aka: L'avventura di Kate Walker: Syberia Volume 1, Sibir
Moby ID: 6828

Description official descriptions

Kate Walker is a lawyer who has been entrusted by the Universal Toy Company to negotiate the takeover of an old luxury toy and automaton factory. Over the centuries, the factory has been developing clockwork devices, specializing in perpetual mechanical movement. The factory's ambitions, however, are ill-suited to the contemporary economic climate, and the elderly Anna Voralberg, at the helm of the Valadilene factory for more than half a century, has decided to sell up.

It turns out that the takeover might not be as straightforward as expected. The day that Kate Walker arrives, Anna Voralberg is being buried. What is more is that she has left an heir – her brother Hans. But Hans had left the valley at the end of the thirties and never returned, and was actually believed to be dead. However, a letter written by Anna in the days leading up to her death reveals that Hans is well and truly alive and living somewhere in Siberia. Valadilene's elderly notary entrusted to take care of Anna's affairs suggests that Kate find Hans Voralberg as he is now the only person in a position to ratify the sale of the family business.

Syberia is a traditional puzzle-solving adventure. The player navigates a 3D model of the protagonist over pre-rendered backgrounds with fixed camera angles. Puzzles are mostly inventory-based, though some involve manipulating the environment (such as mechanical devices). The interface features a single cursor; only highlighted objects can be interacted with, and there are no verb choice commands.


  • Сибирь - Russian spelling
  • シベリア 日本語版 - Nintendo product page Japanese spelling
  • 西伯利亞 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 赛伯利亚 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

114 People (101 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Art Director
Production Manager
Technical Manager
Project Manager
Lead 3D Modeler & Texturing
Lead 3D Animator
Lead Programmer
Lead Integrator
France-Canada Coordinator
Game Designers
Set Design
3D Modeling & Texture Art - Environment
3D Modeling & Texture Art - Characters
Animation - Cutscenes
Animation - In-game
[ full credits ]



Average score: 76% (based on 66 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 188 ratings with 14 reviews)

A very, very long movie. Or, an extremely short game.

The Good
The graphics and sound effects in this game were amazing. They combined to create imaginary, surreal, bleak environments that you could actually believe in. I found myself thinking, "Ya know, if there actually is some long-forgotten city of Barrockstadt or Komkolzgrad on an abandoned rail line, it probably would look a lot like this." Bleak. Grey. Run-down. Populated with small handfulls of slightly-eccentric inhabitants who take their unusual environments and the presence of advanced clockwork automatons for granted. As you progress towards your destination, the environment becomes more bleak and surreal.

My favorite example of this would be the Barrockstadt University. It's a massive, ancient, sprawling stone campus, yet there is a grand total of: three students, one professor, one groundskeeper/stationmaster, and three (three!) rectors.

None of them find anything weird about that, of course. Whether this lack of population is intended, or an oversight by the designers, I think it works to the game's advantage.

I also liked the plot-delivery method of Kate's cellphone. At certain points your character would receive calls from people in her life (her mom, or her boyfriend, or a coworker, or her boss.... and that's it. Not a very social girl, our Kate), and while these calls were often annoying, they do help one to understand the main character, and where she's comin' from.

As well as where she's going.

Unfortunately.... once you set aside the game-world itself and focus on the game's mechanics, there aren't many good parts left. The story was a bit far-fetched, sure, but still enjoyable. It's unfortunate that the presentation of the story was struggling uphill against the game itself.

The Bad
Well, looking back on it, quite a lot.

First, the voice-acting. Spoken lines rarely matched up with their subtitles. That's not too bad in itself, but on some occasions, entire sentences were dropped from the spoken dialog. There were a few pieces of information I could only find out by glancing at the non-spoken text before it vanished. Luckily, none of this information was actually critical. In addition, a lot of the voice actors sounded as if they were simply reading their lines out of context -- there wasn't much emotional weight added to lines that should have been spoken angrily, or happily, or what have you. It tended to break the fiction a bit.

Granted, in some of the cellphone conversations, Kate sounded... emotionally-dead. I'm still not certain if that's due to the overall bad quality of the voice acting, or if it was intentional during those times.

And speaking of dialog, you must speak to characters using keywords. Unfortunately, your selection of keywords is always extremely limited (to subjects like "Kate", or "Train", or "Hans" and such), and more times than I can remember, Kate would stupidly ask questions that I know the answer to, but she doesn't until she solves some lengthy puzzle, or talks to some obscure character.

Frustrating, to say the least.

The other big problem I had with this game, were the puzzles. They made logical sense, for the most part, but nearly all of them felt like they were cobbled together. And a very large number of puzzles required you to run from Point A to Point B, which is all the way across the city. Then run back to point A. Then back again to Point B. And back, and forth, and back, and forth..... This is how you don't design puzzles, guys.

Also, at the risk of giving spoilers, the ending disappointed me. A couple of facets of it were enjoyable, but there was all this buildup for a question over the course of the entire game, and you never find out the answer.

The Bottom Line
I dunno, to be honest. This game would have made a far better movie or cartoon than an actual game. Some people like "interactive movies" with puzzles grafted on; I certainly used to. It only took me a couple of days to complete; I think if this were a much longer game, I could recommend it.

Windows · by Dave Schenet (134) · 2003

This game made me cry

The Good
OK, you think to yourself after reading the headline, “oh another one of those big queens who cry from anything”. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. I AM gay, but I am ex-special unit soldier who fought both in Lebanon and in Gaza. If I cry over a computer game, you can guess that this game is a real gem.

I think in order for you to feel Syberia, you have to play it twice. Then, the people in the game will really matter to you. The main characters in the game make you feel sorry or happy for them long after you finished the game.

Take for example Helena Romanski, Does she not represent the fear we all share of getting old and loosing our social status? Are we all not afraid to be alone toward the end of our life? When you hear her talk, sing you can only feel so much sorry for her.

And what did you think about Anna? How can one not sorry and sad for her loss? Two days before she was to meet her brother whom she has not seen for over 50 years, her heart gave up, probably from the sorrow of having to sell the factory.

The scene where Kate tells Hans about Anna is simply most moving.

In a way, Kate’s personality is somewhat of a disappointment. She is more the glue that connects the plot and brings you closer to all the other characters. Normally the main character is the one you are supposed to identify the most, not in this case. But, who knows? Maybe this was the intention.

From a technical point of view: The game still looks great, and the music is simply phenomenal. I bow before the composers.

Voice acting was also superb.

The game interface is also very easy to use.

The Bad
You need to walk a lot to solve some of the puzzles. This makes the game somewhat tedious.

The Bottom Line
If you want a moving long lasting game experience, play Syberia!

Windows · by The Gay Elf (12) · 2007

Realism and emotion - an uncommon combination

The Good
If you are reading this review, I will assume you haven't played Syberia but are thinking about it. Let me say, adventure fans, you are in for a real treat! Not only are the graphics and music really, really wonderful, the story is a captivating and evolving tale.

I was disappointed with Microids' "Myst-like" game Amerzone, and I am very pleased to tell you this game is a HUGE improvement. Not only is Syberia a 3rd person adventure, the mechanics of the game include everything I like: Easy install/uninstall, point-and-click interface, subtitles On/Off option, plenty of Save Game slots, and no disc swapping.

You'll travel to truly picturesque places where the atmosphere is alive with movement - water ripples, birds flutter, leaves blow in the wind - and the sounds of life are everywhere. The character you play is a lovely young woman named Kate Walker, a New York lawyer, sent to get a company buy-out contract signed. She moves fluidly through her surroundings and her actions are portrayed very naturally. You'd think you are watching a real actress rather than a rendered one.

The puzzles all center around "automatons" - cog, wheel and lever wind-up machines of old. None of the puzzles are difficult, and all of them are unique and well integrated into the plot. The owner of the toy company you seek was the inventor of automated toys most of which require a key or other metal part to work. (Another plus - NO maze, NO slider puzzles!)

In the midst of the beautifully rendered backgrounds plays gloriously orchestrated, classical music. When Kate accomplishes an important objective, the music changes to congratulate you. When Kate gets surprises by something, you receive different music. (Wait until you hear the opera!)

Sound effects of the automated machinery always sounded appropriate. In addition you'll hear Kate's footsteps going up and down steps, opening and closing doors, the flood of water gushing as you open a gate and many other normal sounds. These, in combination with the scenery, give you the feeling of actually "being there".

The voice acting is excellent and lip-sync is done very well. I noticed that most of the conversations do not give you a "head shot" of the other party. Therefore, lip-sync perfection was not required.

The Bad
Only a few annoyances are worthy of comment. Those include:
1. Hard-to-see cursor changes on interactive spots.
2. Extra long load times for the cut-scenes
3. Too much travel in between locations to accomplish little things

The ending was totally satisfying to me, but I wasn't expecting it to happen so fast. I finished the game in a day and a half (with breaks, of course), and it left me wanting more.

The Bottom Line
I consider Syberia fantastic - worthy of a "5 star" rating! The story is original and lifelike amidst an environment that is pleasant to explore. Puzzles are integrated well and easy to work (once you have found the proper parts). And your character evolves and grows during the course of her adventure.

By the end of the game, I actually shed a tear or two -- why, I began to care about Kate! Only a handful of games I've played in my life thus far have actually evoked that kind of emotion.

I definitely recommend this game and anxiously await the sequel.

Windows · by Jeanne (75367) · 2003

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Who Was the Model for Kate Walker? null-geodesic (106) Dec 1st, 2007



The words written on the control panel of the airship in Kolmkozgrad are authentic Russian. However, the name of the hotel in Aralbad is written incorrectly.


Some German games magazine editors received a postcard from New York with a handwritten text from someone called Kate who wrote in German, that she had an Austrian uncle, some problems and so on. There was no clue that this was a PR-event for the game Syberia, even the fake-handwriting was done with some smeared ink.

PlayStation 2 version

Contrary to the Xbox release, the PS2 version did not appear in North America, as SCEA did not approve the game there.


  • The rat from Road to India makes a cameo appearance in Syberia. It appears in the basement in Kolmkozgrad, makes exactly the same movements it did in Road to India, and disappears.
  • Syberia contains some references to another game by Microids, Amerzone . In Barockstadt you can read and hear a lot about different species of Amerzone's flora and fauna.


  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2003 (Issue #148) - #10 overall in the "10 Best Games of 2002" list
  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – Adventure Game of the Year
  • Gamespot
    • 2002 - PC Adventure Game of the Year
    • 2002 - Best Artistic Graphics
  • Gamespy
    • 2002 - PC Adventure Game of the Year
  • IGN
    • 2002 - Best Adventure Game (Readers' Choice)

Information also contributed by Felix Knoke, Jeanne, PCGamer77 and Sciere

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Isdaron.

PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS added by Charly2.0. Linux added by Plok. Android added by Ingsoc. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Xbox 360 added by Kennyannydenny. Blacknut, iPhone, iPad, PlayStation 2 added by Sciere. Xbox added by LeChimp. Windows Mobile, Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: frin, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, tarmo888, Sciere, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto.

Game added June 28th, 2002. Last modified December 3rd, 2023.