Primordia Review

Screenshot of cutscene from Primordia with Horatio and Crispin
Horatio and Crispin make one hell of a team

  • Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
  • Developer: Wormwood Studios
  • Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
  • Release Date: 6 Dec 2012
  • Time played: 6.4 hours

What is it

Wormwood Studios is a small, indie development studio with team members located across the globe and was founded in 2010 by American writer Mark Yohalem and Australian painter Victor Pflug. Along with Greek programmer James Spanos, Mark and Victor worked for two years on the retro point 'n' click adventure Primordia with it being finally released on Steam in December 2012.

In Primordia you play the role of a robot named Horatio Nullbuilt in a post-apocalyptic world where Humans no longer exist. Horatio lives with his robot sidekick Crispin in a dilapidated airship but after a power source is stolen from them they embark on a quest to retrieve it. Along the way they learn more about the bleak world they live in and what part they played in shaping it.

Primordia has a Metascore of 72 on Metacritic which indicates Mixed or average critic reviews but it has fared quite well on Steam with an "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating due to 97% of the 2,171 user reviews being positive.

How I got it

I've received a lot of games as birthday and Christmas presents over the years and while it's disheartening to see all the games that are remaining unplayed on the Pile of Shame, I feel especially guilty about the ones that were bought for me as gifts. I've recently tried to focus on games that were bought to me as a gift and Primordia happens to be one of these games. I received the game as a birthday present from my brother way back in 2013 so I have him to thank for getting me this game (thanks bro)!

Being a fan of Sierra and Lucasarts adventure games as well as sci-fi meant that a retro point 'n' click adventure game like Primordia was definitely one I wanted to try.

Screenshot of a dead human in Primordia
You're always wanting to learn more about the post-apocalyptic world of Primordia

What I like:

Intriguing story

Point 'n' click adventures rely heavily on rich narratives more so than other genres and thankfully I found Primordia to have an intriguing sci-fi story which has you wanting to learn more about this world where robots have survived and Humans have not.

Likable protagonist

I find it challenging to enjoy games where I don't respect or relate to the protagonist on some level but this isn't the case with Primordia's Horatio Nullbuilt (I mean who doesn't like a robot who worships Humanity - actually, scratch that, there are plenty of examples of robots that are cool, funny and dislike humans, but just trust me on this one)?

Plot twist

The game contains plenty of plot twists that would give M. Night Shyamalan a run for his money. In fact, I found it hard to put this game down since each time the plot thickened I just had to find out more.

Multiple endings

The game offers multiple endings. The first time I played I got one of the "bad" endings (a decent but melancholic ending) but it doesn't take too much messing around to trigger one of the better endings. I'm actually quite impressed how there are multiple endings and branching narratives in Primordia since it's not something you see all too often in oldschool point 'n' click adventure games.


I do enjoy pixelart and the artists have done a splendid job on this one. As far as Adventure Game Studio (AGS) adventures go, this one is one of the most impressive.

Voice acting

The game has some pretty decent voice acting with the protagonist (Horatio) being voiced by Logan Cunningham who has voiced for other adventure games (such as Resonance and Unavowed) and a bunch of critically acclaimed games by Supergiant such as Bastion, Transistor and Pyre. Horatio's sidekick, Crispin is voiced by prolific AGS adventure voice actor Abe Goldfarb who has voiced characters on adventures such as The Shivah, Gemini Rue and Unavowed. And these are only two of the voice actors on the game: there are many more professionals that make up the voice cast including ones who have worked on AAA titles (such as Sarah Elmaleh who voiced the character Clarity.

Logical puzzles and no dead-ends

Unlike point 'n' click adventures of the glory days (think 1990s Sierra and Lucasarts adventure games), the puzzles in Primordia are generally pretty logical and thankfully there are no inadvertent dead-ends. I don't think it's actually possible to die early in the game either, so it's definitely a point 'n' click adventure that's more accessible to modern audiences.

Alternate solutions

There have been a couple of times in this game where I noticed you can go about solving puzzles in a couple of different ways: there's usually an optimal solution to every puzzle and sometimes there's a less optimal alternate solution. For example, in one part of the game you can choose to give a robot an item they requested for but the item you recover is defective. You can choose to go the extra mile and repair the item before giving it but the game will accept the alternate (and less helpful) solution of just giving the item in the state you found it.

Crispin as a hints giver

I love how talking to Crispin will offer you little hints on how to go about solving puzzles. Don't worry, he'll never give the solution away entirely so it's useful to always check in on him when you're stuck.

Steam Achievements and Trading Cards

There are 29 Steam Achievements to earn and 6 Steam Trading Cards to collect.

Screenshot from game Primordia
The future is a bit dreary

What I dislike:

Brown and grey

I really struggled to find something critical to say about this game. Provided you can either tolerate or appreciate the oldschool, retro pixelart and the point 'n' click adventure gameplay norms, there's not much to fault. The only thing I didn't like was that the world looks very dreary with a palette that mainly uses different shades of brown and grey, but guess that's what you'd expect from a post-apocalyptic setting, right?

Score – 9/10 (Get it for B'SOD's Sake)

Primordia is a high quality, addictive point 'n' click adventure I wish I tried out sooner! The game has an intriguing story, a likable protagonist, plot twists galore, multiple endings and professional voice acting. It's also accessible for newcomers and veterans to adventure games alike, thanks to logical puzzles, alternate solutions, a lack of dead-ends and an in-built hints system (i.e. your sidekick Crispin). There's not much I can fault about this game except maybe they could've gone more wild with the colour palette, but it's a post-apocalyptic adventure after all, and robots probably don't care much for that sort of stuff, hey?

Is the game worth $14.50 AUD?: Yes. If you're not put off by the retro pixel-art (which I'm actually quite a fan of) this is a high-quality, retro point 'n' click adventure for under 20 bucks, which is a good deal in my books.

If you like this game, you might like… [ LINK: Primordia Official Website ]