Review

Gorogoa Review

  • First Released Dec 14, 2017
    released
  • PC
  • NS
Jason D'Aprile on Google+

Manipulate works of art to twist reality.

Few games take the concept of altering reality to as artistic a level as Gorogoa. This labor of love made chiefly by one developer is a gorgeous and intriguing puzzle game that works because of its stunning art and intelligent puzzle design. Far from a traditional game, Gorogoa is a slow and methodical trip into the surreal.

Gorogoa is a compact game with a minimalist design that works exceptionally well. The entire story of two young men researching the lore of gods and monsters in their world is told through the striking visuals and musical score. The focus of the game as a whole is on the puzzle mechanics, which are more than up to the task of making this two-to-three-hour excursion worth taking.

A simplified version of classic point and click adventure games, you tap on interactive elements within Gorogoa's artwork to trigger a mini-event. There are four panels on the main screen, each of which can hold a square-shaped picture. You can slide any picture into any of the panels and many of the puzzles require manipulating the pictures so they connect with each other.

Tapping on specific areas in a picture will usually zoom in on that element, and often if the element is a window or door, it will zoom right into a new location. Using beautifully detailed pictures, Gorogoa creates puzzles that work by altering the perception of the game’s own reality. Sometimes, for instance, a lamp in one picture is dark and you’ll have to find a lightsource within one of the other pictures.

To do this, you’ll have to find something glowing within another image, zoom in on the light source and then the lamp, and then move the circular hole of the lamp over the lightsource. This combines the two images to create something new. It also alters the remaining image(s) and usually leads to completely new paintings to explore.

Using simple touch controls, Gorogoa unveils surprisingly layered puzzles that can be confounding but that never feel illogical. It can be a challenge to figure out how all the images you’re provided at any given time interact with one another, but once you do, it all makes sense. Nothing feels random or contrived, which was a significant issue in classic adventure games.

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This sense of order to the game’s world also leads to a palpable sense of accomplishment when you sort everything out. The first few puzzles ease you into the mechanics of Gorogoa, then the game throws you into an incredibly complex maze of clockwork-like machinations that require manipulating multiple panels in quick succession. The idea of moving a falling object from one aspect of a picture down into others in order to cause something to break is genius and extremely satisfying when you get it right.

The art is stunning, the atmosphere fascinating, and the puzzles are incredibly devious and clever. Gorogoa might not be a long game, but it is easily one of the most engaging puzzle games in recent memory.

Jason D'Aprile on Google+
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The Good
Beautiful visuals and a haunting score
Exceedingly clever puzzles that are challenging without being illogical
Fascinating art direction illustrates an intriguing story
The Bad
Very short
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Jason played through Gorogoa on Nintendo Switch using a complimentary copy of the game provided by Annapurna Interactive. GameSpot provided additional testing on PC.
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Avatar image for teppolundgren
teppolundgren

PS4 version. NOW!

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

There are people who are getting tripped out over how the player is practically bending reality to get some character or some thing over to somewhere else or some other thing.

After having played puzzle games where the player character is practically a disembodied guardian angel that does things that the player character can't, e.g. the Samorost games and Lilly Looking Through, I would be quite familiar with this surreality.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I saw a few minutes of this game and it reminded me of that indie game years ago about helping a bunch of monsters get home by switching panels and such (or was it about getting them through doors and stuff?).

I cannot remember the name of that game. I remember that it was on Xbox Live Indie and Maxwell McGee showed it.

Avatar image for iloveyourface
iloveyourface

reminds me of the early/mid 90s era of pc gaming using less streamlined engines and each had a different feel for better or worse. looks like a game that would've been bundled with a hewlett packard or at&t 486dx2 my goodness i need to try this game.

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Pyrosa

@iloveyourface: You had me at 486 DX2. Throw in a Sound Blaster and a Diamond Stealth and we can rock some Quake.

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AzureBonds76

@Pyrosa: Tandy 386 checking in. Hold up, I have to hang up so I can connect to my local BBS with my leet 14.4 modem.

(whining-staticy-sounds ensue)

Avatar image for DantheMan9856
DantheMan9856

got it when it came out after seeing a new puzzle game with a good rating. Game is short, but definitely different and it will make you scratch your head several times.

Avatar image for ibonedyourmom
ibonedyourmom

I dozed off just thinking about playing this.

Avatar image for Itzsfo0
Itzsfo0

looks cool, beautiful

Avatar image for csward
csward

Not sure I would call those visuals beautiful...I'd probably call them plain, boring, ect. To each their own.

Avatar image for 4_passing_sites
4_passing_sites

@csward: The visuals are all hand drawn. The amount of skill, talent and effort required for this is what makes it beautiful. Moreover, the pics above do little justice to some of the more elaborate designs and animations. Trust me, beautiful is an understatement here.

Avatar image for xantufrog
xantufrog

Looks great

Moderator
Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

Such a good concept, getting on switch asap

Gorogoa More Info

Follow
  • First Released Dec 14, 2017
    released
    • Android
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • + 5 more
    • Macintosh
    • Nintendo Switch
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    Gorogoa is a beautifully hand-illustrated story suspended inside a puzzle with a completely unique mechanic. The user moves panels around on a grid as though arranging framed drawings on a wall. But the scene within each drawing is alive, and may be navigated as though it were a 3D space. When two drawings are correctly stacked or aligned, they fuse together miraculously to form a new scene. It's a process that is elegantly simple and yet astonishing to see.
    7.7
    Average Rating8 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Gorogoa
    Developed by:
    Jason Roberts, Buried Signal
    Published by:
    Annapurna Interactive, Jason Roberts, iam8bit
    Genre(s):
    Puzzle
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    No Descriptors