This article is a quick review of the game Gorogoa. This game is available on Epic Games and the link to it is at the end of this post.
If you ever feel yourself in the mood for some mental gymnastics this is the game for you. It’s inspiring you to think outside not only one but four boxes. Still not impressed? At its core, Gorogoa is about linking and fitting things together. If you haven’t played it yourself the four tiles that hold the images might look painfully restrictive.
Surely, the range of possibilities of moving those images around is so low that you stumble over solutions just by clicking around.
And so, by just clicking around you find unexpected solutions. This makes you realize that you’re not just reconstructing panels in a comic strip. You’re playing with time and space in multiple dimensions all in an effort to help a boy collect orbs to stop a mythical beast from devouring the world. Yep, you heard that one right.
Plot-wise, this harmless-looking game is about the apocalypse surprise. At least that’s what I made out of the wordless story. Do you disagree? Feel free to tell me your interpretation in the comments.
Unlike the most end of the world scenarios, this one is almost peaceful, dark, and sad in some moments but never violent. The cruelest thing you come across other riddles figuring out how to get this Apple to drop for example.
Even if it doesn’t look difficult at first glance, Gorogoa will make you jump through imaginary hoops over and over again. It’s such a brilliant little puzzle game.
Once you figure out a particularly difficult sequence, you might have the urge to facepalm yourself because everything suddenly seems so obvious. I know, I certainly felt that way once or twice or ten times. The first time I was asked to turn on the light it took me ages to figure out that this lamp was meant to be powered by a freaking star.
Sometimes it will scratch your head for what feels like hours. The madman behind this game really did a good job walking the tightrope between logical thinking and well. Here’s one example. How can you not realize that these stairs will move this flower wheel which will, in turn, move this ceramic plate?
The overall art style honestly reminds me of the illustrations in my school books. Not the best memory when I’m trying to relax. Thankfully, the individual pictures are chock full of details and really nice to look at.
Developer Jason Roberts through each frame by hand coloring and lighting it before adding the outlines he spent a lot of time on pictures that sadly never made it into the game. With Gorogoa being a unique and new concept he didn’t have other projects to reference learning by doing the age-old problem of pioneers he was forced to come up with bridges between plot points which often ended up being some of the best puzzles.
My personal favorite was the riddle surrounding the clock tower. It wasn’t extremely difficult but it stood out to me because I told one finished little story a guy waiting for the right time to watch this special star with his telescope wishing the time would go by faster you helped him with that tricking compass needles and playing with fire, in the end, he just sits there enjoying the view and it simply made me smile.
Gorogoa is weird and magical a unicum and a triumph of the less-is-more philosophy in game design both mechanically and narratively.
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