need to know
What is it? A surreal point-and-click adventure about a tiny gnome who discovers a magic horn. In space.
Reviewed on: Intel Core i5-6600, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 960, Windows 7
Price: $20 / £15
Release date: Out now
Publisher: Amanita Design
Developer: Amanita Design
Link: Official website
I’m standing in front of a giant moth. It would tower over me if it weren’t unconscious, but it is, and so I tweak one of its antennae, just to see what will happen. It quivers, like a guitar string. I twang another, and then another. Eventually, they start to resonate, deeply and musically. As the vibrations fade away, I put my magic horn to my lips and play back the tune. My brief concerto awakens the moth, and boy, it is lit. A pair of luminous, spectral ‘ghost moths,’ one pink and one blue, emerge from its proboscis, entwined in a musical dance. With patience and a notepad, I’m able to replicate their musical interchange as well, and that’s when things get really weird: Lights flash, music plays, and what I can only describe as a carousel of patio lanterns begins to spin under the lip of a giant fungus. I dance a triumphant jig; a blue-pink swirly thing is added to my inventory. I have accomplished… something. I have no idea what.
This is Samorost 3, the latest, and arguably greatest, game to come out of Czech indie studio Amanita Design, the home of cult-hit adventures
Botanicula, Machinarium, and of course the first two Samorost games. At its core, it’s a point-and-click adventure that follows a string of puzzles through a hazy, myth-like narrative. But like its predecessors, it’s also very much a toy, something to be played with rather than completed, and it encourages exploration almost to the point of demanding it. An infestation of termites, for instance, can be made to sing an Ave Maria-esque choral. It’s a simple thing to do, easy to stumble upon by accident, and really quite beautiful. It’s also entirely unrelated to your progression—making it happen earns an achievement, and (as far as I can tell) nothing more—but central to the experience. The plot, such as it is, is paper-thin, but individual moments like that are magical.