Paradigm is weird. Really, really weird but you know what? Weird is great. It is a point and click adventure game with a stylish retro feel to it. On top of that, it’s hilarious. It’s rare for me to laugh in a room by myself but this game had me laughing so much that tears were streaming down my face. Not everyone will have the same sense of humour as the game but it matched mine perfectly. I went into the game with kind of low expectations and I’m pleased to announced that I was massively surprised by how good it is.
Paradigm is a game created by independent developer, Jacob Janerka. It was launched as a project on Kickstarter in 2014 and it received over $35,000 (Australian dollars) from over 1,300 backers. That doesn’t by any means make it the highest grossing crowd-funder in the video game world but unlike a lot of things on that website, it has actually been completed and released on Steam for everyone to play.
The look and feel of Paradigm are somewhat of a throwback. It’s a really likable style and it gives off a sort of an airbrushed caricature vibe, utilising soft colours to make it really easy on the eye. The best way that I could describe it would probably be to go back in time and ask somebody from the 1960’s what the future would look like. Kind of like a cartoonish Fallout game where the calendar may say that we’re in the future but all technological advancements seem to have stopped somewhere between the 70’s and 80’s.
The year is 2026 in the fictional Eastern European country of Krusz but you would think it was 1985 with players surrounded by funky looking clothes, cassette tapes and floppy discs-a-plenty. In this world players take control of Paradigm, a horribly disfigured but loveable oaf who has an obsession with making some ‘phat beatsies’. Without spoiling the story I will say that it’s hilariously weird. If you would like an indication as to how weird, well other characters include a sloth with a Trump-esque Toupee, a beat-boxing plant and a retro computer that used to be an Australian dating sim AI.
In terms of gameplay it is very simple but effective. It is a point and click adventure game where players explore the world of Krusz and in the meantime save the world, all whilst trying to put together some beatsies. Throughout the game you will have puzzles to solve which are just as strange as you’d expect them to be after loading up the game but none of them are remotely boring or monotonous.
I will admit that this has been a very vague review of Paradigm and that is only because I don’t want to give away even the slightest spoiler. It’s a game which I would recommend to anyone; granted, there will be a lot of people who dislike it but I would still suggest that they try it. It’s a true testament to indie developers everywhere and proves that, unlike big studios, they aren’t afraid to try something weird. In this case, it’s massively paid off so I would like to extend a very well done to Jacob Janerka and everyone else who helped on the game (including the backers on Kickstarter). I can’t wait to see what you produce next.
Buy Paradigm on Steam