Developer: Jacob Janerka
Publisher: Jacob Janerka
Release Date: Apr 5, 2017
If there has ever been a genre in gaming that seems like it was a fad, a one hit wonder of its time, it would have to be the Point and Click Adventure game. A genre that was created to fit the unique and limited nature of PC gaming of the era, the Point and Click Adventure suffered a quick and unremarkable death. Although nostalgia for the genre runs high for gamers whose hairline continue the slow march backward, the Point and Click Adventure genre has not seen a rebirth to showcase its former glory.
While companies like TellTale push the Point and Click adventure into new territory; freeing themselves of the rigorous genre staples of the past – Paradigm, from Jacob Janerka seeks to lean into the idea that birthed the genre. Instead of looking to fast paced, action based storytelling to focus a spotlight, Jacob Janerka slams a hammer onto humor and writing to shine the light on the genre.
What They Did Right
Art in the Point and Click genre is the butter to a gamers bread. If a game can’t nail this aspect then it’s over from the start. As you sit and stare at scene’s looking for clues to push the game’s narrative – the art of a game will begin to crumble under its own weight or stand out, and slowly make you love a game. Paradigm does nothing but stand out. The game is extremely unique and well executed artistically. You can tell that there was a vision from the beginning of what this world should be, and I think they delivered on their idea. Every scene is unique, and every character you encounter is wholly their own.
Humor in Paradigm definitely runs the risk of being a bit on the nose. I feel for the most part they wrote a very funny game, but I can also see how this type of humor just wouldn’t be for everyone. The best way I’ve heard Paradigm’s humor described is a Point and Click Meme; I would agree with that. At time’s, the crutch of using Russian accents and imagery can be tiring – but then you run into characters like a Knight who serves as a secretary and a drug dealer who rides an elderly man on roller skates.
What They Could’ve Done Better
The largest dislike I have for the game is what the developer was shooting for in his creation of Paradigm. This gameplay definitely feels like a Point and Click adventure from the 90’s. There were no chances taken to update the genre in its own unique areas. It’s the genre that you know and love. If it’s what you want, then Paradigm serves up a delicious piece of genetically altered Russian Pie. For me, personally, I would have like to see more variation from the routine I played growing up – but I know that’s not what everyone in this genre is looking for and I should just turn around and go look at a Telltale game.
This is a way out of the box adventure story. Jacob Janerka is walking to his own beat and his mind sometimes feels as if it has left the digital planet that most of us inhabit. Paradigm has an extremely unique aesthetic and places itself firmly into the roots that built the Point and Click genre. If you want a game that will take you back to gaming in a more innocent, point-clicky time, then you need to pick up Paradigm – it’s not every release that pays homage to a genre as well as it has. Paradigm is worth every Ruble you’ll spend on it.
Reviewed by: Brian @drnkie
Our Review’s our a segment on the weekly podcast Backspace Nomads Podcast. You can find us live every Saturday night at 8 pm est on twitch.tv/backspacenomads. To connect with us, follow our twitter, @backspacenomads.