Gorogoa is a puzzle game unlike any that has ever graced video games—as far as I know. The entirety of the game plays out in four boxes lined up in a comic book-like grid. Hand drawn images in each can be zoomed into, moved, stacked, and combined to solve puzzles allowing the story to advance.
Think of it less like a sliding box puzzle and more like ripping pages out of a picture book only to find out that when combined, they make one huge intertwined picture. The presentation is mind-blowing, but simple. None of the puzzles are all that difficult to anyone that can spot similarities between images. I’d say Gorogoa is a smidgen harder than a hidden picture book but can sometimes feel like picking up the round peg to put in the round hole; that is to say ‘a no-brainer.’
While visually Gorogoa is impressive, it is held back in other areas. There isn’t much music aside from some ambient sounds, which can make for some really dull moments when stuck on one of the more difficult puzzles. Playing with a controller means moving a cursor around the screen to click on points of interest, which feels like it lags a bit, while touchscreen feels more intuitive. That said, I’m a bit paranoid about possibly scratching my Switch’s screen, so I dealt with the not-ideal cursor control.
I ran into a rather nasty bug while playing that prevented me from being able to progress, which I only realized after I had pulled up a guide to see if I was overlooking something. Turns out if you mash the B button to zoom out from an image while a video is playing in another image, it will sometimes turn the video into a blank white box, thus preventing progression. Exiting the game will then load the incorrect images there meaning the only way to continue was to restart that section.
Thankfully the game offers checkpoints after each section, so it wasn’t too much of a headache, but a very inconvenient one considering this is a puzzle game and for about half an hour I thought I was just a dummy not seeing the solution at hand.
One thing that will surely turn off some potential buyers is the game’s length. My first playthrough took maybe close to 2 hours, but the game can be completed under 30 minutes—which wouldn’t be hard to do on a second playthrough. As there are no collectibles or secrets from what I can tell, there really isn’t a reason to replay this. It is kind of a one and done experience, which may be a bit steep for some at $17 CAD.
Gorogoa may be a short puzzle game that isn’t all that difficult, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in creativity and originality. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game like Gorogoa, a game that I can say with authority is without a doubt, 100 per cent art.
A retail version of the game reviewed was provided by the publisher. You can find additional information about CGMagazine’s ethics and review policies and procedures here.