Since its announcement, we’ve discussed at length why Pencil Test Studio’s Armikrog is one of the more interesting upcoming games out there. If you haven’t heard, it’s a claymation point and click adventure made by the creators of Earth Worm Jim, and Neverhood about two aliens played by pretty famous voice actors. Its art style, mixed with the talent involved just made us giddy with excitement. Then we finally got to try it out. While it’s still in it’s beta, this game oozes personality and potential. This could be the next big thing.
After a crash landing, Tommynaught (voiced by Michael J. Nelson) and his alien-dog-thing Beak-Beak (voiced by Rob Paulson from Pinky and the Brain) are chased into a building by a giant fuzzy monster with a tongue that has eyes. Now they’re stuck and need to find a way out.
You can see the sense of humour hasn’t faded on Earth Worm Jim creator Doug TeNaple in his newest game. Everything is very over-the-top, witty and cartoony, but in a charming way. A lot of the credit needs to go to the art direction. Last month, the developers made a trailer showing the process of creating the game. Everything is made of clay (or made to look like clay, the actual material they used is a little more bendable), but it just looks so interesting. I’ve never played something like this. Inside the building, parts look very organic and fleshy, like you’re inside a living thing. All the characters are unique and interesting. That includes Tommynaught and Beak-Beak, but more so with every other character from the octopus elevator, to the fuzzy monster that lets you push him around. I can’t figure out if everything is built around this style or is the style is built around everything else, but whatever it is, something just clicks. Credit does need to go to the actors too. We’re dealing with some top-notch voice work (that still needs a bit of editing), but when looking past that, there is something that just feels right. They put together a really good team.
Now, I will admit. I got stuck. Because the game isn’t finished, there are some weird sections where I can’t really progress. But from what I’ve played, the puzzles aren’t too difficult and they don’t fall in that weird point and click trope where the answer only makes sense to the developer. What makes this game so unique is both Tommynaught and Beak-Beak work together. There are sections you need one or the other, to get to certain parts to finish the bigger puzzle. It’s a pretty interesting way to keep you thinking. But it’s very straight forward, and it needs to be. That’s because the game isn’t about the “gameplay” it’s about the story, the world, everything around it. The gameplay is just a mechanic used to string you along from visual spectacle to spectacle, or from character to character.
This is a game that won’t be remembered for it’s difficult puzzles, or new game mechanics. Rather, it’s a game that will be remembered for its charm, it’s lovable characters, unique art style and memorable world. Armikrog has everything going for it. If the game progresses as smoothly as it should, this could be the next classic adventure people will talk about for years to come. It’s just up to Pencil Test Studios to put the pieces together to make something great. And they’re pretty much there already.