Several years ago I walked into my manager’s office around Christmas time and saw a PC game box lying on his desk. The cover was intriguing so I asked him about it. He lit up and asked me how I’d never heard of “The Neverhood”. That’s the way it is with some well-kept secrets. They were never intended to be secrets – they just weren’t advertised properly or widely enough, or something else that I’ve never been able to put my finger on. How could so few people know about this?
The Neverhood is a claymation game that came out in the 90’s. It’s humorous and mysterious, and the story line is well written and easy and fun to follow. I immediately ordered a copy from Amazon and put it under the tree when it came. My kids and I had more fun that Christmas then we’d had in a while – or since.
If you can find a copy and if you still have a system it will run on, I’d highly recommend you pick it up. (It was written for Windows XP, but I’ve tried it on Windows 7 and it seems to work – in itself, a testament to the quality of the software.) It’s why people my age bought video games in the first place – none of this stuff they seem to focus on today where you get a basic shell for a game when you buy the box, and then find yourself hooked into periodic requests for your credit card number in order to purchase features as the game moves along, or monthly subscriptions to an online fantasy world shared by thousands of others. (Where’s the game in that? It’s not a game anymore, but a social media experience.) The Neverhood wasn’t particularly cheap – 65 bucks – but it was worth every penny.
Now, years later, the passionate folks at Pencil Test Studios have gotten together to create another claymation game in the spirit of The Neverhood – Armikrog – and they’re taking an interesting approach to funding the project. They’ve started an Amazon Kickstarter for it and, unfortunately, they’ve stalled out a bit in reaching their funding goal. They’re asking for 900 thousand dollars. In the first three days, they made it nearly to their half-way point. It would be really sad if Armikrog which, by all the tidbits they’ve dropped on the Kickstarter site, looks to be just as fun and amazing as The Neverhood was, didn’t made it out the door for the same reasons the Neverhood wasn’t very popular – poor advertising.
I’ve donated, myself, but I’ve decided I can do more to help the project along, so I’ve written this quick note about it. Please take a minute if you’re a gamer, and donate if you think you might enjoy it. If you like this sort of puzzle/story line gaming experience, I can just about guarantee you’ll love Armikrog.