REVIEW: Goodbye Deponia

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

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Goodbye Deponia Box Art Title: Goodbye Deponia
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Genre: Adventure
Platforms: PC (Windows), Mac
Age Rating: 12 (PEGI)
Official Website

Goodbye Deponia is a very pretty but very ugly game. The third and final act in the Deponia series sees main character Rufus and his friends, Goal, Bozo, and Doc, trying to save the titular world before it is destroyed at the hands of Elysium. Through the course of the adventure, Rufus will encounter characters from past games, both friend and foe, and have to thwart the Organon military to save the world.

Goodbye Deponia | Supporting Cast

Rufus and his friends must save the world of Deponia.

Rufus accomplishes his mission through standard adventure gameplay – find items, use them to solve puzzles. Point the mouse, and Rufus can look at or interact with whatever item you highlight. Daedalic helps remove some of the tedium by allowing double-clicking a location to instantly move Rufus to the next scene rather than making you watch him walk through each door. Puzzles are standard fare for the adventure genre, involving inventory items that interact with locations or people in the environment. Some puzzles make sense, like using a space heater to heat up a cave for people to sleep in. Others are more boring and nonsensical, like when you have to play a tile matching puzzle game to change a hotel’s heater into an air conditioner. Why is the hotel’s central air controlled through a match three puzzle? Because why not.

Goodbye Deponia | Cameo

There are a few pop culture references through the game that factor into the puzzles.

The failure in puzzle designs is not just due to strange solutions. A big part of an adventure game’s success is that the solution to one puzzle will usually lead to another puzzle that requires solving. Around halfway through Goodbye Deponia, the game opens up to a huge area with multiple puzzles. In other genres, opening the world up is a good thing, but in this case the game becomes a bit of a confusing mess. And when puzzles are already solved using less than intuitive methods, the openness of the world means the player wastes a lot of time randomly trying to find solutions to puzzles by combining every possible object. The game already feels long at around 8-10 hours, and this wide open area drags on pretty badly. And, other than finding hidden easter eggs for achievements, there is little reason to play this game more than once.

Goodbye Deponia | Jail Cell

In one of the more clear cut puzzles, the guard gives you everything you need to break out of prison, including a hint about his cleaning.  Oops.

Developer Daedalic Entertainment clearly put a lot of love into the world of Goodbye Deponia. Deponia is a world covered in trash tossed down from the orbiting Elysium, but regardless of the junkyard surroundings the environment design is beautiful. Everything is hand drawn with bright colors and a lot of detail peppered throughout. Cities and other structures look like junkyards, while the Organon structures have a more sterile look. Characters are equally well designed, colorful, and charming looking.

Any game that begins with a song promises a great time to come, and those songs, while a bit odd, serve as fun chapter breaks throughout the game. The rest of the music is quite good as well, with appropriate and memorable themes playing at all the right times. This is a soundtrack that I would almost be tempted to buy separately. And, Daedalic clearly knows how to direct a cast. On top of the great music, the characters are well voiced, and some of them make you care about their plight thanks to how believable they sound.

Goodbye Deponia | In the Tank

The paint thinner could explain a lot.

However, Rufus is as unlikable as main characters come. He is dumb as a brick, and treats his friends terribly. Not only that, but he is incredibly misogynistic, suggesting that women have no role in the resistance, and just generally treating the people around him poorly. Somehow, Goal ends up falling in love with Rufus over the course of the three games, even though he is a terrible human being.

Goodbye Deponia | Goal

Yep. She falls in love with Rufus.

The way Goodbye Deponia treats mental illness is equally offensive. Two characters in the game suffer from depression. One is treated like a lazy crybaby by Rufus, and the solution is to get medication from the local psychiatrist to fix him. Rufus accomplishes this by lying about his own mental state, then forcing his friend to take the medicine. The other character, an ex-girlfriend of Rufus’, is driven back to the psychiatrist after Rufus pushes her over the edge. The psychiatrist, so tired of dealing with this one patient, prescribes rope to her so that she can kill herself.

When you think it can’t get any worse, the game defies all expectations. One series of puzzles involves getting rid of an organ grinder’s “monkey” to get the crank from the grinder. The replacement you find happens to be one of the game’s very few black characters, and the game refers to her as a “monkey” for the rest of the game. The way you get her to do the job? By destroying her life and literally selling her to the organ grinder.

Goodbye Deponia | Dancing June

Nothing about this scene is ok.

Deponia featured some decent comedy, while Chaos on Deponia showed a downward slide toward the offensive, especially in regards to how it treated women. I’m really disappointed to see Goodbye Deponia take this madness even further. There is even more that I haven’t detailed here, including an interaction between children and a pedophile that is more than a little disturbing. I don’t know if these jokes play better in Daedalic Entertainment’s native Germany, or if something is lost in translation, but after three games I tend to doubt it.

The way Goodbye Deponia deals with racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive material to the player is infuriating because the developers clearly have it in them to make a great game. This is a beautiful game, the soundtrack is great, and the voice actors are well directed. Daedalic Entertainment showed that they can put love and care into storytelling with The Night of the Rabbit and The Whispered World, even if they need some refinement. But the tone of Goodbye Deponia makes it something I just can’t recommend to people, even at its lower price of $19.99. If you’re looking for an adventure game there are much better options out there.

Review Score

Review copy provided by publisher.

About Brad Williams

Brad's love for gaming began over thirty years ago on the IBM PC1, and is an avid PC and console gamer. Living in rural Vermont, Brad also enjoys target shooting and backyard astronomy, as well as spending time with his wife, four cats, and dog Wrex. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Johnson State College, and is seeking employment in the nonprofit sector.

  • I have a qualm

    Looks like most of your complaints had to do with being offended. How about you give the game a score based on THE GAMEPLAY and try not to push your ridiculous agenda? Actually, never mind you live in Vermont the most leftist place on earth, no convincing you.

  • Mozalbete

    One of the best adventure games I’ve played recently. All the things mentioned are jokes, and sometimes part of a puzzle.

  • Amuro

    Sounds like you were born without a funny bone and feel the need to nurse some sort of victim complex by feeling offended for other people.

    It’s called dark comedy, and it’s fun. Just like Deponia. Oh, and before you say anything: no, “dark” comedy is not referring to African Americans, so no need to be upset, Chuckles. ;^)

  • Gastric Bandana

    It’s reviews like this that push politics in video games further solidifies the fact videogame journalism, is the major problem the industry faces.

  • InspectorHound

    So I haven’t played the game, but your review is basically ‘it offends my sensibilities’

    You are finding jokes to be heinous crimes

    I think this is the point where you have to step back and think ‘maybe I’m taking everything a little too seriously’

    I mean “he psychiatrist, so tired of dealing with this one patient, prescribes rope to her so that she can kill herself.” is pretty funny.

    If you get offended by that, then I think the problem ain’t with the game, it’s with you.
    If you cannot take a joke, then what in the 9 hells are you doing on the internet?

  • Jake

    Imagine that, a character with downsides. He’s not a perfect, shining beacon for society, but he’s still the lead in the story. And this is a bad thing? This Social Justice crap in reviews needs to stop, it’s embarrassing, and reeks of ‘WE NEED HITS’.

  • Lonely Weeaboo

    This article is a joke

  • JoeSislack

    Somebody think of the children!

  • Dubs Checkem

    “The way Goodbye Deponia deals
    with racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive material to the player is
    infuriating because the developers clearly have it in them to make a
    great game.”

    And into the trash it goes.
    Never giving this shithole of a website another hit and neither should anybody else.

  • Jeff Neuenschwander

    I would like to thank our friends from 4chan for coming over. Please feel free to stick around and read some of our great editorials.

    Also, check out our review of the first Deponia game.

    • AtrusHB

      I think you should be less pic related, it’s quite unbecoming.

    • Jeff Neuenschwander

      Why the hate? I’m just inviting you to stay and read some of our hard work.

  • faget

    You’re basing your rating on your social justice bullshit opinions more than on the actual qualities of the game. Video game journalism/reviewing isn’t for you.

  • kurbstar

    And the award for best attempt at being a blowtard SJW goes to…..

  • brainwarts

    That rope joke actually made me want to play the game. That sounds hilarious.

    Shit, I’ve spent years severely depressed, doesn’t mean I can’t take a joke. Y’all people need thicker skin.

  • Trysha

    I’m afraid to say that I don’t agree with your review, mostly because you fail to tackle its gameplay elements or the way it’s written and just tackle and what it is that offends you.

  • Just a thought

    Since it appears someone decided this article needed to be
    flamed, I’d like to offer the other side of the argument just for the sake of

    To those saying the author did not address the other
    elements of the game and only wrote about what offended him, I think you may
    want to reread the article. The author spends several paragraphs discussing
    other elements of the game before discussing some of his issues with bothersome
    content. He does in fact spend two paragraphs discussing the gameplay and
    puzzles, and what he does and doesn’t like about them. He also points out
    several positives about the game, so clearly he has looked at those elements
    objectively despite his other issues with the game. It seems that the readers
    of this article are the ones with tunnel vision, not the author.

    The other aspect I think that many people are missing is
    that this review is the author’s OPINION. It is his job as the reviewer to
    share what he thought about the game. As pointed out in a comment above, there
    are many differing opinions presented on this site, as is to be expected with
    many different authors. Both Dragon’s
    Crown and Senran Kagura sparked
    significant controversy elsewhere, but the reviewers at oprainfall did not take
    offense to them. This is because everyone has different opinions. I know it can
    be frustrating if someone’s opinion doesn’t align with yours, but the point of
    writing a review is for an individual to share his/her thoughts on the game and
    that’s exactly what the author has done.

    Along the line of differing opinions, people also have
    different senses of humor. To some (and clearly to most of the commenters on
    this page) the jokes in this game are hilarious. To others who have a differing
    sense of humor, the jokes are in poor taste. And there’s nothing wrong with
    that. If you don’t take issue with jokes like that, great! This may be an
    awesome game for you. If you do, however, it’s important to know that this kind
    of content is present in the game so you can steer clear of it. It would have
    been irresponsible for the author not to acknowledge that this kind of content
    is present in the game, since the point of the review is to help people figure out
    whether or not they would like it.

    To those who say the author is overreacting and then in the
    I hope you’re able to see the hypocrisy there. And it’s also notable that
    oprainfall’s review was not the only one that had these issues with the game:

    So perhaps we can all work together to think critically about games, and learn
    to accept that gamers will have a diverse range of opinions. It’s okay to respectfully
    disagree and engage in civil dialogue, but mindless flaming gets us nowhere.

  • SnugRailgun

    You found this game offensive huh? I guess that means I have to buy it now.

  • I have a qualm with a qualm

    I’m surprised how many inbreds have filled this comment section. I came here to see if I’d be interested in this game and all I’m seeing is a bunch of people who fap to Fox News.

    And a game that relies solely on it’s story/humor and acts like slavery was OK makes a bad game…well, unless you’re dumbass bigot who uses the internet as a means to vent your butthurt frustration about your racist ground shrinking under your feet in the real world.

    Be scared bigots, the ground is just going to get smaller. This reviewer proved he’s willing to stand up to you in the virtual world and there will be more. Soon, even the internet won’t support your cowardly “anonymous” racism.