Games are art. Many people struggle to accept this. Thing would instantly change, though, if they gave Gorogoa a try. They should. Everybody should.
Gorogoa is a truly innovative and amazing puzzle adventure game. Designed, developed and illustrated by Jason Roberts who spent 7 years working on this project, Gorogoa is obviously a child of passion and dedication. And, as I said already, a true work of art.
Your adventure begins like any good book: offering you just enough to lure you in and keep you glued to the screen and giving you treats little by little along the way, preparing you for the amazing climax.
You start as a little boy who sees what appears to be a mysterious, out of this world creature and he decides to investigate a bit. From here on, everything you knew or thought you knew about playing computer or mobile games changes. You’ll jump into various fantasy worlds, with intertwining storylines and images, as well as multiple characters working together, reading about each other, thinking about each other, but not knowing that they’re actually interacting.
It’s difficult to explain what Gorogoa is all about without placing a mobile phone in front of you and encouraging you to start playing.
There’s no tutorial. No introductory video. You just start playing, wondering what to do next. And your instincts will guide you through the entire process. Not necessarily logic, experience or anything else. Pure instinct and the drive to complete this story and find out how it ends, adventure every bit of the way.
But to be honest, I personally played more because I was curious to see what sorts of innovative combinations the game will throw at me, rather than where the story goes. I rarely played a game with such a good story as Gorogoa’s that still manages to make the gameplay seem even more important.
Because, you see, Gorogoa is played like no game before it. The screen is divided into 4 squares and each of them can hold an image. The hand-painted image can be interacted with, but you can also move it around, connecting it to the other images or placing it on top of other images, making them work together.
The concept is simple, yet charming. I’ve never seen that done before and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t get enough of it, actually, even though at times I ended up a bit frustrated because it wasn’t clear what the game wanted me to do. But eventually, I pulled through and kept on going. I would’ve felt much better without the frustration element, but that’s part of the challenge too: finding the connections between the tiles on the screen and discovering what makes them work together.
The game wouldn’t have been as charming as it is without the hand drawn art of Jason Roberts. Eerie yet beautiful, simple yet complex and elegant, the graphics are relaxing, lovely and utterly perfect. They go hand in hand with the simple, yet peaceful music that acts as the perfect background noise your brain’s wheels require to keep on running, trying to figure out your next move.
Gorogoa is clearly a game unlike anything you have played before. I don’t think that anybody giving it a try wouldn’t fall in love with it immediately and let a sort of a playful curiosity take over and keep them in front of the screen, playing all the way to the end.
This is a short game indeed: you can easily complete it in one go without wasting your night, but there’s more than length that makes a game a success and Gorogoa is, once again, proof of that. I never felt that the developer offered too little for the money, nor that the adventure itself should’ve been longer. Nothing is rushed here and everything happens exactly when and how it should happen. And strangely, it’s always surprising!
By all means, take some time away from anything you’re doing right now, get a hot chocolate instead and play Gorogoa. It’s a unique experience you don’t want to miss!
Gorogoa can be downloaded on the App Store.