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Samorost 3 review

Arguably the most appealing aspect of point-and-click adventures is not solving the puzzles themselves – though they’re often a joy – but that moment something whirs into life. Where you’re tinkering around with a mechanical puzzle and a new animation triggers. Progress! It’s a strange genre that way, in which the smallest victory can feel earth-shattering. “You’re about to see something new!” these games signal to you the moment you’ve thought your way out of a rut. And who better to whisk you off to a new realm than Amanita Design, the visually arresting game design and animation studio behind Machinarium and Botanicula?

The Czech studio revels in its art direction and animation. Though strictly set in a fantasy realm, this latest cosmic adventure about a space-travelling gnome adheres to the ubiquitous Gene Roddenberry dream “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations”. Each and every background, creature, and animation is lavishly detailed in an arresting mish-mash of what looks like (but isn’t) stop-motion puppetry with 2D animation. From otherworldly mossy groves, to ancient hollows hurtling through space, to quirky caverns of ambrosial insects, there’s never any telling what Amanita has in store for you, but you know it’s going to look stunning.