Ever since its popular debut demo back in 2012, the indie gaming community has been awaiting the official release of Gorogoa for almost five years.
Now that it's here, I can confidently say that Gorogoa lives up to its hype 100 percent. Between the creative and unique puzzle designs, the beautiful simplicity of the narrative, and the breathtaking artistic direction, Gorogoa is a phenomenal work of art that inspires as much as it impresses.
Story: A simple, but satisfying adventure
Unlike many games that have released recently, Gorogoa opts to tell its players a straightforward story. The premise is simple: a boy sees a mysterious creature fly outside of his window and past nearby buildings. Wishing to see the being again, the boy attempts to follow it.
This idea is uncomplicated, but that doesn't make it uninteresting. In fact, the narrative's best aspect comes from the fact that the grand adventures the boy comes to experience stem from nothing more than human curiosity and the drive to seize the day.
It's a pleasant, charming and thoughtful story that touches upon the idea of achieving your goals by being tenacious and passionate.
Gameplay: Ambitious design, flawless execution
The style of puzzle solving found within Gorogoa is unlike anything I've ever seen before in a video game. You are presented with four panels, each showing a different image. In order to progress forward in the game, you have to find ways to connect the panels.
To do this, you can zoom in the images, move them around, and even move one panel onto the other in order to transfer objects between them. For example, if the boy wants to go the roof of a building from a lower floor, you'll need to zoom in on the panel that has a visible elevator on the roof and move the elevator over to the panel where the boy is. Then, when the boy gets in, you move the elevator back to the roof.
This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you're trying to make an apple fall into a basket or attempting to find a way to create a doorway through a wall, there's a myriad of creative ways that you complete the game by using what's presented to you within the panels.
Like the story, this idea is simple. However, the various creative ways that Gorogoa uses these mechanics in order to challenge your skills as a puzzle-solver are wonderfully complex. The only thing that I can criticize is the occasional frame rate hitch, and even then, these are few and far between.
Art: Gorgeous imagery that enhances the experience
In a point-and-click game like this, visuals are important because of how much time you're spending looking at the world presented to you. Thankfully, Gorogoa creator Jason Roberts delivers in this department phenomenally.
Creating thousands upon thousands of hand-drawn pictures, Roberts creates an appealing aesthetic that suits the simple nature of the story and gameplay perfectly.
The attention to detail is simply astounding. As good as the rest of the game is, the promise of seeing more of Roberts' artwork is enough reason to play the game alone. It's truly inspiring to see that someone like Roberts creating something so amazing and enjoyable just by doing what he loves: making drawings.
Gorogoa is the perfect mix of story, gameplay, and aesthetic that all come together in order to form a truly beautiful experience. Between the simple but charming narrative, the creative and satisfying puzzle design, and the breathtaking hand-drawn artwork, Gorogoa is a wonderful puzzle game that will amaze all who choose to play it.
- Simple, yet charming story.
- Clever and unique puzzles.
- Gorgeous art design.
- Extremely rare hiccups in framerate
Gorogoa will be available December 14 on Steam for $14.99.
This review was conducted on a PC, using a copy provided by the publisher.
Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.
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