Paradigm ⚡Review

Paradigm Title Screen

Platform Played On: PC
Developer: Jacob Janerka
Publisher: Jacob Janerka
Genre: Point-and-Click, Adventure
Release Date: April 5, 2017

In post-Soviet parody town of Krusz, pointer clicks you. Sorry. I don’t know what that was. And, huh… I can’t say that I’ve played many point-and-click adventure games in my gaming career. Counting this one, I remember one other one I’ve yet to review… yeah. Two is not a lot. It’s not like I hate the genre or anything, it just falls under my gamer radar (along with FPS and RTS games). I’m all about the action RPGs lately, but it’s nice to break out of your preferred video game genre every once in a while. This game was just the sarcastic shot of dark humour I needed!

Paradigm and Cat
Apparently, one of my cats likes chasing the pointers in point-and-click games… too cute to be mad at!

How Far I Got

Took me 8 hours over a few days to complete a full playthrough. I talked to all of the oddballs as much as I could, and played around with a few of the parody minigames (OMG…. the dating sim… wow…). I wasn’t interested in uncovering every single secret in Krusz (there are tons), but I was amused to stumble upon the few I did naturally. Around the end I broke out the ol’ guide to get through the final tricky puzzles faster. No shame!

Lightning Review

Let’s see, we’ve got a genetically engineered reject with electronic music creation dreams (the protagonist) vs the DUPA Genetics CEO sloth that vomits candy bars (the antagonist). Still with me? Good. Yes! This game’s story is freaking insane, but in a super charming sorta way. I’ll say the fourth wall gets obliterated on many occasions, and I just couldn’t get enough of all the dark self-loathing sarcastic humour. This world is crude, rude, and on many occasions gruesome, but that all adds to its weird magic!

Paradigm Review 1
I was smiling from the “difficulty” selection screen onward.

The majority of this absurdly depressing (yet amusing) story is told through interactions with a cast of creatively disfigured characters. And wow, the residents of Krusz are a… um, neat bunch of misfits for sure. You’ll meet everything from beatboxing eggplants to sentient water coolers (of doom) while helping the mutated Prodigy Child protagonist, Paradigm, understand his true destiny.

Paradigm Review 3
I’m serious… the antagonist is actually a sloth that vomits candy bars… Also, the up close dialogue sequences with characters are creepy-cool, and possibly a little too detailed.

Since I’m a huge noob to the point-and-click genre, I can’t really compare the pacing and controls to other games of this type. I know I personally enjoyed examining every nook and cranny of each detailed environment, although I was getting a tad bored with observing things around the end. Even though 99% of the objects and dialogue associated with them are useless to the main quest (a point the game makes fun of itself for often), they add so many fun lil’ details that help set this world’s stage.

Paradigm has four basic options for interacting with all of those interactable things around him: Look At, Talk To, Use, and Pick Up. His responses to each of those commands are always witty and fun to hear in his cool Eastern European accent. Paradigm has a cheesy sexual pick up line for just about everything in the game when you select the Pick Up option, no mean comedy writing feat indeed.

In typical point-and-click game fashion (I’m assuming), combining items in your inventory is an essential part of solving puzzles. I didn’t find any puzzle too mind boggling or obtuse beyond reason, but there is a somewhat helpful in-game hint system if you get stuck: ask Paradigm’s all-knowing tumor for advice. The tumor won’t give too much detail (often referring you to the game’s official online guide), but the interface will highlight all interactable objects in the environment for you. That is quite helpful!

Paradigm Review 4
The puzzle with Igorshki, Paradigm’s adorable alcoholic mutated mutt, was one of the most memorable.

This game’s greatest strength is its ability to keep gameplay fresh, funny, and interesting with several shifts in the typical pointing and clicking style throughout the adventure. You’ll encounter several amusing tangent antics and find yourself playing a few parody minigames. There are seriously other video game references galore! I swear, I even saw a vault from the Fallout series at one point. Paradigm constantly pokes fun at traditional video game narrative elements and the gamer culture as a whole (including those nasty developer tricks called paywalls).

The voice acting is topnotch and certainly another highlight. From John 3000’s aussie smoothness to Doug’s badass beatboxing, the various character accents were a treat to listen to. Each character really feels like their own, and usually disturbing, person. Music wise, I’ll say you might hear some Glam Metal (not saying why) and eerie electronic beats (Paradigm’s dream is to be a famous electronic music artist, after all).

My Overall Biased Opinion

I am a sucker for dark, sarcastic, satirical, parody, and fourth wall shattering humour. Paradigm has all of those things and that’s a huge reason why I loved my time with it. Some parts were certainly disturbing, but the game offers a lighthearted questioning about the nature of our existence, among many other less intense topics. Ultimately, we have to do the best we can with the cards fate deals us. Oh and it reinforces another important lesson that’s often portrayed in entertainment media: the designer engineering of humans is always a bad idea.

Overall, if you need some depressing dark humour in point-and-click format, and enjoy listening to phat beatsies, Paradigm and his fellow Krusz rejects are most certainly worth visiting. Things could always be worse!

Memory Lane
SPOILERS AHEAD!!! You have been warned.

This section of my video game reviews is a way for me to remember my journey through a game. Major spoilers will be present here so please avoid this unless you’ve already played the game, or don’t have any plans to. Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had with this game in the comments area thingy below.

My Game Summary

I more than covered everything I want to remember from my time in this game in my babblethrough post: Paraphrasing Paradigm

Favourite Story Moment

The ending, for sure. It was nice to see Paradigm fulfill his dreams and Olof going along for the ride. Olof was suffering from some hardcore unrequited love with his deceased creator Klas. Poor sloth vending machine….

Favourite Ability/Item/Weapon

The DUPAGen. So many functions and the parody games were superb. I’ll never forget romancing that duck man in the Post-Apocalyptic Dating Sim, or the endless runner preview with someone just running on a treadmill.

Favourite “Oh S@#%” Moment

John’s visual sensory fake out at the top of Butt Mountain. I thought for sure it was a Game Over of some kind.

Paradigm Review 5
Butt Mountain… LOLz.

Favourite Zone/Level/Area

The IT settings room (aka “evil” IT guy’s Realm of Pain and Errors). This area had such a neat futuristic multidimensional tech atmosphere. Not to mention all the jabs at how technology tends to fail us on a daily basis.

Paradigm Review 2
The aesthetic also reminded me of the holodecks from the Star Trek series.

Favourite Character

Paradigm the failed Prodigy Child protagonist. It sucks being an ugly outcast and I admire Paradigm for keeping a positive self-loathing attitude…

Paradigm Review 6
But I can’t blame him for breaking down occasionally when the words are cruel… My favourite relatable Paradigm quote: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will send me spiraling into a deep depression.”

Most Tedious Gameplay Moment

The area before Olof’s office. You either had to click a button 10,000 times, or be chased around by a water heater while trying to solve a credit card scam puzzle.

Paradigm Review 12
Loved the jab at paywalls, though!

Favourite Video Game Reference

The Final Fantasy parody battle with the Glam Metal Church Messiah.

Paradigm Review 10
It even had the Final Fantasy battle music!

Final Stats

Steam Achievements – 6/18

Paradigm Steam Achievement 1 - DopeParadigm Steam Achievement 2 - F.R.I.D.G.E C.R.E.A.MParadigm Steam Achievement 3 - Quack Me HardParadigm Steam Achievement 4 - We Don't Go ThereParadigm Steam Achievement 5 - There's No Place Like WallParadigm Steam Achievement 6 - Koniec

Thanks for reading!

If for some odd reason you want to read more of my posts, you can find a somewhat organized (and usually up to date) archive of my ramblings… I mean, articles here!

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Published by

"Lightning" Ellen

My name is Ellen, and I've been babbling on the interwebz about video games for over 15 years. Video games themselves have been a large part of my life since 5-year-old me first encountered a SNES in a children's hospital. Fun times... Video game escapism is still the #1 coping mechanism for adult me these days.

9 thoughts on “Paradigm ⚡Review”

  1. The point and click adventure genre is one that it think really works better with a heavy dose of humor. Every game there has some really ridiculous puzzle solutions, and it’s really grating in a serious game, but just fits right in in a silly one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to love point and click and puzzle solving games, so much fun and weird humour! The Monkey Island series, with pirates, and Grim Fandango, set in the Land of the Dead, were my all time favourites 🙂

    Such a cute cat 🙂 Mine’s decided he loves video games too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really, really need to play some of the Monkey Island games one of these years. I’ve heard many good things.

      Thanks! My cats love bugging me whenever I pick up a controller or keyboard, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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