So much of Armikrog feels neglectful and lazy, lacking anything to make it stand out. Even the claymation look of it doesn't save it from the carelessness put into it. It's hard to see where that million dollars went. All of that said, it isn't terrible, but if you've never had the pleasure of playing The Neverhood, do yourself a favor and pick that up instead.
A wonderful claymation art style and a unique soundtrack aren't enough to save this point-and-click adventure from its own monotonous puzzles and uninteresting story.
In a way Armikrog feels like a tech demo for something much bigger, a showcase of what a final build could look like, with the majority of the character dialogue and story still to be added in. The fantastic claymation and the decent music can only distract so long from the facts that Armikrog feels soulless, lacks any charm, has boring characters, and has puzzles that could have been more interesting. The story of Tzurk and Meva told on the tablets would have made for a much better game.
Armikrog is a somewhat functional game that is unfortunately full of archaic game design, half-baked ideas, glitches galore, insultingly repetitive puzzles, and unrealized potential.
Armikrog looks amazing, with the stop-motion claymation performed to perfection. However, that is as good as it gets, with clunky gameplay mechanics and the significant glitches found that are the true enemy for Tommynaut and Beak-Beak. This is the equivalent to being thrown into the deep end of a swimming pool without learning how to swim, and then trying to select the nearby life ring, only to discover that only the dog can select that option for some illogical reason. Armikrog feels like an unfinished game that was rushed out the door, with any form of character progression or story left on the cutting room floor. While it was created with good intentions behind it, Armikrog only serves as a sad reminder of just how great The Neverhood truly was, and that it may never be successfully replicated.
Armikrog is often too old-school for its own good, and it's impregnable for those who don't know the genre for all its faults. Those that manage to scratch the surface won't necessarily be rewarded for their efforts, either, with a paper-thin plot and characters that are just too hard to root for. The art style (and opening song) may be enticing, but sadly that's all that this retro-styled point-and-clicker has to offer.
The puzzles often require the player to merely regurgitate a pattern from one part of the world to another.
Armikrog is a game that has had obvious care and exacting attention given to its visual design and animation… at the expense of almost everything else. A bland and woefully short game with asinine puzzles and an unresponsive interface, it's beautiful but that's about it.
Doug, I love your work as a whole, but Armikrog feels like an unpolished mess. If the entire game had received the effort that was put towards the visuals, this would have easily been the spiritual successor to games that I have very fond memories of. This clay could have used some more time in the kiln, that's for sure.
Provided you don't get hung up by myriad design problems or a progress-halting bug, Armikrog is a monotonous and overly simplistic adventure
Armikrog's memory puzzles and tenuous humour are a low point in the adventure game renaissance.
Cut-scenes, visuals and music aside, there's really not much game here, what with the somewhat average puzzle design and lacking rewards to keep on going. I'm happy that Tennapel and the team at Pencil Test were able to get back into the whole clay-mation business, but I can't help but think more could've been done with this.
In the end, that is where I stand with Tommynaut and Beak-Beak's adventure. I am torn on it because I absolutely loved some of the things that were done, but also came away with the distinct impression that there simply should have been more.
There is so much squandered potential in Armikrog it hurts. The voice acting is great, but there's not enough of it; the visuals and animations are superb, but let down by repeated puzzles. Pencil Test Studios has created a fantastic claymation setting and fun characters, but in terms of gameplay it sticks too closely to the old-school point and click formula for its own good. Fans of the genre may get a kick out of the old fashioned style, but beyond a well-realised stop motion aesthetic, there's little here for anyone else.
Though it starts with a glimmer of excellence, Armikrog's luster fades over time. It inevitably feels empty, falling flat in its effort to develop its characters, fill out its world with compelling atmosphere, and provide consistent puzzles with sound logic. While the game's claymation visuals are delightful and unique, that quality alone isn't enough to make it worth recommending. What remains is a half-baked experience that, for all the personality it wears on its sleeve, fails to captivate in any meaningful way.
Ultimately, Armikrog is a failure, but it's not a failure that is supposed to be hated with a fiery passion or forgotten about. If Pencil Test Studios learn their lesson, it can be a launching point for a better game that fully realizes their potential. For the player though, the best choice would be to stick with good, old Neverhood.
Wait and hope for some major patches for now, but even then Armikrog still won't feel actually finished. Shame.
Armikrog squanders the real, doing nothing interesting with its sense of space and temptation to explore, because every new chamber seems identical to the last. In fact, if The Neverhood has a sequel, it may be 2003's Samorost, from Amanita Designs—a precious cosmos of tinkering little mysteries. By the time it's done, Armikrog feels more like The Neverhood's mulligan. As if this is the first one, the prototype, the do-over, with less to offer than familiarity, all of which leads to the more lavish incarnation made nearly two decades ago. And after that loses steam, and you want a bit of action in your life, then you make Skullmonkeys.
When I started playing Armikrog I didn't know what to expect, and I've always said that when going into games that I have no knowledge about other than some screenshots, I should expect the unexpected, and I have to admit, that is exactly what I got.
Hardcore adventure game fans will still enjoy themselves here, but poor players dipping their toes into this genre for first time will be left scratching their heads, not from the puzzles, but due to the lack of fun found herein.