It is not every day that you come across a puzzle game that is not only unique, it also offers cleverly designed puzzles and contains gorgeous art style. Gorogoa is one of the rare gems that fits this criteria for a puzzle game and while it can be a fairly short experience, especially if you are able to figure out most of the puzzles without help, it is still worth playing just because there is currently no game on the market that can provide the same kind of experience.
Gorogoa is all about moving and placing a set of panels containing illustrations one after another. The story starts with the introduction to a small boy who spots a weird creature outside his home through a window. He decides to collect a set of colored jewels and this journey will take him through countless different locations while you will be the guide for him. Your task is to guide the boy through the many obstacles that he encounters be carefully placing the image panels so that he can move from one location to the next.
These panels look like simple storyboards but can prove to be fairly challenging to figure out. However the best part of a puzzle is arguably its solution and I really enjoyed it when I was able to understand and solve a difficult puzzle without having to resort to any help. It might seem impossible at times and you might get stuck at a puzzle, but give it some time, come back after a while, and you will see something new that you missed the first time. Gorogoa is a game that works best when played without any knowledge.
The puzzles are solved by using a variety of combinations. You can line up multiple panels either horizontally or vertically to progress to let the boy move to a different location, or to attach two images like a cog in the machine. You can also place an image panel on each other to get various effects. Trying to figure out the cardboard cutout in each panel, while also figuring out the exact place to place them, it is the essence of Gorogoa. This is something that will be cleverly utilized in the very last puzzle just when you think it is game over.
Image panels can also be zoomed in and even scrolled in different directions to get the desired illustration from them. The game also utilizes perspective based puzzles which require you to zoom in and out. Some of these were so good that I was surprised when I figured it out, however explaining them here will spoil the experience of figuring them out on your own.
Despite having such outstanding puzzles, there was one aspect of Gorogoa which felt like it was a little disappointing. This is the narrative or essentially the story of the game, which feels like it is just there for the sake of solving puzzles. The boy that you start controlling at the beginning of story will be finally able to see the so called ‘creature’ at the end of the game, and that’s it. Perhaps, there was more to the story than just simple pictures and maybe I missed it all because I wasn’t paying attention, but regardless, the game is still a great experience.
I played the game on the Nintendo Switch where it seems to have worked fine. I had a few glitches when one of the image panel just disappeared and required me to restart the game, but that was it. The developers have also implemented touch screen functionality and this is the best way to play the game. Remove the Joy Con and play it using the touch controls in the Tablet mode for the best experience.
Gorogoa is a great puzzle game, but one that is also a little too short. I might not be able to remember the time spent but if I had to give an estimate of it, it can take you between 3 to 4 hours to finish it in one go, depending on how long it can take you to figure out and solve the puzzles.
Gorogoa Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Gorogoa is a puzzle video game developed by Jason Roberts and published by Annapurna Interactive. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and iOS on 14 December 2017.
Gorogoa is essentially an experience that might be short, but it is full of surprises at every corner as you manage to figure out some of the more complicated puzzles.