Cargo: New images of the new game from Ice Pick Lodge

Again, i could swear me or someone else made a thread when the game was annouced, but i couldn’t find it with the search.

The new game from the creators of Pathologic and The Void. A bit different to those, but still i am sure it will be very quirky.

Oh, Wow. I love anything Ice Pick Lodge does, if only because they consistently destroy conventions that I’m used to. Pathologic is their masterpiece, though, and I’ll be very interested to see what they’ll do with this.

And I’m amazed that you chose to only post the link to this shot:

EDIT: Oh, that’s why. It’s fucking massive.

I can’t put the img tags to each screenshot (limit in the forum system), so i only put the first ones without looking which was the best one. :P

Well that looks suitably fucking mental. Crazy Ivans!

This just showed up on Steam. It’s $20. I’m not actually sure there’s been a game I’ve been anticipating this hotly released as quietly as this one was before now.

… already? And the previews? At least i hope for some information in RPS!

And Malkav, put the link the next time ;)

The trailer

RPS first-hour impressions

Also this

I’m halfway through the game since getting a review copy Wednesday. Here are my impressions.

  • Vehicle variety and design is nice. Boats, cars, submarines, helicopters, plus plenty of parts to attach (propellers, wings, wheels, etc)
  • Generate fun by: kicking the naked midgets, towing them behind your vehicle and doing stunts, or finding music notes and then placing a dance party (you can import custom MP3 and even customize the dance moves). Spend fun on new parts or bringing down objects from orbit.
  • However, the three methods of generating fun is all you get (plus some mini-games), so it becomes a bit repetitive after an hour or two.
  • Plausible physics for your weird contraptions
  • Vague objectives. There is no mini-map or HUD indication of where to go, or even step-by-step instructions to provide assistance. The big mission in the winter level says to “swim to the volcanoes and turn them on.” This actually means “build a sub at a crack in the ice, follow the train tracks under water to two different volcanoes, attach naked midgets to your sub, and bring them to each volcano and do a mini-game”. Took me a while to figure that out.
  • Obviously linear with such specific instructions like that
  • The mandatory mini-games are not fun and are generally annoying rather than challenging.
    So there you go.

I think he contradicts himself a bit, he says it’s repetitive but there is also exploration and puzzles as he explain in a further point; negative point for him (negative because the goals are too vague, but perhaps if the steps to do were explicit, i think the game wouldn’t have puzzles and would be too easy).

Has anyone else been playing this? I finished it today, principally because it’s short (about 6 hours) and I wanted the catharsis of deleting it. In fact I enjoyed the latter so much that I’m redownloading it from Steam to delete again. It’s basically Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts with gorgeous art design, a terrible engine, awful puzzles and no sense for how to make a game out of its component parts.

For me, the experience of playing it was like travelling on a slow train, enduring a mild toothache. The voice actors are all intensely annoying, sounding mildly sedated and distanced. Here’s an example of the game’s dialogue: one tripartite gods says something about how, since the world is flooded, they’d be better off with a plumber than an engineer. After the game gives you back control for a second, the lady engineer says, in her slow, low-timbred, zero inflection voice “What do I look like a Mario to you?” Arguably that might count as a joke, I guess?

The vehicles are all agonising to use as whatever you build will feel slow, clumsy and awkward. Designing them is largely pointless, as the game gives you plenty of blueprints that more than get the job done anyway, and the process is too reliant on trial and error. Often when I tried to modify one of the built-in designs, I was unable to connect components that were connected on the original design. The best option seems to be extending existing blueprints, though as the game crashed frequently when I was building my vehicles I didn’t derive much enjoyment here either.

There’s neither sense nor logic to any of the game’s puzzles. How do you get the factory to start? Duh, summon a train from the sky. How do you use the colour the train delivers? Adoy, float it over the eggplant’s chimney (though be prepared to lose all those expensive components you used to do it). How do you start the volcano? It’s obvious, endure the terrible submarine, wander around the ocean collecting naked, bald dwarves, lead them into the volcano, repeat 4 times, then play a poorly implemented Pipe Organ version of Guitar Hero. Those descriptions sound charming and fun, but I’d argue the experience of playing the game strips away the pleasure entirely.

My suspicion is that the game is intentionally annoying. There are things that might be bugs, like the disappearance of islands the player has summoned that would be useful in the finale. It’s a beautiful world, but even though it’s quite tiny you can see only a small way ahead at any time and they don’t give you a map, making navigation a chore. As you play, messages like “Are you having FUN yet?” pop-up on the screen* and the final cinematic (at least for the ending I got) implies fairly blatantly that the game’s theme is a critique of pursuing pleasure. “Wouldn’t your six hours be better spent doing something else?” it asks. If so it’s an imbecilic notion. Only Batman lives a life entirely devoid of frivolity.

The Void is challenging, off-putting and very rewarding; Cargo strikes me as shallow, brain-dead and surreal at about the level of a schoolchild who’s just seen their first Monty Python skit.

Sorry for writing so much, but I find it so disappointing that this is my reaction to an Ice Pick Lodge game. I’d love to be told that I’m an awful idiot who’s completely wrong about Cargo.

*So often that I began to develop a nervous tic, like Henry in Party Down.

Wow. Great writeup. Thanks for saving me the time and money, as the repeated mentions of Nuts 'n Bolts made me vaguely curious about this one.

I’m kind of liking it so far (just restarted the volcanoes), but I have a feeling that I’m too bombarded by nuttiness to really think about how mediocre it is. It’s disappointing to hear that the vehicles never get better. Up until now it’s definitely been the case that I use whatever they throw at me, I was hoping that later it would get more challenging.

I disagree with Ross.

First, this is a PC game. If theres a oscure game in other platform with similar style, is not relevant. Not everyone have all consoles.

On his own merits, the basic gameplay of Cargo is good: build vehicles. And is good, because there are different type of vehicles, and the phisics are convenient.

The things that are rought, are some elements with low production values, …elements of interface, that make learning how to do things non-intuitive. Is non-intuitive how the “quest” are given to you.

The good news is that once you understand the basics of the game, everything is smooth*, you can have fun exploiting the mechanics of the game to generate a lot of “FUN” to build bigger vehicles.

  • except one or two ocassions where some vehicles are stolen from you. The game is not your friend.

I’ve poked at it a bit but with Portal 2 and Arma 2 and Saints Row 2 distracting me, I haven’t gotten far. I should really remedy that.

I love Ice-Pick Lodge so I’m going to give this game a go either way. I kind of suspected it would be a mess though, partly because they’ve never really convinced me they’d be able to handle the kind of simple, playful mechanics that Cargo obviously requires.

So, this currently selling for 50% off during the steam summer sale, and I’m on the fence about picking it up.

I tried out the demo a few weeks back and was… intrigued.

Any other folks played the game long enough to have a an opinion about it one way or the other?

I finished, the game was bad. Don’t buy it.


Icepick Lodge intriguingly broken bad or just not good bad?

The Void is on sale also and would be a better buy. That said, I’m not sure I’m writing off Cargo just yet (I didn’t get very far when last I played it). It’s just inherently not as cool as Pathologic or The Void.

I didn’t spring for it - maybe the next time it goes on sale. I’m still intrigued but I have The Void from another Steam sale and I haven’t played that one yet.

The latter one. The game was “polished”, i don’t remember bugs or problems in general, but it was a short, empty, barely-fun, without deep game.