April 6, 2017
Developed by a single Australian man (by the name of Jacob Janerka), Paradigm is a point-and-click adventure game that won’t soon be forgotten.
Paradigm recreates a surprisingly faithful point-and-click experience when comparing it to classics of the genre. Inspiration from games such as Day of the Tentacle and the Monkey Island series are clearly reflected in Paradigm, with crazy plot points, ludicrous characters and general comedy interwoven tightly within the game.
You play the game as Paradigm, an Eastern European, mutated human who would want nothing more than to make “sick beatsies” and wallow in his own self-deprecation. Although when a a tyrannical sloth antagonist is plotting doom, Paradigm is forced to step up as the only sane and capable member of his community.
The game has you explore the quirky town of Krusz and all its inhabitants, most of which are infuriatingly unhelpful, but hilariously weird. Characters such as an antagonistic sloth, a beat-boxing eggplant, sentient water-coolers, a delusional superhero with a cone on his head, and the cone-man’s mannequin girlfriend will all make an appearance. These characters and so many more drive the narrative and provide memorable moments of hilarity.
“Comedy in gaming can be quite hard to achieve but Paradigm manages it effortlessly”
Comedy in gaming can be quite hard to achieve but Paradigm manages it effortlessly. Anything from talking to a character to examining an object will provide some kind of witty dialogue which never really got old. Paradigm hit the humour hard and had me laugh out loud on a few different occasions, and grin sheepishly on many more.
Being Australian I think I was particularly susceptible to some of Janerka’s humour, but having said that, I’m confident that the game’s humour was fairly universal. Occasionally jokes were overused, repeating some slight variant of the same joke in multiple different scenarios. Any cone found within the game tended to have some kind of ‘cautionary’ joke attached to it, and self-deprivation was a safe bet for a lot of Paradigm’s lines. Although overused jokes didn’t end up being too much of an issue when fresh material was cropping up from start to finish.
One issue common to the point-and-click genre is the addition of crazy logic puzzles where the solution to an issue isn’t comprehensible by any sane thought processes. These kinds of puzzles were mostly forgiven back in the heyday of point-and-clicks but I think by today’s standards it’s understood that trying to combine multiple items together until something finally works isn’t a fun gameplay mechanic. Paradigm, for the most part, managed to avoid these puzzles and had its solution grounded in logic. And in the instances where it wasn’t particularly logical, it instead facilitated humour, so I’ll give it a pass.
- Faithful to the point-and-click genre
- Wacky and memorable
- Genuinely funny
- Occasionally overused jokes
Paradigm feels like the kind of game a super excited teenager might make if they let their imagination run wild and nobody was there to tell them “no”. That may sound like an insult, but in this case, I’m glad they were given the opportunity.