Samorost 3 Review
One beautiful day, an odd looking clarinet falls from the sky in front of our little hero’s door. His cute dog informed him about this event by barking excitedly and he came out of his house to check this new oddity. He examined it with wonder for a while and then he decided to start playing music with it. The beautiful sounds the clarinet made probably sparked his sence for adventure because, right then and there, he decided to find out where this incredible instrument came from. Thus begins our hero’s adventure in Samorost 3.
Samorost 3 is a point and click adventure filled with puzzles and riddles that you have to solve in order to continue, and was created by Amanita Design, a company that has its base in Chech Republic. They are also the creators of award winning games Botanicula and Machinarium. In Samorost 3 you control your hero with the mouse, zooming in and out with the wheel and interacting with left click. On the top of the screen you have your inventory where all the items you’ll find show up and if you click on the star, you open the main menu where you can save, load, check hints if you are stuck and your achievements. You also have the choice to turn music on or off and also play full screen or windowed.
Right from the start I must say that this game was an amazing experience for me. It all started when I first entered its beautiful world. First thing someone notices is the incredibly detailed artwork of every screen in the game. I was mesmerised by the world and how alive it seemed, even though the characters you interact with are few and far apart. Every part you visit will have life in it, small animals, birds, flowers that move in the background and when you click on them they sprung to life and they do something, with usually a cute sound, that puts a smile in your face. It is very difficult to create a world that seems so full of life in an adventure that you embark alone, especially when there’s no dialogue whatsoever, but Samorost 3 manages exactly that.
The character of the world shows even more from the different planets that you will visit in your journey. Planets in the literal meaning of the word, that is “objects” that wander in the universe. They look nothing like the normal planets we have in our mind when we hear the word. Some of them resemble living but sleeping giants, whales or even floating islands. Each new planet you visit will definitely amaze you with the detail and diversity of it. You can land on them and explore their surface and you can be sure that something magical will happen if you interact with its inhabitants.
Speaking of interaction, in order to learn what to do next, you need to find spots on the world that generate circles. There you can use your clarinet, listen to the music the spot plays and then repeat it with your instrument. The beauty of sound will awake said spot (which can be an animal, a flower or even a thing) and with a speech bubble it will play an animation of what needs to be done. Note that there is no text in the game so you will have to use your imagination together with what the animated picture shows you to figure out how to proceed. With animations you will also learn about the story of the game, about what happened in the past that changed the world and about the importance of the clarinet you hold. I really don’t want to spoil anything here, I believe the story, even though it’s simple, does a very good job to keep you interested and resembles the fairytales our grandparents read to us when we were young.
Second element of the game that blew me away was the music, which is integral to the world of Samorost 3. The clarinet sound is obviously the basis in which every composition revolves around (it’s also the main instrument of the composer, Floex) and it blends with other electroacoustic instruments in an ethnic/minimalistic classical mix, creating really an ethereal and magical result. As I mentioned above, the spots which you can interact generate a musical theme and our hero performs them on his clarinet, in essence playing the themes of the soundtrack. Besides the main themes though, every ambient sound and cute animal voice seems to be integrated perfectly in the general music of the game. They sound beautiful together and the give the sense that everything is connected in this world. Just interact with every thing you find on every screen and be amazed at the sound they make.
In the game there are some amazing musical puzzles, one of them involving the antennas of a giant beetle and another gets you to conduct a choir consisting of a parrot, a cute earthworm and some other beautiful creatures. Mentioning the puzzles, this is the third important game element that made me love Samorost 3. All of the puzzles are imaginative and some of them are truly mesmerizing, like the one where you must arrange some cards in order to create a story and reach the desired result. Each card alone is a still sketch but when you put them together the sketches start moving, creating different events depending on the order they are placed on the magic box. This is definitely one of the best puzzles I have ever encountered in a game.
It is also great that every puzzle is purely logical so you won’t have to melt your brain in order to find the solution. Just observe the animation that plays on the circle spots and the answer will come to you for sure. I only stuck at the flower puzzle that comes late in the game and that was because I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong with the order (you’ll understand what I am talking about when you get there). Fun fact, up until that point I didn’t know there was a hint system in the game. In your main menu there is a book that you can open by solving a pretty easy puzzle that is attached to its cover. I thought that, that book would unlock some of the story as I progress, so I didn’t touch it at first. During the flower puzzle though, I checked it and found out that it’s a hint book that explains with pictures what you have to do to progress. So, even if you get stuck, there’s a solution for you, though I strongly recommend not to use it. Solving the puzzles alone will give you great pleasure for sure.
Amanita Design gives us consistently strong releases and Samorost 3 is definitely one of them. It’s beautiful story of adventure, the incredibly detailed world, the music, everything in the game will surprise you. I kept playing not just because I wanted to see the story, but because each part of the game would make me smile. I couldn’t wait to see which beautiful locations I would visit, how the new puzzles looked like, which magical musical pieces I would listen for the first time. It was an adventure with the complete sense of the word. If you want to understand why we at Hyper Light Up believe that indie games is an art, then check Samorost 3.
Samorost 3 is available on Pc and Mac. You can buy it on Steam for the price of 19,99€.
Samorost 3 is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in a game. Each element is a piece of art that comes together creating an incredibly magical whole. Wherever you look at, the artwork, the puzzles, the music, you will definitely find surprises throughout that will put a smile in your face. If you like adventure games, if you enjoy art or if you just want to feel good playing a game, then definitely check Samorost 3. It is an experience that you shouldn’t miss.
+Amazing world to explore
Score : 9,5/10
-Dimitris “Dimi Kaye” Kalyvas