PAXAUS Indie Showcase: Paradigm

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paradigmAt PAX Australia, I had the opportunity to play Paradigm – a point and click adventure game by Jacob Janerka and Jonas Kjellberg. The game is set on the fictional planet, Krusz, where DUPA Genetics makes and sell designer children to families. You play as Paradigm, one of the designer children. However, due to a mishap during Paradigm’s birth left him horribly disfigured. DUPA Genetics then dumps Paradigm in a barren wasteland to hide their little secret.  The demo takes place not too long after this, where Paradigm decided to leave the wasteland to become the world’s best electronic artist. Throughout the demo, I had the opportunity to speak with Jacob and ask the future of the game. In additional, he provided me help throughout the demo with his GameFAQ-style walk-through.

From first glance, the game had a strong retro gaming feel to it – where the art direction was similar to 70-80s console games. As well, the environment had a strong eastern-European/Cold War feel – based on how drab the surroundings were: dimly lit rooms, water stains everywhere; and how modern technology was based on 70s computers, reliance on floppy disks. As for the gameplay, it was a simple point-and-click adventure game, where Paradigm can either: Talk to object/person, Pick up object, or interact with object. For example, Paradigm could interact with this shrine, praising DJ Jesus to help with his beats.

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The demo started off in Paradigm in his little shack trying to make some new beats for this upcoming EP. However, in order to start that, he has to reboot JOHN-3000, his friend computer. When starting the demo/introductory level, I was presented with a quick tutorial – presented by either a person or dog. From that point, I got a sense that this game would be a fun and hilarious adventure. While going through the tutorial, certain aspects of the writing were memorable, such as “rubbing the tumor sensual for additional help”; and how the game would constantly break the fourth wall and make pop-culture references, such as “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”. After rebooting JOHN-3000, the computer ask Paradigm to play wingman by installing a sensual love song CD, making some crude and humourous jokes along the way.

Afterwards, I talked to Jacob about the future of the game, beyond the demo. He said the game features several mini-games, which one of them is a dating simulation. In the dating simulation, Paradigm has to find the love of his life by wooing them with gifts. Currently, the potential partners are a toaster, and a half-duck, half-human partner – each with a unique story to tell.

For those would like following a tale of an unsung hero, Paradigm promises to tell an interesting and hilarious story. The game is set for a January 2017 release for PC, where players can pre-order via the Humble Store.

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