Diablo® III

Neverhood / Armikrog

The Neverhood was a 90s point-and-click puzzle/adventure game made entirely with clay and stop-motion - think Nightmare Before Christmas meets Sam & Max.

It is one of the greatest creations - not just greatest games - of humankind. It did not make the blockbuster debut it deserved but has developed an inevitable cult following.

It's been 20 long years and the team has reassembled to create a masterpiece successor called Armikrog.

Please give the video a quick look!
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949537745/armikrog
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I really enjoyed The Neverhood, especially the music, humor and cutscenes, but I must admit, the gameplay was generally subpar: some puzzles were downright infuriating and required an insane amount of backtracking. So yeah... I'm a bit skeptical.

Which reminds me: is the Neverhood movie project really gone for good?
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You're much older now than when you first played The Neverhood, so I think you'd find it a lot easier today. The puzzles are fun and I bet you'd make quick work of them compared to when you were a kid. And if you do get stuck on a puzzle, today we have google. Back in the mid 90s there were search engines but the web was sparse and it was tough to get help with...anything! Not just games.

I didn't have issues with backtracking. I loved exploring the world. Not unlike a Zelda or Metroid game, it was generally a pleasure to work my way through the areas. You might not have known that you can speed-run through the first-person exploration areas by pressing Escape as you move. This speeds up backtracking to near-instantaneous speed.

According to the FAQ on the kickstarter page, EA owns the rights to the Neverhood and isn't looking to do anything with it at all, so I'd say the chances for a Neverhood movie ever happening are close to 0. Perhaps if Armikrog is a huge success, EA will become interested in doing something with their Neverhood rights.
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06/01/2013 06:45 PMPosted by Gergall
You're much older now than when you first played The Neverhood, so I think you'd find it a lot easier today. The puzzles are fun and I bet you'd make quick work of them compared to when you were a kid. And if you do get stuck on a puzzle, today we have google. Back in the mid 90s there were search engines but the web was sparse and it was tough to get help with...anything! Not just games.


Actually, my father also played it and he's a big fan of Myst. Some puzzles were indeed fun, but other were just plain tedious, such as the Wall of Records as well as the final puzzle, which requires you to pull a lever in the very first stage!

You might not have known that you can speed-run through the first-person exploration areas by pressing Escape as you move. This speeds up backtracking to near-instantaneous speed.


But not the sidescrolling sequences. :/

Also, did you play The Neverhood on PC? Because I don't remember being able to skip the first-person bits. Maybe the feature has been later included to the mobile remake or through a patch that I didn't know about.
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 6/2/2013 9:49 AM PDT
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06/02/2013 09:46 AMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
Actually, my father also played it and he's a big fan of Myst. Some puzzles were indeed fun, but other were just plain tedious, such as the Wall of Records as well as the final puzzle, which requires you to pull a lever in the very first stage!


Hmm? The Wall Of Records isn't a puzzle, it's a wall..with lots and lots and lots of text on it that you can read for backstory if you want to (years later I went on google to find the text and read it at my leisure, it was quite humorous).

The game's final puzzle doesn't involve a lever anywhere. The final puzzle was a twist on one of the first puzzles - 5 rings hanging from the ceiling but since you need to pull 2 different rings to clear a path to the door and there is only 1 flytrap plant thing to eat the ring, you can't clear the path. You instead have to do something else to get past the obstacles.

I'm not sure what you're thinking of, but it doesn't really matter - I openly admit that the game has backtracking. With the help of the teleportation machines, it really didn't take too long, though. In any event, game design has come a long way since 1996. I don't expect Armikrog to feature a serious game design flaw just because its predecessor did two decades ago.

Also, did you play The Neverhood on PC? Because I don't remember being able to skip the first-person bits. Maybe the feature has been later included to the mobile remake or through a patch that I didn't know about.


I did indeed play the original version on the PC, Windows 95 baby! I was unaware that there might be any remakes and/or patches. When you click to move in 1st person mode and the screen starts moving, hit Escape and the game jumps you forward to the next stopping point. This works because Escape skips cutscenes and the walking in 1st person mode is actually a cleverly disguised cutscene (ie, you aren't really in a 3D world like say Super Mario 64).
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Hmm? The Wall Of Records isn't a puzzle, it's a wall..with lots and lots and lots of text on it that you can read for backstory if you want to (years later I went on google to find the text and read it at my leisure, it was quite humorous).


I was referring to the fact that you have to literally walk through dozens of screens just to get one tape at the very end. Even when you know you don't have to read the writings, you still have to spam left click for several minutes.

The game's final puzzle doesn't involve a lever anywhere. The final puzzle was a twist on one of the first puzzles - 5 rings hanging from the ceiling but since you need to pull 2 different rings to clear a path to the door and there is only 1 flytrap plant thing to eat the ring, you can't clear the path. You instead have to do something else to get past the obstacles.


Well, by "lever", I meant to say ring. I seem to remember you have to pull one in the very first screen (the one that produces a bell ringing sound) so you could proceed through the gate.
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Ah, now I know what you're thinking of! Not the final puzzle, but about 40% to 50% through the game, there is a radio. The radio will be turned off if you didn't happen to pull a particular ring at the beginning of the game. The actual backtracking itself is quick (about a 2-minute round trip because there won't be any puzzles in your way or side trips to slow you down). However, figuring out what you need to do can be quite difficult!

That said, I have a lot of confidence that Armikrog will be much more evolved in terms of puzzle organization and design. Consider this interview excerpt:

JHS: How would describe the puzzles in Armikrog? Would it be possible for you give us an example of one?

DT: I can’t do that without giving away too much. What I can say is that the puzzles are a lot more rooted in structures than The Neverhood.

MD: That’s tough, because talking about the nature of the puzzles would actually reveal too much right now. There will definitely be lots of room based puzzles in a similar style to the Neverhood, but there’s a whole other layer of puzzles that sits on top of those that’s going to be really cool. When Doug first pitched his idea for these to us we just knew it was the way to go.


(Source: http://jacehallshow.com/news/gaming/industry/20130603/earth-worm-jim-creators-adventure-title-armikrog/)

Neverhood basically has you wandering around looking for a way forward, and it was an incredible game by 1996 standards. In Armikrog, it seems that the puzzles are small pieces of a larger whole, forming a cohesive game that aims to be amazing by 2013 standards.

I am super excited for Armikrog, especially now as it approaches 10,000 backers and 50% funding. Seize the clay!
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Oh yeah, my bad. I had the radio puzzled confused with the final puzzle.

Anyway, it sure is good to see a spiritual sequel to the Neverhood: what the hell were they thinking with Skullmonkeys?
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06/05/2013 02:28 PMPosted by JohnnyZeWolf
what the hell were they thinking with Skullmonkeys?


While I had a fun time playing Skullmonkeys, I too was disappointed that they made a platformer instead of another puzzle/adventure game.

It had excellent music, at least. Every once in a blue moon I find myself humming the level completion song or the bonus room song.

Definitely agree that going back to the puzzle/adventure game roots is fantastic news. My excitement about this campaign is growing daily.
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Passed the 50% funding mark!
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Well, the most memorable thing about Skullmonkeys may very well be the head-monkey boss (don't remember its true name). Undeniably the weirdest, funniest thing ever designed by Doug TenNapel.

It had excellent music, at least. Every once in a blue moon I find myself humming the level completion song or the bonus room song.


I wholeheartedly agree there. :)

Speaking of Terry S. Taylor, wasn't he to release an album of songs inspired by The Neverhood? Did that happen or was it canned alongside the movie project?
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I don't believe there is such an album. There is just "Imaginarium", which has the soundtracks to the games he worked on.

What do you think of the Armikrog song he's released so far? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFq9Nlb8x3A
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After some research, I discovered that Terry S. Taylor did release a new album called "Return to the Neverhood". Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pb551sngpgg&list=PLVvYnNqm7RlbupamumTiXT0-W_44_8zy_

You can buy it on his homepage as well as on iTunes. Now if only he could release Imaginarium there... As for the Armikrog demo, well... it's Terry S. Taylor alright. :P
Edited by JohnnyZeWolf#1953 on 6/7/2013 7:26 AM PDT
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I had no idea! Will check it out! Thanks!
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Saw the kickstarter -> fired up neverhood for the first time in god knows how many years -> donated 110 dollars. Hope this game makes the funding limit :)
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meecca: You rock!!

There are 2 other things you can do to help out even more:
1) Vote YES for Armikrog on Steam Greenlight. This is needed for the ultimate launch of the game, and more importantly right now voting yes will help the game draw more attention from other steam users. You can vote here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=151640574

2) Spread the word. Tell all the Neverhood fans you know! Family, friends, coworkers, leave no stone unturned.
If you post in forums on other websites, let them know about Armikrog as well.
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Not sure if you're still checking this thread, Johnny, but I have a correction to something I said earlier:

Just fired up Neverhood and to skip through the 1st-person walking scenes quickly, you have to hit Spacebar, not Escape. But you can indeed skip through them, I've personally re-confirmed it.

And while it may seem like a hidden feature, for what it's worth they do mention it in the instruction booklet inside the CD case.
Edited by Gergall#1917 on 6/18/2013 10:08 AM PDT
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I see. Doesn't really matter anyway, as I no longer have the game and even if I still had it, I probably wouldn't want to play it anymore. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed it back then, but the game offered virtually no replay value whatsoever. :/
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