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Developer(s) Ville Mönkkönen
Publisher(s) Independent
Designer(s) Ville Mönkkönen
Engine Custom
Platform(s) Windows
Release September 09, 2003
Genre(s) Survival
Mode(s) Single player

Notrium is a freeware video game for the PC. It is at version 1.341. Notrium was developed by independent Finnish programmer Ville Mönkkönen. It is the seventh game that Ville has made, but it is only the fifth game to be made in English. Released in 2003, it won second place in the 'Adventure Game of the Year' contest[1] on GameTunnel.

Setting[change | change source]

Location[change | change source]

The game takes place on the invented planet Notrium. The game world is split up into squares, each of which has its own climate, land, and goals. The player can move between squares to reach the other areas, though some of the areas can only be reached by using vehicles or teleportation. There are climates such as jungle, desert, and tundra. All area squares can are changed by a day-night cycle,[2] except for levels that are set indoors.

The game's graphics are all randomly generated (put together) at the start of the game,[3] except in special game areas. This random generation changes where items and plants are, though most items and scenery will stay in their environment square. Environment squares do not change when the game is started. For example, a tree in the Jungle zone will be put in a different place each time a new game is begun, but the player character will still start in the same place as always.

Story[change | change source]

The plot of the game is that a team of four, an Alien, a Human, an Android (a robot), and a Psionic creature, have left Earth in a spacecraft, because Earth was going to be destroyed. After the player has chosen the character he/she wants to control, the game begins. The spacecraft is shot at by missiles from the planet Notrium, which is close by. The player's character gets into an escape pod and crashes on the planet's surface. From there, the player must find a way to survive, as well as a way to escape.[4]

Journal entries, which are different for each character, appear every game day for two game weeks. These entries tell about what happened to the characters while they were on the spacecraft. For example, the journal of the Human tells that he was the captain of the ship; while the journal of the Android shows that he was the ship's mechanic. Other happenings can be discovered by going to special places in the game, or finishing a goal.[1]

Notrium has more than one ending to the game. Different characters can get different endings. Some endings can only be won by one character, while other endings can be won by other characters as well.[5]

Gameplay[change | change source]

A person plays Notrium looking from a top-down view. The player may move in all directions while facing in a different one, similar to the way a first-person shooter is controlled, and similar to the freeware PC shooter game Crimsonland.

During the game, the player can find items and objects, such as plants, weapons, and machines. Most important items, like a force field to protect the character, are not found in one piece. The player can build them out of two or three other parts.

Gameplay is about collecting parts to build, defending from enemies, and then winning one of the game's endings. Depending on the character the player has picked, the game is played in a different way. The fast-moving Alien starts with a very strong attack and gets more attacks over time, but it cannot use any weapons. The Human starts with a very weak attack, but he can make many weapons and armor to get more powerful.[4]

The game also has weather. If Notrium is played on a setting harder than 'easy', the character will be changed by the weather. Standing near a fire will make the player more hot, and standing under a tree will make the player less hot. In some areas of the game, there is dangerous weather, like sandstorms, blizzards, or acid rain.[6]

Mods[change | change source]

Notrium was made to be easy to mod (change),[4] and a guide about how to change is on Ville's website. When the player starts a new game after getting a new mod, he or she can choose what mod they want to play.

Mods can make many changes, such as putting new items or goals into the game, changing or making new environment squares. Mods can even make a new character that the player can choose, such as in the 'Werivar' mod.[7]

References[change | change source]