The game takes place in 2075 aboard the San Francisco, a 457G Series hyper-capable starship. The Frisco was sent to study distant star systems and find a way to save humanity after the Warming. The ship has a crew of 6, but all but one have gone down to an exoplanet called Calcutta, orbiting a supermassive black hole called Gargan. Due to the Time Dilation on the planet's surface, only half an hour has passed for the crew, while decades have passed for Odysseus Kosmos, the ship's engineer, who was left behind to keep the ship running (and because he's not the most pleasant person to be around). Odysseus is Brilliant, but Lazy, and the only reason anything gets done is because of a service robot named Barton Quest, who constantly nags Odysseus to get off his ass and do something.
The game is composed of five episodes, with the first two played from the perspective of Odysseus and Barton as the protagonist of the third. Episodes 4 and 5 return to Oddy's perspective, with occasional control given to Jonesy the cat, Ada, and Barton.
Note, the English translation makes it seems as if Odysseus is on some kind of robot quest. He's not, he simply has a robot named Barton Quest. The original Russian name doesn't have that ambiguity.
The game contains examples of:
- All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. There are only two planets of note in the system: Calcutta and Ithaca. Ithaca is an ice-covered lifeless rock, with the "ice" actually being composed of inert gases, not water. The surface temperature is only about 30 degrees above absolute zero. Calcutta is a super-Earth about 1.5 times the size of our planet. The average surface temperature is zero Celsius, and yet there's liquid water on the surface, which is probably the only reason the crew went down. Since Calcutta is close to Gargan, it experiences a lot of Time Dilation, to the point where minutes on the surface translate into years aboard the ship.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The first two episodes are played from the viewpoint of Odysseus Kosmos. In the third episode, Odysseus is trapped, and Barton has to step up and take the lead.
- Bilingual Bonus: If you know at least two of the languages the game is in (Russian, English, German), it's worth replaying it just for the funny dialogue and comments.
- Binary Suns: The Gargan-Hope system is centered around Gargan, a supermassive black hole, and Hope, a G2V-type star.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In episode 5, when Odysseus visits the observation room, there is a man in a spacesuit there. When asked, he explains that he is there because he was the first person to beat episode 4. The character was created as a bonus for whomever beat the previous episode the fastest.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Odysseus would much rather lie in his bed, or on the couch, or in the comfortable chair in the lounge, pretty much anywhere, as long as it doesn't involve actually doing his job of keeping the ship running. Oh, and there better be donuts. When he does, however, have to do something, he frequently finds unorthodox solutions to problems. Honestly, he wouldn't have been chosen for the mission if he wasn't actually good at his job.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both Odysseus and Barton fit the trope, resulting in lots of Snark-to-Snark Combat.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The game's plot seems to be partially borrowed from the movie Interstellar. Even the design of the San Francisco is reminiscent of the Endurance. The game even has robots making jokes, just like the movie. There is also a docking sequence involving a spinning target, requiring you to match rotation speed first.
- Driven to Suicide: Barton eventually can't help the knowledge of what he was forced to do to Oddy, so he spaces himself. Ada's temporal manipulations ensure that he ends up on the platform with a share of the Artifact, which allows the San Francisco to jump back to Earth.
- Earth That Used to Be Better: An event known as the Warming has raised the average temperature on the surface to unbearable levels. There are occasional cool days (which would feel like a day in the tropics to us), when people go outside. For the most part, however, they tend to stay indoors and protect themselves from sunburn. The San Francisco mission is an international collaboration with the goal of finding a way to save the human race from extinction.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The San Francisco is equipped with an experimental hyperdrive.
- Flash Back: Odysseus keeps occasionally flashing back to his childhood, playing outside with his brother Sam. He eventually learns that he was aboard the ship this whole time, playing in a simulation room.
- Hollywood Hacking: When playing as Barton, you can hack into certain systems with his arm computer. It usually involves moving symbols around until they match what's expected. Hilariously subverted when trying to hack the nav computer. It's initially successful, only for the nav computer to shock Barton and ask if it wasn't clear about Barton not being cleared to access it (you get the "Hacker" achievement for trying, though).
- Multinational Team: It's heavily implied that the crew of the San Francisco has been chosen from all over the world. While the only last name known is Kosmos, we can probably assume that Ivan is Russian and Amélie is French.
- The Reveal: It's finally revealed that Odysseus was never a crewmember. He was a little boy, son of Jack and Amélie. When the crew left the ship, they took Oddy's brother Sam with them, but Oddy had to stay behind, presumably because there was no more room on the shuttle. The plan was for Barton to put him in the cryochamber, but the corporation financing the project had other ideas and placed a hidden override protocol in Barton's programming, causing him to put Jonesy the cat into the cryochamber instead, with Oddy being brainwashed to think of himself as part of the crew. So by the time the crew returned decades later (only a few hours for them), Oddy has grown up, horrifying his parents. Oddy also somehow created Ada with his mind, although she appears to be somehow linked to the Artifact.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Barton is a robot with a surprisingly human-like personality. He feels emotions and frequently gets sarcastic. When playing as Barton, we get to see the ship's various computers have different personalities. For example, the nav computer on the bridge denies Barton access. When trying to hack it, Barton seems to succeed, only to get shocked a moment later with "Was I unclear?" from the computer. The medical testing computer is arrogant and refuses to allow a mere maintenance robot to access it until the Captain finally shouts at it to comply.
- Shout-Out: The game makes numerous references to classic point-and-click adventure games.
- Odysseus's childhood memory is filled with references to Monkey Island, such as a zombie pirate effigy named "Le Zombie" and Odysseus telling said effigy that it "fights like a dairy farmer".
- The Slow Path: Due to Time Dilation, decades have passed for Odysseus and less than an hour for the rest of the crew. Oddy was supposed to be in cryostasis, since there wasn't enough room on the shuttle. But Evil, Inc. programmer Barton to keep Oddy out of stasis, so they could observe him growing up on a spaceship in isolation. Odysseus is actually one of the sons of two crewmembers, except his brother Sam didn't age at all.
- Speaking Simlish: The game is voiced... sort of. Everyone just blurbs something that could barely count as speech. This is probably to keep the file size low and to keep having to hire professional voice actors in three languages.
- Stable Time Loop: When you're controlling Ada, you have to use an Artifact shard to jump between different time periods and set up events to ensure this outcome.
- Time Dilation: Due to its proximity to the black hole, Calcutta is experiencing a lot of time dilation, with minutes on the surface equal to years aboard the ship. It's implied that the crew left the ship around 2037, and the game takes place in 2075, with Odysseus mentioning that it's only been about half an hour for the crew. That's a long time to wait!