Ulysses Cosmos and His Robot Quest is set on a giant science ship, the San Francisco, which is in space, very close to the black hole that appears on almost every screen in the game. Originally, the ship had a whole team of researchers and scientists on board, but they all went on a mission to a planet right next to a time-changing black hole. Aboard the ship is our protagonist Odysseus Oddy Space and his trusty robot Barton Quest, who is now the backbone of the mission. Oddy’s job is simple, as he only has to make sure the ship is in excellent condition until the crew returns from their mission.
But of course not everything goes well on the ship, and it’s up to Oddy and his robot Barton Quest to make sure the ship stays in business. The full story consists of five episodes plus an introductory episode. When the game came out on PC, it was released in episodes, but on the Nintendo Switch we get the full version of the game, including all the episodes, right from the start. The story spans all five episodes and, although it starts slowly, it develops quickly. If you persevere until the final episode of the game, you’ll see some great plot twists. I don’t want to give away the story in this review, but I can tell you that you shouldn’t stop playing because of the slowness of the first levels, because the story eventually picks up speed and is a great aspect of the game.
Ulysses Cosmos and His Robot Quest is an adventure game similar to Tales of Monkey Island. You tap and tap the screen to find interchangeable items that you can collect and then use on various objects, terminals, POI and others to solve puzzles and continue the game. But not all puzzles are riddles, as some put your brain and eye to the test. Each level is full of small details that are very easy to miss, and you need to have a keen eye to spot them all in the game. The game has a retro pixelated look, so it’s not always easy to see the obvious, but I thought the game looked good.
The characters communicate with each other in a mixed language, so there is no audio dialogue in the game, but you don’t really need it to play either. It works well without them, and the gibberish of the dialogue sound really suits the retro style of the game. During the action of the game you will be able to explore the different structures of the ship and you will be able to set foot outside the room. Most tasks are simply repairing the ship’s malfunctioning systems, recording data on nearby stars and planets, and keeping a pesky black hole at bay. During the course of the story, you will also meet some NPCs who have a significant influence on the course of the story.
Wanda is an engineer, but he got very lazy in space. That’s where the Barton Quest comes in, always pushing Oddy to complete his tasks on time and ensure that the ship continues to function in all respects. Although you play the role of Oddy most of the time, there are a few sequences where you play Barton and Oddy becomes the voice of reason and you follow his instructions to complete various quests. The challenges don’t really vary from start to finish and for the most part are fairly simple, with a small number of difficult puzzles to solve.
While I really enjoyed the game, the two things I didn’t like about the game were the dialogue and the Nintendo Switch’s controls. I’ve always found the Nintendo Switch’s controls very confusing, despite the fact that they’re constantly on the screen. The icons of the commands are a bit confusing, and it would certainly be handy if the game had an introduction in which the commands and their icons would be shown on screen once. Even though I had reached the last level of the game, I was still making mistakes and taking a moment to check how a certain mechanism of the game worked. That’s where the mouse really shines in the click point header. Pressing all the buttons to select the right object often became a bit tedious.
The second thing that bothered me was the in-game dialogue between Oddy and his robot Barton and some of the other characters. Overall, the dialogue was entertaining, but it was usually very long, and reading the large dialogue windows was so tedious that I sometimes skipped them. Humor has been definitively rewritten in some cases. As I waited for the dialogue to end, a bunch of words popped up in the other big discussion window I had just skipped. Apart from these two elements, I had a good time with the game and the puzzles were fun. Some were really difficult, so the game provided me with a fun time when I was stuck trying to solve puzzles. Technically the game went well too, and I don’t remember any stuttering or problems during the game.
Ulysses Cosmos and His Robot Quest has a great artistic style, and I also loved the level of design of the game. However, I found the controls on the Nintendo Switch extremely confusing, and even with the on-screen controls I found it difficult to play the game. The plot of the game is quite decent and takes unexpected turns throughout the game, despite a slow start, and that was a pleasant surprise to me. If you plan to dive into the cosmos of Odysseus and his quest to find the robot, I recommend, if you have a PC, that you stick with the PC version, as it is much easier to play on a PC and also doesn’t require an advanced PC. However, if you really want to play this game on the Nintendo Switch, you’ll need to make sure you learn and become familiar with the controls quickly, as they are quite confusing. If you like point-and-click adventures, we highly recommend it.
Overall score: 7.5/10
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