Even after a second playthrough of Gorogoa it is still hard to describe what makes this puzzler so unique. The mechanics of Gorogoa’s puzzles actually justify the existence of video games. All puzzles are multi-layered and animation-infused. Everything in Gorogoa is hand-drawn and describes a tragic story with a perfect solemn soundtrack. This is the type of game I would show to people that have never experienced a video game.
The game starts without any tutorial and without directly telling you what to do. It tricks you into thinking it is just a point and click adventure. You only notice that you are supposed to interact once nothing else happens. A descrete grey circle appears on one item that makes you aware of interaction. You notice very fast that there are up to 4 tiles on the screen. Some tiles have depth and can be splitted by into mutliple elements. Some tiles overlap, other tiles have animations and finally tiles interact depending on their position. The puzzles are simply mindblowing. I have yet to see another game that tries the same sort of puzzles.
Everything in the game is hand-drawn and animations look like they used to look when animated cartoons where still made by hand. The color palette is grey-green for the backstory and colorful when it comes to elements of the puzzles. It is very lovely to look at. The art style is consistent. The soundtrack is mostly there to carry the mood of the game; I would call a rather sad solemn. It fits the mood of the game but it does not stand out particularly.
The story that is embedded in the puzzles left me quite sad. But it also encouraged me to think about what I have seen. That is why the second playthrough was in order. The game length is something between 60 and 90 minutes depending on how well you do with the puzzles.
Gorogoa is the best mind-bending puzzler I have played so far. I wholeheartedly give it a thumbs up for Indie game and puzzler fans.
20 years of coding and working as software engineer but I am still eager to learn more. I am very passionate when it comes to open source, Linux and Java. But I made my peace with Windows long ago to fully enjoy my PC gaming hobby. I have a soft spot for 90s electronic music and Babylon 5. In the evenings you will find me roaming the endless space in Warframe (IGN k05h).