Czech your headPosted: 05/02/2012
Amanita Design is an independent games company based in the Czech Republic. I didn’t think I’d ever heard of these chaps before I pitched up on their website a few days ago, but it turns out I had. Going back to around 2004, I was a big fan of what I now realise was Amanita’s earliest work – an online point-and-click puzzler called “Samorost” originally created as a thesis project by the company’s founder, Jakub Dvorský, while he was studying at the Academy of Arts in Prague.
The aim of “Samorost” (no idea what it means) is to guide a small humanoid character through a surreal world full of odd creatures. Our hero starts his journey in a spaceship made from a rusty old tin can and, once he’s landed his craft, he encounters a stoner in a coolie hat puffing at a bong, a critter with a voracious appetite for fish, a fella with a lightbulb for a head, lizards that race up the face of a cliff, hairy little goats that sing and fall off mountains when you click them… Come on now people, what’s not to like here? It’s got a trippy ambient jazz soundtrack too. When I first discovered it, I used to play “Samorost” for hours and hours. Days and days. Weeks and weeks. I swear there’s a version of me still playing it somewhere in another dimension.
Jakub, Tomáš and the rest of the Amanita crew are supremely talented folk. I’ll even forgive them for causing me to waste a large chunk of my life. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a guy in a tin can spaceship who needs my help…