Apocalipsis, or Apocalipsis: Harry At The End Of The World to give it its full and proper name, is like walking through a series of medieval bestiary paintings. Poor old Harry sees all sorts of nasty sights on his Orphean descent into Hell to bring back his beloved, and the ones in that header image up there aren’t even the half of it. Before he reaches his journey’s end, he’ll have freed a bird with more heads than a flock of Dodrios, sated the hunger of a strange feathered dog, shot a giant kraken in the tentacle with a canon, and dropped a cage on top of what I can only describe as a horribly thin humanoid thing who has the unfortunate affliction of having their face growing out of their torso.
It’s a strange old thing, this point and click adventure from Punch Punk Games, but at least this gruesome menagerie of medieval monstrosities make for a refreshing change of backdrop compared to the usual parade of cutesy, fairy-like sprite characters that tend to star in these kinds of games. Chuchel and Samorost, I’m looking at you. I also love how nonplussed Harry looks throughout the whole thing, as if this emotional, sepia-toned journey to Hell and back is just a bit too much of an effort to really be worth it.
In truth, I would probably have never played Apocalipsis if it hadn’t been part of the current Xbox Game Pass on PC library. Lured in by its promise of a Machinarium and Samorost-style adventure, it sounded like something easy going to while away an evening while Matthew was away at Gamescom.
Little did I know I was in for something a lot more horrific. As you may have already guessed, Apocalipsis can be pretty grim and bleak at times, but its cerebral, self-contained puzzles are still pretty damn good. To say much more would be to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say that one of them involves tooting out a tune on a random Hell organ made of bones and spines. If that’s not enticing enough to give it a go on Xbox Game Pass, or even buy it for keeps over on Steam, I don’t know what is.