Ever since its release two years ago, Samorost 2 has become a cult classic amongst adventure gamers. The original free online Flash game has been played by millions and captured imaginations around the world.
Many might wonder how a game can be any good without such elements. It’s the puzzles’ creativity and the magic of the world you explore that make it stand out. A series of puzzles are solved by interacting with the environment, just with a mouse button click.
The sequel follows in very much the same tradition, with no dialogue, inventory, or in-depth storyline to speak of, but filled with enchanting levels and inventive puzzles. As Samorost 2 begins, the little gnome from the original is fast asleep in his house. A pair of aliens land their spaceship in the garden and start to steal the fruit from the trees.
After the first small player interaction, the gnome’s faithful canine friend runs out to scare the aliens away, only for them to bundle him into their sack and fly him away in their spaceship. It is your job to help the gnome rescue his dog and return home safe and sound. The first section of the game ends with the dog’s rescue, while the second sees you trying to escape from an unknown planet back to your beloved home.
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The main character, hooded and dressed in white except for his little boots, is incredibly simple in design yet surprisingly effective at conveying emotion and helping you identify with his plight. After chasing the aliens in his trusty rocket, we arrive on an alien planet made up of strange creatures that will help or hinder you on your quest in their own way. None of them talk; most utter the odd sound or an unintelligible language, yet this perfectly suits the game’s design.
Puzzles are imaginative, though to go into too much detail would spoil the delights you will uncover. While some are obvious, others require more thought, yet never do you feel illogical. For example, one involves you having to distract a snail from fixing its shell so you can borrow its hammer, another has you waking up a snoozing robot, and a third involves plugging in a fridge to reveal a hidden entrance. Puzzles are always varied, and you never feel that the gameplay is getting predictable.
The gameplay itself consists of manipulating the environment to help the gnome progress. Items or characters in the domain that can be interacted with in some way turn the cursor into a hand, and once they no longer serve a purpose, they are no longer selectable. This is an excellent idea that helps you in knowing what needs to be done next. Progress is saved through the use of a password system. Once you have solved a set area’s puzzles, you’ll be given a password, which you can load when you resume the game later.
If there’s a downside to anything within the game, it’s that there are a few items that are incredibly hard to see even with the smart cursor, which can result in a small amount of pixel hunting. There are also two puzzles in the second part of the game that requires an element of timing. These can be slightly annoying, and you may have to attempt them multiple times to get them right.