Odysseus Kosmos and His Robot Quest Review
Odysseus Kosmos and His Robot Quest Review
If you are a fan of pixelated games and yearn for “old style” adventuring with tongue-in-cheek humor and (somewhat) obtuse puzzles, then Odysseus Kosmos may be just what you are looking for
Posted: 01/02/18 | Category: Review | Developer: Pavel Kostin | Publisher: HeroCraft | Platform: Windows

Genre: 2D Sci-Fi Point and Click Adventure
Release date: December 1, 2017
Platform: Windows

A Blast from the Past  
 

In the words of developer Pavel Kostin, Odysseus Kosmos is his “indy attempt to pay tribute to the great quests of the past, games that touched (his) heart and instilled in (him) a great appreciation for the genre and for a fine sense of humor.” To this end, he has created his release in a pixelated interface that is reminiscent of the LucasArts classics from the 1990’s…The Dig, Sam & Max Hit the Road, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. The story is told, in on-screen text, through character dialog and object descriptions. Voiceovers are optional and remain a mystery to me. They are either done in a foreign language (not English or Spanish…beyond that, I am guessing) or gibberish. This is complemented by credible sound effects and sparkling music arranged/composed by Ivan Kholodov.

Our unlikely hero, Odysseus, is alone on the San Francisco (a “super heavy 457G spaceship”) in the Gargan system (“far, far from home”). The rest of the crew is off on a mission and he is minding the giant ship while awaiting their return. His only companion is a service robot named Barton Quest who provides direction, physical help, and unsolicited advice. Meanwhile, the San Francisco is drifting dangerously close to a black hole with unexpected gravitational effects. Systems are being impacted and maintenance tasks can no longer be ignored.

Dialog is static (that is, without response options) and is clicked through. Odysseus converses with himself and Quest in a stream of consciousness that is both humorous and self-deprecating. In this regard, the game is true to the style of the “great quests of the past.” It also stays true in terms of wildly implausible solutions to puzzles. Like Gabriel Knight fashioning a moustache from cat hair, Odysseus uses such unlikely objects as a mouse, a rubber duck, and a back scratcher to solve space age problems.

Game Mechanics  
 

The interface is pure point-and-click. You move Odysseus by clicking and watching him walk to the selected spot. You move him to a different room by clicking on a door or hatch in the current scene. Although the environment is limited to about eight rooms and hallways, you still end up doing a lot of traversing, finding and using specific objects as needed.

Your inventory is easily accessible and remains displayed on the right side of the screen. Objects are dragged and dropped into the environment. Left clicking on an object (in inventory or in the environment) brings up icons to examine or use. Objects in inventory can be combined by dragging and dropping.

OdysseusKosmosEmbed1

While most puzzles are of the “find and use” variety, there are several mechanical puzzles (repairing circuits, choosing the right spare part, manipulating video monitors, etc.). In a total departure from point-and-click, there is an exercise in coordination to locate and retrieve an external antenna that has drifted away from the spaceship. Overall, there is enough diversity to keep the quest interesting.

The game is auto-saved but also provides an additional three slots for explicit saves (a feature greatly appreciated by this gamer!). There is a help button to get advice from Odysseus if you are puzzled about what to do next. Finally, for those unwilling to pixel-hunt, pressing the space bar displays indicators for all hot spots in the current scene.

As part of his job, Odysseus interacts with the ship’s network SanFran.net via computer terminals. These are located throughout the ship and are used to perform system checks, operate modules, retrieve information, and review a list of “my tasks.” True to form, the terminal interface is legacy black and green. For those of us old enough to remember, this brings back fond memories of life before GUIs!

 OdysseusKosmosEmbed2
 
More to Follow  
 

If you are a fan of pixelated games and a return to “old style” adventuring, then Odysseus Kosmos may be just what you are looking for. If tongue-in-cheek humor and (somewhat) obtuse puzzle solutions make your day, then this is a game you should probably not miss.

If you prefer higher resolution games with “you are there” environments, then you may want to skip this title. While I loved the old LucasArts games, I find that I am more drawn to games that take full advantage of my graphics card. For me to really cheer for a pixelated game, it needs to break new ground. While I appreciate the traditions behind Odysseus Kosmos, it is not a title that I am likely to follow through additional chapters.

Speaking of chapters… Only the first chapter of Odysseus Kosmos is currently available, with four more promised in the future. Like many other publishers, Herocraft has chosen to sell the game as a subscription. This means that you pay for the entire game up front, with the right to receive additional installments as they become available. I recognize that this is becoming a common marketing approach, but I am not sure that I am fully sold on the idea of paying full price for 20% of a game. As it stands, Chapter 1 took me about 4 hours to complete and, as one would expect in a world “to be continued,” the story simply ends when Odysseus completes a set of tasks and heads off to take a nap.

 
Lovingly crafted tribute to classic adventures from the past
+ Musical sound track combines with “non-English” vocals to successfully create an interesting audio experience
 + Puzzle diversity makes the game more engaging than pure “find and use”
 
As a purely “retro” game, it does not offer anything new or innovative
 Logo
 
 
Trailer:
 

 

System Requirements

MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Storage: 200 MB available space
Specials from Digital Download
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