> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
>
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Gorogoa Review

Gorogoa Review

The buzzword ‘unique’ is bandied about a whole lot in video game criticism. Sure, lots of elements of many games can indeed be dubbed ‘unique’, however, it’s incredibly rare for a title to be built from the ground up, laser-focused on the notion of being the ol’ ‘u’ word. Indie puzzler Gorogoa is one such game — it really is an authentically unique experience from top to bottom.

Designed, developed and illustrated by Jason Roberts, Gorogoa is an achingly beautiful hand-drawn set of wordless brain-teasers that tasks players with interacting with four images on a tile-based grid, in their bid to solve mysterious, oblique puzzles. Clicking on some parts of the tiles zooms in your perspective, some tiles can be stacked one on top of another, while others can even be combined together. Manipulating the various panels creates new pictures, which ultimately progresses the game’s minimalist narrative and moves players onto the next riddle-esque conundrum.

In regards to the core puzzles, going into too much detail would fall into spoiler territory (the less you know about them, the more impactful they will inevitably be). So, with that in mind, I’ll try to paint with broad brush-strokes to give you a flavour of what to expect.

gorogoa 2

For the most part, many of the puzzles require a degree of trial-and-error to begin figuring out what the game wants you to do. Thankfully, there are subtle environmental clues scattered throughout the game’s gorgeous artistic design, which helps steer players in the right direction without feeling like the game is playing itself. Further still, much of the artwork interconnects in consistently surprising ways, a little like an interactive MC Escher lithograph.

The title’s gorgeous art feels like it’s been plucked directly from semi-surreal dreamscapes, and it’s jaw-dropping how these images often fold back in on one another, resulting in a few head-scratching feelings of deja vous. Trying to join the game’s opaque dots can be a challenge, but once it clicks, these ingenious junctures lead to some of the most satisfying, creative and memorable “eureka” moments I’ve had in a puzzle game this year. No small feat.

That said, there were a few moments that did wile away my patience. As is the nature of puzzle experiences like these, there were a few points where I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to progress. Maybe this issue is on me (I’m by no means a puzzle savant), but some kind of optional help system could have benefited the game, particularly in some of the multifaceted puzzles that crop up in the game’s latter half. Admittedly, it’s a tough balancing act to nail - accessibility vs challenge - and for the majority of the time, Gorogoa is pitched just right.

gorogoa 3

It’s worth noting that Gorogoa is a fairly short game, clocking in at around the three hour mark. It’s a lean experience that isn’t weighed down by any filler; every aspect of each puzzle has been meticulously designed, and thankfully it’s consistently imaginative and mind-bendingly rewarding. There’s not a moment in the game that feels superfluous.

Gorogoa is a tremendously designed puzzle experience that rewards creative, out-of-the-box thinking. Though there were a few, rare moments where frustration blemished the ride, the game is so authentically unique, beautifully illustrated and wonderfully scored, that it’s impossible to not be enamoured by its potent, singular vision.

8.50/10 8½

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Gorogoa is a tremendously designed puzzle experience that rewards creative, out-of-the-box thinking. Though there were a few, rare moments where frustration blemished the ride, the game is so authentically unique, beautifully illustrated and wonderfully scored, that it’s impossible to not be enamoured by its potent, singular vision.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Chaundy

Dylan Chaundy

Staff Writer

Lover of horror, RPGs and FPSs. The weirder, the better is his general rule of thumb. He's patiently waiting for PixelJunk Monsters 2.

Share this:

Want to read more like this? Join the newsletter…

COMMENTS