Apocalipsis: Harry at the End of the World
Punch Punk Games
Linear, quick and beautiful, Apocalipsis is the bite-sized, artistic fantasy game you didn’t know you were craving.
Point-and-click adventures games were among my favorite games growing up. Games like Monkey Island, Myst and Sam & Max stick with me to this day.
Sadly, I found myself playing less and less of them over the years.
Then, I had my love for adventure games re-enkindled after playing the masterpiece that is Lumino City. Since then I was constantly looking for new games that will have that same combination of style, storytelling, and challenge as all those classic adventure games.
That was when I was instantly charmed by Apocalipsis: Harry at the End of the World.
Apocalipsis tells a tale about Harry, a boy who is willing to cross seas and travel to hell and back to save the love of his life. As the end of the world draws ever closer, his quest becomes a hell of a lot more dangerous. It all becomes very epic, very quickly.
This neck-breaking pacing (which is a very odd thing to say about an adventure game) was a bit of a problem for me. Apocalipsis is a short game, and it took me about two and half hours to beat it the first time around, so I felt like the game was over in a heartbeat.
This made it difficult to follow everything that was going on, and there was a lot of it for such a short game. What more, with how quickly things are going, it’s hard to fully appreciate what you are doing and achieving throughout your journey.
On the surface, the story is not something we haven’t seen before. However, there’s a hidden meaning to be found in the characters, mythological creatures and places that appear throughout it. I enjoyed looking for it even though I did not understand it all.
There are plenty of sad bits that deal with morality, and all in all, the story feels compelling when you stop to take it in.
A huge part of the game is its presentation, and it excels at it. The visuals are based on the style of 15th-century wood engravings, they look creepy and add a lot to the biblical atmosphere. The locations and characters all fit in with the doom and gloom surrounding Harry, with only a handful feeling a bit out of place. The animations are also spot on, and I was very impressed with the game’s look and feel.
In addition to its unique visuals, Apocalipsis is also powered by some excellent audio. The game is narrated by Behemoth vocalist Adam Darski, who also goes by the name Nergal. His English has a fairly heavy Polish accent to it, but the narration contributes to the game’s eerie feeling.
The band is also responsible for the soundtrack, which is as dark and atmospheric as their regular songs, only not as heavy. I greatly enjoyed the tracks, as they were perfect for the atmosphere the game was going for. They actually reminded me of some of the music I listen to in my free time, which is always a bonus.
The gameplay itself is fairly simple. The puzzles are never over the top and don’t require any twisted moon logic to solve. They contribute to some of the game’s hidden meanings and morals, and honestly, I prefer having simple puzzles than getting stuck for ages on a single obscure one.
I did find myself having to use a pen and paper to solve one of the puzzles, something I haven’t done in a while. For me, that’s proof the game is doing something right.
Most of the puzzles can be cracked by trial and error, though. You can beat the game at a decent time by just banging your head against the puzzles until you solve them.
Apocalipsis kept my interest throughout its entire running time, short as it may be. I always had something fun to do, and yet could still stop for a moment to revel in the beautiful aesthetic.
It is a short game, and it might be over simplistic for some people.The low difficulty doesn’t help it either, but I believe that those who marvel at its stunning visuals and audio will enjoy the meaningful story and puzzles.
By the time of this review, I’ve already played through the game twice for reasons I don’t want to spoil. I think I’ll be back to play Apocalipsis in the future, once I forget all the puzzles. You know, as you do with all good adventure games from time to time.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.