Apocalipsis: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Come for the Really Long Name, Stay for the Puzzling.
Genre: Point N Click, Adventure
Developer: Punch Punk Games
Release date: 5 Sept, 2019
A Brief Overview (Some interesting facts too)
Apocalipsis is a point and click adventure game that was heavily inspired by the likes of Machinarium and Samorost, two highly acclaimed adventure games.
While researching the title a bit, I discovered that the game has gone through 3 separate name changes on multiple platforms. On mobile, the game is known as Apocalipsis: Harry at the End of the World. On Steam, it’s simply known as Apocalipsis, and finally, for the PS4 and Xbox version of the game, it went with Apocalipsis: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which looking back at my playthrough, makes absolutely zero sense because there’s no tree of knowledge and no fight against good or evil either. Fun fact: when you pause the game in the PS4 version, the game is still called Apocalipsis: Harry at the End of the World.
Initially, I was rather confused as to these names, I wondered if they were all sequels to each other or if they were simply the same game. I had to visit each of the game’s separate store pages to find this out as well. Ultimately it turned out that they were the same game, but name changes like these rarely help and merely serve to confuse people. Not the best idea in the world, in truth.
Story and Narration
Honestly, one of the biggest areas this game is lacking is in story. To put that into perspective a bit… what little story there is, is told through 30 second narration bits in between each act. Each act has between 3 and 7 areas to play through and there’s only 5 chapters altogether. Even though I felt there could have been much more story elements, I did enjoy the narration quite a bit, what little there was anyway. Narration was done by the lead singer of a black metal band named Behemoth who named Nergal.
Nergal’s voice is deep and adds a very foreboding air to each of the narrative sections. Even though these pieces only last a little while, I found myself looking forward to each one. Unfortunately they don’t last long enough to truly sate the desire for story elements, especially when you have such great narration.
The story is about a man named Harry whose first love dies a tragic death. Grief stricken, he sets out on a long journey in order to resurrect her. The “story” has a very “Greek Myth” sort of feel to it, their mythology is filled with tales of men setting out on journey’s to save loved ones. There’s no dialogue whatsoever outside of the narration sections though, which is a little disappointing I will admit.
The game also has a secret, “true ending” that you can play after you finish the game but you must collect all 7 flowers scattered throughout the game. The only really stinky thing about the true ending was the fact that I didn’t get to see the final two areas of it due to a game breaking bug that halted progress. Restarting the epilogue didn’t help either unfortunately.
One of the areas I really enjoyed about this game was it’s art style. I’m a person that absolutely loves unique art styles and I go nuts anytime I’m able to play something that’s not hyper realistic.
The art in Apocalipsis is simple but it has a surprising amount of smaller details hidden in each area of the game. The later levels of the game are especially cool to look at, and what little I saw of the true ending section, was easily the prettiest out of all the areas in the main game.
Another thing I really like about the game’s art style is how it looks like it was all drawn with a pen on yellowish paper. It gives it a rather unique appearance and it fits the rather dark tone of the game quite well.
Another area that I was really impressed with in this game is it’s music. The game utilizes a very unique and atmospheric sound, and it incorporates some of Behemoth’s music within too. The music during the narration phases is especially good, it gives off a very eerie feeling that’s kinda difficult to describe. If you watch my gameplay video, you’ll understand what I mean.
Gameplay: A Puzzling We Will Go.
95% of Apocalipsis revolves around solving various puzzles. It’s puzzles come in many forms but they’re pretty standard fare as far as puzzles go. All of them have been used in other adventure games and each are quite simple to solve for veterans of the genre like myself.
There are many different types of puzzles in this game, some based on rings, others based on pipes, and baskets. There’s even some item based puzzle solving as well. The game doesn’t really do anything unique with it’s puzzles so if you’ve played adventure games before, you’ll likely recognize every puzzle type in this game and you won’t have very much trouble solving them either.
Truth be told, my expectations going into this game weren’t very high. Largely due to the lack of a lot of story elements, which I often feel are very important to an adventure game. after playing through the game, I feel it was a pretty decent game. It’s puzzles were on the easy side, and the game doesn’t really try anything new or impressive, but it does have a great art style, excellent music, and some great narration.
I was also very disappointed about the game breaking bug I encountered in the true ending because I didn’t get to see how it really ended even though I collected all the flowers, ah well. Ultimately, I’m going to Save for Later, it’s a decent game, but doesn’t really do anything impressive enough to really wow you, but for only $4.99, I can’t really complain.