PC Review: Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals

Do you wish to learn the secrets of the immortals?

Paris 2023: After a 30-year hibernation in space, you, Alcide Nikopol, return to an authoritarian and decadent Earth. Your father is under the sway of the cold-blooded and ambitious god Horus that he is trying to install as overlord of Paris. Your mission is to find your father and prevent Horus from carrying out his plans. Immerse yourself in this fascinating and elaborate universe inspired by Enki Bilal’s cult comic book “The Carnival of Immortals”.

Lighthouse Interactive have tried once again to make a point and click adventure that is worthy of your attention. Well, this time I think they’ve finally nailed it with Nikopol. Don’t let the name be an off-putter, it’s actually quite interesting. Like Rhiannon, Nikopol sadly doesn’t adjust the resolution of the screen on a HDTV, even though the game supports 1920×1080, it still stays in a 4:3 letterbox mode…which is the game’s main downfall for me.

The game itself is made up of 5 locations which are actually quite short, but they are memorable. The first level is more of a tutorial as it gets you used to the controls, while keeping the story moving.
Towards the end of the first level, a huge beast bursts into your apartment and you have to find ways to keep him at bay while you escape…but it’s not like other point and click games where you have all the time in the world to do it, the beast will eventually break down barriers and kill you if you aren’t quick enough to work it out. It can be a little vague what to do, but looking back…it’s actually quite simple.

Most of the puzzles in the game are tricky at first, but straightforward once you figure them out. Clues are a bit elusive; I actually got stuck in the apartment section for a long time because it was never clear what I had to do. The mouse cursor changes to different things that point out that an area or object is interactive which of course helps point out what you can click on and what you can’t. There will be times that you try hard to click on something that doesn’t have any interactivity to it and will feel quite silly when you realise that you were miles off the right solution to the puzzle.

The story of Nikopol is based on a comic book and apparently a film that released last year, although I have to say I missed it and never heard of it. The story itself is intriguing, yet subtle at first…it’s hard to tell where it’s going with a gloomy apartment in Paris, but it soon opens up to much better locations that look fantastic and have some truly memorable puzzles.

It’s clear that Nikopol was made with a budget, yet they’ve somehow managed to make it look very good…despite the resolution woes. Each area is brimmed with detail, character models are good to look at and the cinematics between levels are well animated. It won’t get any awards for the best looking PC game, but does a good job nonetheless. Voice-acting is top notch quality, which if bad could have been a total disaster. The music is good also, setting the tone for the game quite well.

The Verdict

Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals is a brief, yet brilliant point and click adventure game. It has a unique setting and some great elements that set it apart from the other games in the genre; it’s just a shame that you’ll be forced to watch it in 4:3 letterbox.