The Neverhood

aka: Klaymen Klaymen - Neverhood No Nazo, The Neverhood Chronicles
Moby ID: 1037
Windows Specs
Buy on PlayStation
$32.97 used on Amazon
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Description official descriptions

You are Klaymen. Klaymen wakes up in a building in the strangely empty world of Neverhood. Initially, he does not know where he is or what he has to do, but as he explores the area, he finds mysterious disks. Each disk contains a fragment of a recording; gradually, the backstory is revealed as Klaymen finds more and more disks. It would spoil too much to reveal the exact plot, as finding it out is part of the game.

The Neverhood is a point-and-click adventure game, notable for its claymation graphics. It uses a simple interface: you move and interact with the world by clicking on the screen. There is no inventory screen, though Klaymen can find a few items he can pick up. There are few inventory-based puzzles; most of the puzzles involve solving riddles and interacting with the environment.

Generally, the game is seen from a 3rd person perspective, but when moving between locales, you see the world through Klaymen's eyes (but you have a limited freedom of movement).

Spellings

  • クレイマン・クレイマン ~ネバーフッドの謎~ - Japanese spelling
  • 粘土世界 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

60 People (46 developers, 14 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 28 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 102 ratings with 4 reviews)

One of the freakiest games I've ever played.

The Good
The Neverhood is the single most bizarre game I've ever encountered, and for a good reason: the guys who made this game are completely insane. Is that a good thing? Hell yeah!

  • The game is made entirely out of clay, which is way original and cool... the graphics are excellent and the animations mostly good. So much for the visual side.
  • But what about audio? Well, ladies and gentlemen, this game doesn't fail either. It has some of the best pieces of audio I've ever heard from a game, without a shadow of a doubt the most outright insane music I've ever heard. It rocks! I still occasionally hum it to myself just for the fun of it. I can't stress this enough: this game has some kick-ass music!
  • The most bizarre setting and gameplay I've ever encountered... this game is just so funny it's unbelievable. If you want an example, just click the tree in the first part of the game three times in a row: you'll see what I mean...
  • Puzzles? Hell yeah. Some easy, some difficult, most are simply fun.
  • The most outright ridiculous plot I've ever encountered, but it is just so well implemented!



The Bad
There are a few puzzles or riddles that should've been left out in my opinion, most notably the practically endless corridor and how to turn on the radio.
Video compression not as good as I had hoped.

The Bottom Line
One of the hardest, craziest games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Thumbs up!

Windows · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000

A surreal dreamland that prods your mind for the next click of the mouse.

The Good
The best thing about this game is that it's made out of clay. 2-3 tons. That's a lot of clay. Secondly, I just love the characters; who can forget the Weasel, Big Robot Bil, Klogg, and, oh yeah, Klaymen? The puzzles are cool. There's even one where almost the entire world of the Neverhood is involved. You have to do certain things all around the Neverhood to open up the door to the next room. The animation is smooth and it must have been painstaking to have done so much animation frame-by-frame.

The Bad
What really stood out that I didn't like was the movie quality. It just seems way too pixellated, and why couldn't it be as smooth as when you are in a puzzle room? Oh well. Another thing I didn't really like was the compatibility issues. Sometimes on a newer machine, even though the animation is vastly improved due to the high-speed processor, the game just freezes up from time to time. It may not be like this on others' computers, but it is on mine, so it's either the software or my computer.

The Bottom Line
I would say don't listen to the people who say, "buy this game if you like Wallace and Gromit or claymation in general," I would say buy this game if you have a sense of humor and a sense of solving puzzles on your computer until you make an indentation in your chair.

Windows · by bowser724 (27) · 2004

My most favorite adventure game.

The Good
This is one kRaZie adventure game. Everything is made out of clay, tons of it too. You play the hero, a nondescript character named Klayman. Klayman never speaks, but he interacts with his enviroment and other characters without hampering game play.

Klayman would indicate to you when something is important by looking at something with a thoughtful expression. The clues to solving the puzzle are often presented this way. There are a couple red herrings, but nothing too agravating. He has a long loping style of walking that reminds you of a caveman. There are several comical scenes and styles in this game that are vaguely reminicent of Tex Avery and other cartoon artists.

The story has some biblical themes, but its in no way religious. You track your progress in the game with story cartridges. These cartridges can be played in kiosks that are found throughout the game. The kiosks do not provide puzzle clues, but tell you about the Neverhood and its creator. This story is delightful and frustrating as well. You strive to find the cartridges so you can view the whole story.

The imagination and creativity in this game has gone unmatched by most game producers. The game designers took several risks and produced a piece of game history. Its a sad testimony that game producers have essentially abandoned all but the sure-to-sell game design.

The music isn't made of your traditional adventure themes. Its mostly accoustic guitar and singing. Its very cool and adds to the krazy flavor of the game. The puzzles are fairly unique. You have one music puzzle, one sliding tile puzzle, one concentration style puzzle. The rest are more original.

The game does have a built in help section, but its hard to access for the tougher puzzles.

The Bad
The thing I dislike the most is a lack of a sequel. I realize that the game didn't sell and the sequel was pending on that. It doesn't change the fact that when the game was over, I wanted to go on another adventure with Klayman. So I end up playing the game for the nth time.

I also have a beef with the long hallway walk to get the cartridge. That was dirty pool.

The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a game that has an amazing enviroment, great sound and story, and hard as they come puzzles, Try and get a copy of The Neverhood.

Windows · by Scott Monster (986) · 2004

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Of Terry Scott Taylor St. Martyne (3648) Dec 1, 2009

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Neverhood appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Animation

According to Douglas TenNapel, The Neverhood required 3.5 tons of clay and was comprised of 50,000 frames of animation. The production took five animators over a year to complete the game.

All of the animation on the Neverhood was shot digitally on beta versions of Minolta RD 175 cameras. The cameras could only hold a maximum of 114 images on their 131MB PCMCIA card, so the images were constantly dumped once the cards got full. To save storage space the images were processed by crunching them down to 320x240 pixels immediately after they were transferred from the PCMCIA card. More about the animation process: http://www.awn.com/mag/issue2.9/2.9pages/2.9dietz.html

Development

Steven Spielberg was a big fan of Earthworm Jim, and requested that Douglas TenNapel, creator of the character, design Klaymen in a similar fashion.

Japanese version

The Japanese Playstation version has a flew slight changes. First up, the speed of the game has been doubled. Klaymen walks around the 2D scenes much faster. The walkaround sequences are now much faster also.

The Hall of Records scene (that's the 10-or-so minute walk back and forth across the whole world with the history written on the walls) has been removed completely, probably because it would take too long to translate all of it into Japanese. But, you can still look out the window at the end of the room and see that you have crossed half of the whole world.

References

When you're in the open square with the house with the letter H on it, go inside and solve the puzzle. Keep trying until you get it. Go past the disk-reading machine and leave the lights off in the long, long hallway. Go all the way to the end to the window, and look at the bottom-left corner of the screen. That is Mark Lorenzen's name, one of the designers.

Rating

Although considered a kid-friendly game, The Neverhood still received a Teen rating from the ESRB for Comic Mischief and Mild Animated Violence.

Technology

This was the one of the first games designed to run under DirectX. It came with the DirectX 3.0 install. The game would run under Win NT.

Website

In December 2001, The Neverhood's official website was taken down. The president of Boomerang Studios Matt Pearman saved it for the team and preserved at www.neverhood.co.uk in January 2002 until until February 2006. After that a copy of the original Neverhood site was set up by Rickard Dahlstrand, Sweden: www.neverhood.se

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • May 1997 (Issue #154) – Special Award for Artistic Achievement
  • World Animation Celebration
    • 1997 - Best Production for a Video Game

Information also contributed by Apogee IV, David Mackenzie, Itay Shahar, Scott Monster, Tiger Frampton Zack Green and inkan

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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Derrick 'Knight' Steele.

PlayStation added by keth.

Additional contributors: Chris Mikesell, Jeanne, Zack Green, Apogee IV, keth, Foxhack, PhiloHippus, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, Inkan Renfors.

Game added March 12, 2000. Last modified August 28, 2023.