iOS Universal, PC, Switch •
Every now and then you’ll see a screenshot for a game and realize you need to buy it even without knowing what the hell the game is about. I do this with board games all the time, and have shelves of games with gorgeous art that I never play because they’re dull as sin or just not something I could ever introduce to my game group. Gorogoa was released earlier this week and the screenshots are incredible–even the icon is cool as hell–so I immediately jumped on it. Would Gorogoa sit on a virtual shelf, unplayed, or would the gameplay match the visuals?
Gorogoa is a puzzle game and the gameplay is simple: there are four squares that you slide about and that’s it. It’s like one of those sliding tile puzzles where you need to unjumble the pieces to make an image. The difference in Gorogoa is each of the four panes is a different scene and part of the story you’ve fallen into. You can zoom in or swipe on individual scenes to change your vantage point and, most importantly, reveal transparent sections of each image that can overlap other images, making something new.
I just reread that paragraph and it sounds like a hot mess, which is kind of what playing Gorogoa feels like. You’re not sure what you’re supposed to do, but once you figure out the first little puzzle where a window that was in one image now frames something else in another, you’ll be hooked. It’s an incredibly hard game to describe because I’ve never played anything like it before, and that’s not hyperbole. It’s truly unique. It’s also very difficult and I find that I’m getting farther via just experimenting rather than using logic to figure anything out. This could be the way the developer intended it to be played, or it could be a sign that I’m very dumb. Jury’s out.
After playing until way too late last night, I can’t recommend Gorogoa enough. The artwork, animation, and coding were all done by one guy who had a dream to make this game and succeeded. If you read the story behind the game, it’s quite inspirational to those of us who try to make things and keep failing. Watch the trailer to get an idea of what I’m talking about, but then head to the App Store and pick it up. It’s that cool.