Games worth getting: Samorost 3

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Nathanael Martinez, Webmaster

Hello! I’m Nathanael Martinez and this is Games Worth Getting, a review column intended to share interesting mobile games that I feel are worth purchasing. Although I select each game primarily because of their presence on mobile, they may be available on other platforms. Now without further ado, here is “Samorost 3.”

A wonderfully weird point-and-click game by the independent Czech studio, Amanita Design, the universe of “Samorost 3” contains worlds full of memorable locations and silly characters, making the game a fun adventure for all ages. When a friend of mine first shared a short clip of the game with me, I immediately fell in love with its detailed backgrounds and strange animations. However, it was the clever gameplay and wide variety of puzzles in “Samorost 3” that kept me hooked until the end.

The adventure begins beside the home of the game’s protagonist — a short white-haired creature described by the studio’s website as a “space golem.” After a cutscene plays where a mysterious golden horn falls from the sky outside of the player’s window, they are left to explore on their own.

Eventually, players are taught they can use their horn to hear special sounds in the environment and then perform them back, which (among other things) reveals spirits that aid players in their journey. The first example of this is the giant mushroom, which tells the player they need to create a spaceship in order to leave their current world and explore the rest of the game’s universe.

There is a certain aimlessness to “Samorost 3” that I enjoy. The game’s puzzles range from mixing pollen in order to create new types of flowers to shuffling cards with living illustrations to help them hunt other cards’ animals. There are also several secret emblems scattered about each world which are unlocked through hidden interactions with the environment. Once found, they can be accessed from the menu at any time. Each symbol plays its own beat, allowing the player to mix and match them to create their own music.

All of these factors motivate players to search throughout each world, tapping and dragging everything they can. This allows the game’s personality to shine through; it presents animations that feel strange and silly alongside sound design that is both entertaining and atmospheric. I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as I encountered progressively more eccentric creatures, spirits, and landscapes during my time with the game.

The fact that “Samorost 3” contains puzzles should not deter players who don’t feel up to the task. A “hint book” can be accessed from the menu at any time during gameplay. After solving two very simple align-the-dots puzzles to unlock the book, players get access to sketches that share information about the area they are currently in. The drawings point players towards a variety of goals from explaining the pattern needed to solve puzzles to revealing hidden secrets.

This was the most surprising part of the game for me; it’s a great way to help prevent frustration and (unlike online guides) still allows the developers to control the amount of information available to the player.

The beauty, personality, and accessibility of “Samorost 3” make it a game worth getting. Just like “Flower,” the previous experience I featured in this column, the game’s simple controls make it accessible to players of all ages. I found the best way to play the game was sitting back with my headphones on for an hour or two at a time. Taking the game slowly, I set my pace at about one world per day. Enjoy the strange interactive adventure that is “Samorost 3.”

 

Thanks for reading Games Worth Getting. “Samorost 3” is available here for IOS, here for Android, and here for PC. Feel free to comment feedback below.

 

Screenshots and video footage were recorded on the iPhone 6s in order to maintain accuracy to the mobile version of the game. Quality may vary across devices.