his complain look less valid to people who haven’t played the game.

            It is one thing to point out bad parts, it is another to artificially create them, but that is exactly what John does.

      • Bedlam11 says:

        You don’t actually believe that the game is racist because John “SJW twat” Walker posted a screenshot implying that it is, do you? Don’t you think there would be more widespread outrage than just John “Shithead” Walker if that were the case?

  28. Background Character-kun says:

    This game is great, most people don’t like it because they’re either SJWs or because of the ending

  29. haunted grafitti says:

    So I guess Daedalic has a right to make a politically incorrect (is that the best wording?), offensive game, and the reviewer has the right to trash-talk it. Tolerating different opinions and all that..

    Though I think the review in question is a bit too rude for my taste. But again, others may find it passionate and enjoy it.

    • Saradi says:

      The game is far less offensive than the review makes it sound. An average South Park episode is a hundred times worse. Yes, some puzzles are illogical (and the game usually makes fun of that, too) most are logical as long as you try, something John apparently didn’t to as he was dead set to not like the game before even starting it.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        From what I read seems to be the classic case of badly written black comedy, essentially the kind of joke about nasty stuff that told wrong doesn’t sound like a joke at all (more like some of the worse Family Guy episodes than South Park) with a snarky protagonist that’s supposed to be some sort of funny seen-it-all antihero but ends up being completely unlikeable, which is only amplified by the failed attempts at black comedy.

        • Saradi says:

          The humour is certainly not Blackadder, but its far as bad as John makes it out to be. And the protagonist is not supposed to be a hero at all. He starts out as a selfish bastard and stays that way in nearly all 4 games, trouncing over everyone and everything which stands in his way. That kinda is his thing.

        • Faxmachinen says:

          I really do think the protagonist is supposed to come off as an unlikeable asshole. Personally I found it refreshing, but I can understand why people would be put off by it.

      • haunted grafitti says:

        Well, the South Park comparison doesn’t work too well, since for better or worse, South Park is supposed to be satire, but based on the review (too bad i didn’t play the series), this game doesn’t seem to have such an agenda. But still, they should do whatever they want – it seems unlikely that they will hurt anyone by releasing such a game.
        And an opinionated review isn’t a weapon of mass destruction either.

        • Saradi says:

          You can’t really trust this review to accurately portray the game. Best read some other sites about them or get one of the Deponia games for cheap to check it yourself.

          • thebigJ_A says:

            You can’t really trust this commentor to accurately portray the game

            He’s all biased up, you see


  30. mutanteggs says:

    I love when games like this draw out a certain crowd, like the kinds liable to reply to half the comments on the thread.

    Game doesn’t really do a good job at being subversive and satirical if it doesn’t do anything interesting besides “Haha, these people are bad.”

    • anHorse says:

      I’d argue that doing the outright bastard protagonist can be fine if the writing is good enough (i.e. Lolita, Mr Ripley, Prague Cemetery) but Deponia is nowhere close to that.

      It’s weird experience playing them too because you’re never quite sure if it’s bad translation, bad writing or both.

      • klops says:

        Without ever played these games, your first paragraph is how Deponia has always felt to me. You need good writing if you’re going to have a mean bastard that’s not the evil enemy and who you’re supposed to spend time with.

        It seems, again without playing the games, that Deponia lacks that good writing or then it is lost in translation.

    • Aluschaaf says:

      Looking at Saradis poor English, his intimate knowledge of every puzzle and dialogue and the fact that he is responding to each and every negative comment, i’d wager John pissed off one of the devs.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        In his previous Deponia reviews (just as scathing), the devs have openly posted in the comments in defense of their terrible series.

  31. T1MKAT says:

    I have to agree that these games require leaps of the imagination sometimes but the potato earmuffs are a bad example.

    The character you eventually give them to keeps shouting at the band that he doe not have ear potatoes. This wont mean anything to you until you enter the next screen where there is a potato. Not hard to make that connection. The the next connection is obvious as the potato is located right next to the potato halving machine. You later get the bra underwire when talking to another character (normal practice in these games to exhaust all dialogue options). It’s then not too much of a leap to combine these. The underwire appears headband shaped in the inventory.

    • Ragnar says:

      From your explanation, it seems the game gives you hints that you need to make ear-potato-muffs, but that doesn’t make it into a good puzzle.

      You’re using an item on the machine next to it, exhausting dialog options, and combining inventory objects to make ridiculous, illogical items. There’s nothing interesting or clever about it.

      And the whole thing doesn’t make sense. Ear potatoes? What? Why? Is it supposed to be funny?

      • jrodman says:

        I do think adventure puzzles sometimes deliberately turn on the ludicrous in order to amuse the player. If done well it should make the player laugh. To me, this isn’t a good example of that, but I guess humor is often in timing and delivery. Maybe it’s funnier in the game? Though a slowly grinded out solution to a puzzle typically has no good timing / delivery.

        I think normally having the answer make good sense to the player and then have the humor delivered in an unexpected twist works way better.

      • Saradi says:

        In a previous cycle of that scene you do need the tin foil the potato is wrapped in and not the potato itself. Sure they could have added a separate item for it, but they decided to have a potato wrapped in tinfoil to provide both items.

      • Otterley says:

        The potato ear-muffs seem to be a joke that got lost in translation. Someone mentioned that the guy says “that he can hear the band because he doesn’t have potatoes on his ears.” In German “Kartoffeln auf den Ohren haben” (“having potatoes on the ears”) is an idiom for being deaf/not listening properly. So the solution might be a bit less obscure if you’re playing in German.

        • Anthile says:

          At first I thought that as well but the idiom is “to have beans in one’s ears” and not potatoes. Maybe it’s an obscure regional variant I’ve never heard of or John mistook potatoes for beans somehow. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Basing a puzzle on the player knowing an idiom is not elegant design. It also implies they learned nothing from Monkey Island 2’s infamous monkey wrench puzzle.
          Truly, a riddle for the ages.

        • Bernardo says:

          German here, also never heard of “Kartoffeln auf den Ohren haben.” Google also doesn’t find it, and there are lots of websites dedicated to German dialects, so I’m doubting regional variants too. Also, how daft would it be to base a puzzle in a game geared at an international market on a local dialect?

          • Otterley says:

            Try googling “kartoffeln auf den Ohren” with the quotation marks and you’ll find a few hits. Totally agree that basing a puzzle on the expression is silly.

          • klops says:

            That expression silliness is something classic adventure games have done much.

            Monkey Island 2’s monkey as a monkey wrench is the first example that comes to mind. And I’ve seen that asshole solution of a puzzle being praised by iys cleverness by at least two different sources :D

          • klops says:

            Tried to answer to Anthile completely disregarding your good point.

          • Bernardo says:


            true. my bad. The examples come from literature, but I guess Heinz Strunks “Fleisch ist mein Gemüse”, which is set in the flatlands around Hamburg and has a strong regional flavour, counts as a hint that it is an expression in a small region in Germany.

          • Otterley says:


            Yeah, I was surprised by the small number of hits. Really must be more regional than I would have assumed. (Spent most of my life in NRW/im Münsterland – potatoes are a big thing there ^^)

        • Saarlaender39 says:

          Another German here.

          I can confirm, that the expression “Kartoffeln auf den Ohren haben” is a used term here, although you don’t here it all too often from younger folks anymore…more so from people my age (40+).

          Most commonly used, if someone is not listening to what you say (e.g. you tell someone to do something (in a certain way) and the person you told it to, doesn’t do it accordingly).

          In that case I would say: “Hast du Kartoffeln auf den Ohren? Ich hab dir doch gesagt…” (Translation: “Do you have potatoes on your ears? I told you…”).

          • Otterley says:

            Damn, I didn’t realise I was carbon-dating myself by knowing the expression ^^

  32. SebasNights says:

    Woah, you seem to hate life, maybe you need some love. I think the series is great, specially Doomsday. You either don’t get it or it’s not for you. Most of your negative arguments are what makes it cool and enjoyable. I know the article is about your opinion (and to destroy this game’s reputation it seems) but most of us will enjoy it because it’s just a game, and we are happy, and it’s just a game, and we love silly and sexist jokes.

    • GWOP says:

      Yes, people who don’t appreciate sexism clearly hate life.

      • jrodman says:

        Sexism *is* life.

        • KDR_11k says:

          No, the quote goes “Boobs are life, ass is hometown.”

          (It’s from the lead developer of the Senran Kagura series, among other quotes like “I’ll cover the world in happy boobs!”)

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            “I’ll cover the world in happy boobs!”

            Sounds like something, Bob Ross could’ve said.


      • pokinsson says:

        Be assured that you don’t have to approve to sexism at all to enjoy Deponia. There is not a single situation in the game that propagates sexist thoughts whatsoever. I’d even go so far as to suggest the antithesis and am prepared to argue that point: It’s a feminist game.

        • Zankman says:

          I’m just a curious bystander, but, I’d love to hear your argument.

          • pokinsson says:

            The game features two very strong female lead characters, Goal and Toni. Both are complex personalities representing the moral compass of the game (from two different perspectives). They are the most sensible, intelligent characters of the story, the voices of reason – easily so compared to anti-hero Rufus. One of them is Toni, who has given up on the douchebag-protagonist (understandably and obviously after a long period of patience), already familiar with every single point of whats wrong with him by the start of the game. The other one is Goal, who still sees something good in him despite all his mischiefs. Like her name suggests, she is the symbol of everything that Rufus tries to achieve – like its a game. That makes Rufus a parody of the classical male gamer who thinks that he can just win the game using all means at hand and be rewarded in the end by getting the girl – but he can’t. At each and every turn in the long story he has to learn that trying to achieve his goal does nothing but harm to her. The last click in every single installment of the series is to let her go, because she is better off without him. If there is any sexism in the game its against guys who think of themselves as the ones being predestined to be the hero. Its an anti-machism statement.

        • Faxmachinen says:

          I don’t approve of sexism and I enjoyed the three first Deponia games.

        • Elaine says:

          That’s a strange way to show respect towards those two female characters: rendering them naked in public at various points in the series, leered at and humiliated. And a strange way to depict Toni as the voice of reason, when her complaints don’t just annoy Rufus, but push her psychiatrist to feel suicidal.

          I’ve played all the Deponia games because of my point and click adventure obsession, but I would never recommend them to my friends, because I want to keep them.

          • Bedlam11 says:

            So if a woman is sexy she can’t be a good character, or feminist? That’s weird, because I could have sworn most women in real life go out of their way to portray themselves as sexy on a regular basis. I guess most women are bad people, according to your logic.

  33. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    And here I thought that RPS was free from the hyperbolic whining found everywhere else on the internet about the evil SJW cabal that has now apparently replaced the Illuminati as the biggest thread to human freedom.


  34. GWOP says:

    Yeesh! With this many accusations of ‘bias’ and ‘political correctness’, you would think it’s time to prune the comments section.

  35. k47 says:

    Looking at the comments section, I struggle to think of something good to say about the Deponia series without fear of being labeled sexist, racist, being felt sorry for, or.. well.. I haven’t read all 100+ comments to find out what else.

    But the thing is, I DO like the Deponia series. It’s hardly the best adventure game available, but I found a certain charm in it, despite its flaw. I’d be willing to discuss what I find charming in it. I’m thinking both aspects of the game and cultural aspects on my side (and no, I’m not from Germany or even close to it geographically), but right now I feel I’m going to be called out on finding sexism charming or that then I come from a racist cultural background, since a logical thing to do in the comments section is taking things to the extreme.

    This review lets me know there’s more Deponia despite the trilogy looking like an ending point, and that’s the best thing I can take from it.
    Not that the review is bad, it’s just clearly not for me, and there’s so much raw (and I’m trusting justified) negativity on it that it’s really no surprise that it attracts even more of it on the comments, both from people that agree with it and people that don’t.

    • jrodman says:

      Even if we all accept that Deponia is irredeemably sexist and racist (I’m not sure the article even claims that), I don’t see how that makes enjoying it a necessarily sexist or racist act. You don’t have to apologize for finding enjoyment in it. At the most it would be a bit of a guilty pleasure.

      • AlexClockwork says:

        Yeah, no problem with enjoying the game. I mean, I consider myself a feminist, but I still enjoy games as GTA V, for example. It is very sexist, and I think that part of it must be criticized and taken into account, but the game obviously has other characteristics that have nothing to do with that, and they can be analyzed and enjoyed separately.

        So don’t worry, I wouldn’t expect anyone to call you out for enjoying the game. The game has more components than the racist, sexist and transphobic ones. John just focused on them because they are important to him, and I guess he finds it important to criticize them. I personally share his point of view, and will stay as far away from this as I can, as I don’t think the rest of the game would make going through all that horrible content worth it. But it’s certainly understandable if, for some people, the game is enjoyable for different reasons than the racist, sexist and transphobic content.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:


        You are free to like whatever you want. Even better, if you can like a game while acknowledging the validity of others’ critiques, you might actually be a decent person!

  36. kernunno says:

    And I think here it is eminently clear why you hate these games so much. You do not understand the humor.

    YES, you are supposed to find ALL of these jokes pathetic. They are crude, perverse, and cruel. They are a reflection of their teller, Rufus, who was born on a planet of garbage, abandoned, like garbage, by his father, adopted only to be abandoned again. A man who is so horrible that everyone he meets immediately knows to be disgusted by him, even to a backdrop of oil and shit.

    You aren’t supposed to find these jokes the height of wit. You are supposed forced to identify with Rufus and maybe to drop your guard enough to laugh. And when you do THERE you find the humor. You are laughing with garbage. Ultimately you are the same as he. And being attacked like this, this guided self-depreciation, is funny.

    And while Rufus never grew as a character maybe you did.

  37. KDR_11k says:

    Rufus even looks like the prick main character of some B-grade webcomic.

  38. v00d00m4n says:

    Darwin freaking biologist, whole incompetent review full of hypocrisy and defamation. John Walker simply bashing the game for no justified reason because his tolerant liberal feelings was hurt by polit incorrectness and harsh sincerity of this game.

    This game is great, made in best tradition of Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Day of Tentacle, Full Throttle and other LucasArts games, everyone who loves Tim Shaffer and Ron Gilberts games will love every Deponia.

    Devs of this game are not liberal pussies, they have balls, and John not really reviewing game he just bashing thier balls, because all liberals feel so insecure and sensitive when they see some balls around.

    I really hope Trump will win and will help americans grow some balls and spine back and will make them little less liberal, tolerant and sensitive and more sincere, so that in future people can review game for what it really is, and not for how much it hurts someone’s feelings.

    Man, i cant imagine how liberals will bash my own S3 project for total lack of polit correctness, pure sincerity and harsh Nietzschean tone about religion, diversity and other cases of human’s brain mallfunction. Ill name one of character after John Walker ;-)

    • Lacessit says:

      Back from the campaign already, mister Trump?

      • v00d00m4n says:

        Nope, just got back from 1937’s Gulag, where i personally shoot billions of soviet-liberals. Call me Mr. Stalin XD

    • tiltaghe says:

      you are pathetic

    • Beva says:

      You should talk about balls some more. I also hope Trump wins, you deserve him, I do think he’ll have far less influence on a British gaming website than you think.

      • v00d00m4n says:

        Everyone intelligent enough knows that whole EU\UN is a informal colony of USA ;-) USA pulls the strings and sets trends of tolerance and liberalism in whole europe. If American levels of tolerance will be lowered, europe will follow as well. Which means if americans will tend to be sensitive pussies the less, level of uk sentivity will lower as well, and people will stop being offended that offten. Which also means we will see less reviews like this, blaming devs in racism, sexism and other nonsence, and will see more reviews about actual content of game.

        • Beva says:

          Think it would be best for you if you stayed well clear of the term intelligence with reasoning like that.

          • v00d00m4n says:

            Prove your point by counter-reasoning, prove me im wrong, explain whats wrong with my reasoning, provide factual evidences, otherwise your argument is invalid.

          • Beva says:

            Because any education into historical and cultural movements of morality would show your simplistic views to be utterly wrong, I don’t have the time or the energy to prove that the water is wet to someone who claims otherwise.

          • v00d00m4n says:

            I can say exactly the same – its not valid argument, its just a pathetic attempt to look like you are the right one, without saying anything exact to prove your point. Which makes you a wrong one.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I love this post so much. Especially the use of the phrase “Darwin freaking biologist” apparently as a general expression of exasperation, like “Gordon Bennett”. As in “The bloody milk’s gone off. Darwin freaking biologist!”

      • v00d00m4n says:

        Actually “Darwin freaking biologist” is my personal atheistic counter-replacement\analogy for “Jesus freaking Christ”. I find it quite irrational to mention gods when i do believe in science.
        Looks like you will like my replacement of “go to hell” by “warp to hole” , which means – use your warp drive to travel to black hole.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          Whoah, you are actually bananas, huh?

          • v00d00m4n says:

            Do you have something against bananas, you – fruit racist? Usage of “b” word is offensive, you should use more polit-correct version – “tasty tropical fruit”, before John Walker started crusade against you XD

    • GWOP says:

      I didn’t know that sprint car racer Tim Shaffer also made point and click adventure games!

      • v00d00m4n says:

        I didn’t know that point and click adventure designer Tim Shaffer also was a sprint car racer! But i do know now, that when i directly translated his name from my native language i got some different spelling, which sounds the same.

    • rondertaker says:

      mark it:

      04/03/2016 at 07:19

      a fedora became sentient and began typing.

      • Worriedman says:

        Haha, I made an account just to say, your comment seriously made me laugh out loud, good show droog!

      • v00d00m4n says:

        It took a while for that fedora to finish just 3 lines of text, but lets mark the time it finaly did it:

        04/03/2016 at 14:19

        … that fedora’s nickname was rondertaker.

  39. Serenegoose says:

    Thanks for taking one for the team, John. I’d already decided this series wasn’t for me, but they do a great job of convincing me of that fact more and more with every release.

  40. AuspexAO says:

    I don’t like to say people “missed the point” of a piece of art. If you played Deponia like John did and came away hating it, then maybe the game failed to make its point well. I didn’t register here to say “nuh uh!” to a well-regarded critic.

    What I *did* register to say is that Rufus, not Deponia, is a hateful piece of trash. Quite literally. Rufus is an incomplete clone born without human decency. His only positive trait, if you can call it that, is determination. However, you can same attribute that trait to a virus invading and killing a host. The player character is given a task in the beginning of the trilogy which is: help Rufus get to Deponia. We very soon learn that Deponia is in danger and it’s out job to save it. This is where we discover that Rufus only has one true value to the world and that is when he is sacrificed to save it.

    The meaning behind these games is noble, even if the character is not. They give you control of the world’s most ignorant, self-centered, and hated (not just by us, but by the other characters) man. They say “save the world and get the girl!” (The girl is named Goal for a reason) Then you find that the only possible way to help this kind girl who, inexplicably, is the only one who likes you is to stop being selfish for once and let go of your quest for good.

    What can you say about a piece of shit person who has one moment of clarity and does something noble? I guess you can dwell on all the horrible things he said and did, or you can reflect on how even human trash from a garbage planet is still a human being capable of being a hero. I don’t need fiction to teach me how to treat women and transgendered people. I do need it to challenge me with interesting and subversive characters like Rufus.

    • Don Reba says:

      Well-written. I would have liked to see something like this in the review.

    • Danine says:

      I agree.

      Rufus is a sexist, a racist, a transphobic, Rufus is a jerk. He ruins people lives and doesn’t care for animals but he doesn’t represent the game, he is one character among many.
      People in the game hate him, nobody supports him (many criticize him), and the wise run from him like fire. He only helps people when it serves his objectives and turns on the same people later when his objectives change. He doesn’t care for anybody but himself and his Goals.

      More than once I felt insulted by Rufus while playing this game.
      More than once I became uncomfortable when I realized I need to harm someone to fulfill my objectives.
      More than once I tried to make him do good things or speak nicely – in the scene described with Lotti I got stuck because I refused to criticize her.
      I couldn’t change anything, of course, because Rufus is a jerk. He may be the protagonist, he may be a controllable character but he is, in essence, a jerk and in all honesty – I liked it. It was refreshing playing like that, having no control over his behavior or over the consequences, trying to take a better route and seeing Rufus still mess up…

      I feel like saying the game is transphobic/sexist/racist is inaccurate, that if the game was indeed perpetuating these concepts we would’ve seen these ideas in all elements of the game (story, characters, environment).

      I personally really enjoyed the game and I really recommend it to P&C adevnture games lovers, but of course – to each his own :)

  41. malsha says:

    Somebody didn’t understand the concept that Rufus is an asshole and that he was designed to be this way. It’s utterly sad that somebody is judging a game without even having this kind of dark humor – of course everybody has the right to critisize a game. Just makes no sense to me to review something you hate so much. He obviously misunderstood the chosen scenes – which are reviwed without minding any context – and of course he clearly didn’t understand the Rufus concept and design, so …

  42. pokinsson says:

    Hi John, hi guys. I’m Poki, the author of the game.
    Even more than you, John, don’t seem to get the humour of my game, I don’t get the humour of your review. There is nothing sexist or racist in the game at all, no matter how much you want to project it into it. Your rants may be intended to be amusing, but persuading people who haven’t played the game yet that it features a message of intolerance when it definitely doesn’t is not funny anymore – it’s slander. Humour is a delicate thing. You can spoil it easily – imagine a stand-up comedian on stage telling a joke. When some bully in the audience is shouting “Not funny!” all the time, it’s hard to laugh. You’re that bully.
    I know I have lost you on some point in the past and won’t be able to win you back on my work. I’m very sorry about that. I appreciate your opinion – I know that I am not able to match anyone’s taste and you, playing the controversial card more skillfully than any other reviewer I know, should know that this can be a good thing as well. If you were just a spoilsport in the audience of a stand-up club, I maybe would just call it an evening. But this is not a club. It’s the viral environment of the internet and your accusing my games of improper content already found its way into other media once. You’re in a position where throwing shit at people can easily end up sticking to them. As we haven’t met personally I am really confused why you seem so passionate about destroying my work and spoiling it for anyone in your reach.

    If Doomsday was my first game and your review the first reaction to it, I maybe would have taken your advice and quit making games for good. When I interpret the reactions from the rest of the world correctly, this would have been a huge mistake, as outside of planet John Walker there is quite a huge consensus about my work being as relevant, entertaining, profound and inspiring as I intended it to be.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      I love your games, Poki, but please don’t take reviews so personally. When you release your creation into the world, you lose control of it. People will judge it as they see fit, and unfortunately sometimes people will misjudge it. There is nothing you can do. John doesn’t like it, that’s fine, other people do like it, and that’s fine too.

      Personally i have given all your games a positive review on Steam, barring Harveys Neue Augen, because i found it insipid and overly reliant on one joke (disconnect between narrator and protagonist). The review got downvoted presumably because fans could not cope with the idea that there was another opinion than their own. This is really petty. It’s a reviewer’s job to give their opinion of a game. Perhaps that opinion doesn’t match others’, but that’s why in the developed world we generally celebrate freedom of speech and the free press – so that everyone has the opportunity to share their opinion.

      Regarding “slander” – it may be a cultural gap that you can’t always see the parts of your games that could be offensive in England or the US. I am an immigrant to Germany, born in England and having lived many years in other countries. Some of things Germans find completely inoffensive (Breakfast at Tiffany’s-esque caricatures of Asian people, for example) i find completely appalling. While depicting a black woman as a dancing monkey may be merely a little unsettling in Germany, in England there is a long history of racists referring to black people as monkeys, and in the US the dancing negro is a huge taboo due to the history of slavery and minstrel shows. Given we now live in a globalized world, and you have invested the time and money in localizing your games to sell to an English-speaking audience, these are things you do need to be aware of.

      Or not. I mean, it’s your prerogative – although something may be considered offensive in another culture, although the message you were trying to get across was lost in translation, it is fine to release it anyway and hope that some consumers will see past that and enjoy it for what it is. But that’s a risk you take with putting your art out there, with making it globally accessible. I haven’t played Doomsday yet, though i certainly will because i enjoyed the other Deponias, but although i look forward to the clever (German) wordplay and slapstick humor, i am also prepared for the awkward and uncomfortable moments that John has made clear continue to appear in this episode. That’s the value of the review for me. Other readers draw their own conclusions. Your job is to just keep making the games you love and with luck they will find the right audience.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Well put.

      • Bernardo says:

        I don’t think this is a very big cultural gap. I’m German, and I find Mickey Rooney’s character hugely offensive. Similarly, depicting a black woman as a dancing monkey is offensive in Germany, too, and although the country’s colonial past has eluded many (because Germany lost its colonies after WWI), there have been some controversies in recent times that would make anyone who reads newspapers aware of the problematic aspects of such depictions. Clearly, these debates are much more on the forefront in US public discourse, but really, “lost in translation” is not an excuse.

        • Premium User Badge

          alison says:

          I think this is a key point. Although objectively certain things are known to be offensive to socially aware people everywhere, the lines of tolerance are different. For example, i couldn’t purchase a game mentioned yesterday on RPS – Alekhine’s Gun – presumably because it depicts Nazi imagery and that is banned in Germany. But last week i was in Namibia and spoke to some well-educated, left-wing Germans about the Herero genocide and Germany’s bloody history in the region. Imagine my surprise when i got the “pull back the eyelids and talk in a funny voice” once they brought up the Chinese. Meanwhile in the US people love games about Nazis, and although they would cringe at someone physically impersonating an Asian person by pulling his eyelids back, a black comedian can get away with conflating Chinese and Jewish bankers in a skit on national television.

          Of course all of this is arguably equally offensive, but because of the history of the various cultures, people will tolerate (or not tolerate) differing levels of stereotyping and humor. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect everyone from every background to be equally tolerant and mindful of every possible slight – that way leads to the stereotype most of these ignorant commenters have about “SJWs” – so i am willing to be a little flexible what i tolerate when i know a game is made in a different culture. Many others are not, though, and i think that’s a risk publishers targeting multiple different cultures need to acknowledge and accept.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        Actually depicting a black woman as a monkey is as offensive in Germany if not more. The Berlin shows of Josephine Baker and her banana dance are well remembered and critisized.
        Indeed almost anything can be considered offensive to someone. I’m half-asian and tiny, others are black or female or crook-nosed or disabled or fat etc. Everyone has a weakness.
        The question is whether to side with the easily-offended lobbyists and 1984-style-censors. Well my choice is made.
        Even Chris Rock admits he can hardly make a joke in American colleges due to PC conserns.

    • AlexClockwork says:

      You are right indeed, humor is a delicate thing. It’s hard to laugh when you see it’s basically portraying harmful situations people around you suffer without showing any kind of critique about it.

      For example, and to focus on a particular point, I have lots of transgender friends. They have ALL, at one point or another, been harassed and purposefully misgendered, and of course most suffered from dysphoria. They are all pressed to comply with gender roles even more than cisgender people do, just for their gender to be recognized as such. It is a problem they have to face every single day, because society is so blatantly missinformed about these issues, how they work and how they harm people.

      Now, please, explain to me how your main character making fun of a trans woman is funny. Please explain it to me, because I just can’t see how recreating something already that harmful and common is funny. I just don’t see it.

      And I actually agree with John, I find it hard to be offended, because it’s… Well, it’s a really bad attempt at humour. But I do think it’s certainly not funny, and I do think it can, even if not on purpose, make people less sensitive about transphobic harassment. How the fuck do you expect me to find that funny?

      So, TL;DR, you probably didn’t intend to be offensive to anyone, but John is pointing out that the kind of humour you try to make is not for everyone’s tastes, he personally dislikes it and I do too. That’s not being a bully. If John’s article convinces me not to buy your game, it’s because I don’t like its content. That’s all.

      • Innocent Dave says:

        THIS. All of this.

        As a trans person with related PTSD, it still amazes me that someone can stand up in public and defend making art that uses violence against trans people as a source of humour.

        Also, the review was excellent, probably saved me from playing the game, and somehow managed to package that it a way that was entertaining to read, rather than just deeply upsetting. Thank you, John :)

        • Premium User Badge

          alison says:

          For what it’s worth, i am also a transperson and i didn’t find the depiction of that character in Deponia as particularly offensive. The protagonist’s questions and behavior are a little exasperating – you get to witness all the ignorance in-game that we regularly experience in our real lives – but the character herself is not a bad role model.

          I think in general Deponia can be seen in this light. It depicts misogyny, transphobia, animal cruelty, racism and so on, but you are never expected to identify with the protagonist, who is an ignorant, selfish and all-round despicable asshat. The moments of catharsis are when he inevitably receives his comeuppance through hilariously epic fails and slapstick. It also has some very, very funny scenes that are just clever wordplay and oddball humor in the vein of UK alternative comedy. All that said, you do need a thick skin to get through it – as John has mentioned, the protagonist is so unlikeable it can get harrowing after a while.

          • AlexClockwork says:

            Yeah, I’m not going against the portrayal of the character, I haven’t really seen any evidence of it being negative. But when the protagonist of a piece of fiction is a racist, sexist, transphobic piece of shit, I expect some critique. I don’t expect it to just be asumed to be satire because he is a piece of shit, which is how some people defend the sexism in GTA (which, as I said elsewhere, I find to be a good game, even though its sexist part should be criticized).

            As far as I understand, such critique does not exist here, and I can’t possibly enjoy that. I’m sure there will be people who will like it, and I’m sure a lot of people will find the main character being an asshole in general enough criticism for all of his actions, but I don’t see it that way, so, for me, this depictions of harmful behaviours are just that. Harmful behaviours. I don’t enjoy that.

            Once again, I’m pretty sure it’s not their intention to offend anyone. But I still dislike what they did and won’t find it funny, and the reason it not that “John is a bully”. :-/

          • zodiac2k says:

            Regarding the transgender topic may I recommend this as a further read, similar critisism with a response from game author Poki about his intentions:
            link to facebook.com

            I really didn’t plan to comment on Mr. Walker’s review, just wanted to leave you with this link for further perspective on the specific topic.
            But one thing I just have to say after just reading the rules for comments on this story here that say “We encourage you to disagree with us. However, we will not tolerate spitefulness or rudeness.” –> This made me smile because no matter if I agree or disagree with Mr. Walker’s take on the game in general, the thing that I have to critize him for in any way is that it feels that he did not follow the rules that RPS demands from all people who answer on their stories because his style of writing – to me at least – does feel spiteful and rude.

          • AlexClockwork says:

            Thanks for sharing that, it was great to read it, and it’s heartwarming to be assured that the writer’s intentions were good. I really can’t tell you how happy I am to read that.

            But, as I said… Just trusting the character being an asshole to be enough criticism of his behaviour is not enough. Not for me, at least, even if I see the writer’s intentions. There are too many assholes in the real world already, and they are not a criticism of themselves. I don’t want to buy a game, see what I already see in real life, and then be told that it’s criticism because the character is an asshole. Of course he is, but that doesn’t mean the game is criticizing it, whichever the intentions are.

            Anyway, I am sorry this situations happen. Hopefully, and seeing that the writer’s intentions are good, the next game’s criticism will be more obvious, and critical. But, the way the social criticism is done in this one, I feel like I just wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. Hope that’s understandable. Not trying to boycott or bully anyone, but, the way the game seems to be right now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t find it funny, and I appreciate John’s review.

            In any case, I must say I haven’t played it. I am basing these assumptions in what I know about it, and similar situations in which games attempt to make criticism by just showing asshole characters doing assholy things. That doesn’t cut it for me. If that’s not the case, then I’m missinformed.

          • Innocent Dave says:

            From the facebook link: “maybe I did not succeed trying to get the right ballance of being playfull with a topic [transphobia] that is still a taboo in wide areas of society.”

            Yeah, except Transphobia isn’t really a taboo. When I can go to the shops, to work, to community service, or to visit my parents, and get the exact same aggressive, threatening crap, that’s not a taboo. That’s a dominant cultural assumption, and you’re not challenging it by mindlessly repeating it.

            This is a fairly common defense thrown up in this situation and those like it, and it’s absolute nonsense. At best, you’ve accidentally reinforced the status quo and the self-belief of every bigot who reads your work. At worst, you’ve deliberately decided to wave your privilege around for cheap laughs, regardless of who it hurts.

          • Premium User Badge

            gritz says:

            I have nothing of value to add, I just wanted to say that this is one of the best comment threads I’ve read on RPS.

          • darkmorgado says:

            As a gay man, it disgusts me that the recognition and acceptance of gay and bi people in both law and society hasn’t been applied to the trans community. I’ve got a few trans friends, and it breaks my heart when they ridiculed in the street or other types of public humiliation.

          • jrodman says:

            @darkmorgado: law and society are lagging for trans individuals, and that’s sad because the voices aren’t new and have had a similar timespan of attempting to work for change as the gay rights movement.

            But what really depresses me is when the gay subcultures I come in contact with actively reject the equality of trans people. Gay leather business who send a “get out” message to trans customers in their stores are an example fresh in my mind.

    • Ched says:

      I wouldn’t read too much into this review. It has a very “here’s the evidence that proves what i thought was right” feel to it.

      Johns responses to comments were particularly disappointing.

    • anHorse says:

      Goddamn bullies reviewing the games I make and release for commercial sale

      what scum

      • Ched says:

        There’s a difference between a negative review and one who’s opening line is “what a wretched turd of a game.”

        The former is expected, the latter is unpleasant to see.

        I suspect the game isn’t very good and I will probably not buy it. However the tone of the review and Johns following comments seemed out of order.

        • Lanfranc says:

          John is basically the Hunter S. Thompson of games journalism. I often don’t agree with him, but I’m glad he exists – if only as someone willing to cut through the usual “7/10”-bullshit of games journalism and say “No! This game is a piece of shit!” if that’s his opinion.

    • v00d00m4n says:

      Let me shake your hand, and thank you for Deponia. You guys like a modern reincarnation of LucasArts with some of South Park sort of sense of humor and its a great combo.

      Keep doing great games and dont listen to what sensitive liberals like John Walker says! He clearly dont get dark and polit incorrect sense of humor and getting butthurt probably after every episode of south park just like he does after deponia. And he definetly not played or like games of genre back in 90th if he cant see how well you captured that spirit.

      P.S. – i have a little personal request, can you guys patch all deponia and other Daedalic point and click games with gamepad support implemented in same fashion as in Randal’s monday (Deponia sort of game which supposed to be official Kevin’s Smith Clerks movie game but became stand alone)?

    • mason says:

      Hi Poki and John,

      First of all, to provide something simple and constructive, as it was brought up before I also think there are two main reasons why the opinions about the game which are discussed in and especially under this article are so blatantly different:

      1, translation
      Maybe a big part of the writing which ofc is also transporting Poki’s intentions as well as the overall atmosphere and humour in such a clear fashion that nearly anyone in Germany could consider it offensive, is lost in translation.

      2, cultural disconnect
      There seems to be a disconnect between the major consensus narrative in different parts of the world. There are many reasons for this and they sure can be and already are broadly discussed.

      The problem of this article however is not about different opinions. John, you are actively and, guessing from some of the comments, very successfully talking people out of buying the game. You are an intelligent person so you know how things are working in the business and that people will just follow you blindly. You know that there are many very good reviews out there (not only limited to german websites and magazines) and that many people like the Deponia games from the bottom of their heart. All this should have brought you to the conclusion that there may indeed be some deeper lying disconnect (which may have been worth mentioning, too?). But you decided to write this don’t-buy-advice and flag all the people who like the game as “dreadful”. I’m not sure if this is kind of a personal crusade or something and of course you are free to write what you want and the actions of your “followers” are not your responisbility, etc. etc. but I for one just don’t understand all this…

      Today I read the discussion under the Goodbye Deponie article for the first time despite following RPS for years (I’m often working on places all over the world having limited access to the internet so I just missed it). And I have to say to you, Poki: Your intentions, e.g. about the player reflecting Rufus’ choices and actions, were transported very well. The writing not only “works”, it’s more often than not just brilliant and a very good example of art in video games. All the overall positive feedback as well as the awards you got are well deserved. Please keep up the good work and please think about 1 and 2 above. Maybe there is something that can be done in this regard?

      P.S. for all the ad hominem people: german, white, male, 28 yo, scientist, not really political (but much more left than right if it has to come down to it), played all the games in german language

    • jrodman says:

      Poki, your repeated, un-nuanced, flat denial of the problems in your games is what really cements the fact that the have raacism and sexism problems. It’s a much stronger argument than the review could ever be.

      • pokinsson says:

        About the racism-accusation: In the scene that John picked out to make this point, Rufus gives the exact same reaction here to her male white husband. John points out that the scene is not meant tahis way himself, I guess he just wanted to include the word “racism” into his rant, underlying it red and then admitting somewhere below in brackets that actually he just thought to have found a trace of such content when looking twice, there wasnt at all) The joke here is that it is Rufus making this comment, being the most dirty, chaos-inflicting jerk even for junkyard-planet standards.
        About the sexism-topic: John just put the word into his review without any evidence that there is any sexist content in this game whatsoever. Because there is none. If you want a nuanced comment to that, read the thread. A little further up I explain how the game can be viewed as featuring a feminist message.

        • jrodman says:

          In your eyes you can see a feminist message. In the eyes of some players there have been many racist, sexist, and now transphobic messages in the games.

          You can’t have it both ways. Either the criticisms you’re receiving are valid, and you should respond to them as valid criticisms (which you don’t do), or your interpretation isn’t relevant in the face of the criticism.

        • There says:

          Funny how you ignore other readers’ comments and arguments and can only mention John said this and John said that. There is a world outside John’s world as you call it. Are *you* ready to listen to it? Are you ready to listen to people saying they find something sexist, racist or transphobic? Whether this was your intention or not is not in question. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is that some people — not just John remember?– find some situations, bits of dialog or choices given to them in the game problematic. You can try and walk in their shoes, try and understand why they saw this and you didn’t, and think about ways to avoid that next time, or you can do as you have done here and only talk about you and your intentions. What’s it gonna be?
          Also, you know what? It’s 2016 and I’m nearly 40. I want diversity and equality well done, and I want it now. I can get these from other forms/pieces of entertainement. If all you have to offer are these characters and these situations, all you’re gonna get from me is a big fat nope. Been there, done that. It ain’t funny and it’s so boring. And that’s *my* opinion. So no I won’t buy this game. I want better. I deserve it.

    • Bedlam11 says:

      John Walker is a piece of shit and a social justice bully. I’m sorry your day was made a little bit worse by having to read his garbage and hateful lies.

  43. aircool says:

    I’d like to apologise to everyone. I can talk some utter crap at times.

    It’s a long story, but the bottom line is that I have no excuse for being a dick.

    Sorry :(

    • noodlecake says:

      Don’t apologize. I looked at your comments. You’re not being a dick. :P Just innocently asking questions and getting chewed out by people. That’s the internet for you.

    • AlexClockwork says:

      I don’t agree with noodlecake about the people who answered to you “chewing you out”, and I think your question about “not being able to make fun of this oppressed, misrepresented collective” (even though you used another words) was quite out of line. But I think that was already explained to you, and hope you understood it.

      Furthermore, I don’t think you were being a dick. I think you were rude, even though unknowingly, and I’m glad you realized. Acknowledging it is more than most people ever does, and we all make mistakes. So… Don’t worry. You messed up, we all do. Hopefully, the responses didn’t hit you too hard and we’re all in a better situation now. ^^

  44. dksd says:

    Just created an account to say how awful this review is. I’ve never played any Deponia games but this kind of writing doesn’t belong here. I love RPS’s sense of humor because it’s well balanced with professionalism, but what I just read (I must say I didn’t even finished reading the whole article) is what I would expect from some angry frustrated teenager blog.

  45. cheesyboy says:

    I had no idea there was controversy about the Deponia games. Nor did I realise that they’re a bit crap.

    I’m a bit disappointed – I’ve had Deponia on my ‘to play’ list since really enjoying Daedalic’s Edna & Harvey: new Eyes, and was quite looking forward to it.

    • SamuelYaron says:

      Then continue looking forward to it and test it out. I will not say anything about this review in particular, but there are many different people out there and a lot of people (Yes, me included) like the game. So get it, play it. It is quite cheap this days.

    • Saradi says:

      Neither is there a controversy not are they crap. Thats all John being dead set on not liking the game and seeking things to complain (and misrepresent them to make them look worse than they are).

      • TheTingler says:

        Nope. I’ve played all two of the four (first and third) games to completion and they are indeed shit by any standard to which adventure games are held, other than graphics.

  46. Rizlar says:

    Good on yer, John.

  47. Premium User Badge

    hemmer says:

    John is a passionate guy, we all know this. Extreme love, extreme hate, extreme indifference, extreme disgust.

    So why does everyone still try to burn eath other at the stake in the comments of every other article he writes?

    John’s tastes differ wildly from mine and I don’t like his journalistic style of extremes. Knowing this, I take them with a grain of salt. Different strokes for different folks. No need to bite someone’s head off.

    That said, the game is quite offensive at times I guess, though I’ve played them in the original German, so I can’t rightly judge how badly some of the jokes translate. It’s definitely not for everyone.

    I do think it strange that someone who already knows he’s going to hate the game reviews it. It’d be like me playing a soccer simulator….only I’d mostly be bored instead of disgusted. Either way, not good for the reviewer’s psyche and very limited valaue to the readers.

  48. maninahat says:

    Guys you’re not listening. The purpose of a review is to validate your own opinions about games you’ve already played. That way, you can use the review as valuable evidence later on, to prove someone wrong when they don’t share your taste. Reviews aren’t about offering criticism or consumer advice, that’s just a thing they repeat over and over for some reason.

    [This is sarcasm – Judging by the kind of responses this thread is getting, I need to say that]

  49. KalidasaKanopy says:

    Hello dear Mr. Walker

    hopefully you’re aware that just pissed off Point&Click players? Well, at least me, as I won’t speak for others. To piss off people as a journalist (you’re not a self-proclaimed one, aren’t you?) takes some … effort. Or at least the will to do so. Now that you stated your case, I’ll open mine: you’re opportunistic in you moral and ethic gaming perception and you fail to grasp the concept of a “Moral compass”.
    I’ve found this article of yours (link to rockpapershotgun.com). Ok, it dates a few years back, but I found the lack of adjectives missing there intriguing. Yes, I see the point of Rufus in Deponia being a higher moral instance compared to GoT fiction that reckons more drastic words. Not. This is why I doubt your perceptions and I call you opportunistic cause you bash a fictional story while you realize that another fictional story might be “a simulation”. While I don’t know if you enjoyed GoT (I liked GoT and Deponia, maybe because I know its fiction and not a call to act like a jerk) but I certainly know you’d better not review games you don’t understand. You know nothing, John Snow-Walker!

    • noodlecake says:

      I’m sure he’s heartbroken.

      Why do you think that all point and click adventure game players have exactly the same values that you have? I don’t think everyone who likes point and click adventures will have a problem with this review. In fact I think even if they disagree with the review they won’t be “pissed off”. They will just accept that they have a difference in values/sensibilities to John and move on.

      • KalidasaKanopy says:

        Well, some might share the values, some might not. Perfectly ok with it. I’m pissed and I know a handful of other people that are pissed because of of this unnecessary aggressive stance. If he doesn’t like Deponia, well why not say: “oh, Deponia, I don’t like it because of blabla, better have someone else review it, I have a bias.” This bull**** emo journalism full of bias pisses me off.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      I’ve read this post five times and still have no idea what point you’re trying to make.

      • KalidasaKanopy says:

        Have not got your point either.

      • pepperfez says:

        I think he’s calling John a yeti at the end?

        • Premium User Badge

          zapatapon says:

          Thanks for making me laugh out loud with this comment, something that I sorely missed in this thread.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      “To piss off people as a journalist (you’re not a self-proclaimed one, aren’t you?) takes some … effort”

      No, it absolutely does not.

      As recent years have amply proven, as does your post, gamers are notoriously fragile and whingy.

      Anything that challenges them will basically throw them into a fit of rage and histrionics. Amusing and abhorrent at the same time.

      • KalidasaKanopy says:

        As recent years have amply proven, as does your reply, trolls are notoriously limited and ostentatatious.

        Anything that challenges them will basically push them in the air of great importance while having no clue. Amusing and pathetic at the same time.