This post includes puzzle spoilers for both The Secret of Monkey Island and Deponia
I don’t like to keep harping on a bad game, but my mind keeps going back to Deponia. Deponia is very obviously influenced by The Secret of Monkey Island. Both games follow hapless rogues on a humorous adventure to get the girl, and there are also similarities in tone, timing, and structure. However, those same similarities that remind us of the other game cause Deponia to collapse in on itself. It doesn’t live up to Monkey Island’s standards, and, of course, it doesn’t have to. However, it fails to meet the standards that it sets for itself. In trying to be like Monkey Island, it only makes the ways in which it is not that much more obvious.
In fact, the experience of playing Deponia is so close to that of playing Monkey Island that I second guessed my own evaluation of the latter game, a game that I first played not too long ago (I was a Sierra kid.). I feared that maybe The Secret of Monkey Island was a classic by virtue of the era in which it was released and that the game didn’t hold up that well to a modern eye. In going back to check, I found, though, that no, it still holds up amazingly well. In fact, looking at the game through modern critical eyes reveals how surprisingly modern the sensibilities of that game are. It was so far ahead of its time in some respects that I doubt many, if any, could have realized that it was ahead of its time rather than just the next step forward.