Thursday, October 07, 2004

Neverhood

Do you remember the Neverhood? I had almost forgotten the game until I found it among my daughter's CDs as I was looking for something else. At the time of the release in 1996 it was voted "Game of the year" by - somebody. The link leads to Gamespot, and I can't find anything about a Game of the eyar award there. But I did find an article mentioning a follow-up to the Neverhood: Skullmonkeys. Their website is down, but there is a link to a review - possibly from 1998.

So what about Neverhood? I just think it is the prettiest game I ever saw. The music is cool and funny, the clay figures are amazingly well made, the animation impressive and the whole thing just a pleasure to have running on the PC. And it's the best example I know of a delicious interface - and a really bad game. As a game it just doesn't work. The puzzles are so cryptic you have to be inside the head of the creator to get it, and even using the cheats heavily I never managed to finish the game. It is slow, not because it has to be, but due to the rhythm - it's a cool, laidback game with slow responses and long pauses. Good for contemplating the impossible puzzles... not so good for fun intense gameplay. In the terms of Huizinga: there is no tension.

Still, I was very happy when I found it today. Bad games can make good examples!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really loved that game. I didn't find it hard either - I finished it in a weekend flat.

Mark Williamson

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing ads for the game back then, but never got around to playing it. Luckily it's available over at the Home of the Underdogs: http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?id=2484

.: Tore Vesterby :: vesterblog.dk :.

Torill said...

Mark - good for you, and for the game! Perhaps the gap that caused me not to understand it was more of a cultural gap than a subjektive gap: that a man in an English-language culture would get the different references easier than a Norwegian woman?

Lili-Rose said...

Hello,

My name is Geneviève Brodeur from Quebec City. Sorry for my bad English, my mother language is French. I'm teaching a writing/storyboard/usability course at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Soon, I'm gonna present the projects that students of my class have created: students had to represent, to construct imaginary rooms (in clay) of the Neverhood game. By chance, I found a recent comment about the game on your blog. Incredible!!!

So, I'm searchnig for high resolution graphics of the Neverhood game or sketch to make a comparison with their homeworks. I'm gonna print all this, so that's why I need a high resolution.

You said on your blog: "I had almost forgotten the game until I found it among my daughter's CDs as I was looking for something else." I don't know if you had the CD-Rom kit (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=62053&item=8144214123&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW#ebayphotohosting) but if you had it I would really appreciated if you could scan it for me? I'm searching everywhere on the Web but I only found graphics with low resolution.

I wish that you understand me... or that is it possible...

:)

Lili-Rose

James said...

I love The Neverhood and I hate how Gamespot said it was poor. It is not poor! It's wonderful! I haven't finished it yet and yet I think it's wonderful!

I got The Neverhood from a friend. He was coming over to see Nichola, my sister, and do something, I dunno. Before that day, some months ago, me and Scott (the friend I was talking about) and I were talking about adventure games and he mentioned one made entirely out of claymation. Back in the present he had brought a disc. It was gold, and had a scribble and then the word 'Neverhood' was placed underneath. He reminded me of the day when we were talking about the adventure games and said that this was the claymation game. I loved it, found it a bit hard at points, but loved it nonetheless.

I am now trying to find the sequel to the game, named Skullmonkeys, in a ROM version. I want to play through the next part, discover the world that Quater made, and play as Klaymen once again. Please help me find this sequel to a gem.

Happy days,
-James Burton

Lord Mortekai said...

If you ever find a rom for Skullmonkeys, can you post a link here? I would be incredibly grateful. Also, we should try to renew interest in these two incredible games... perhaps the 2nd sequel will finally be released.

-Lord Mortekai