This is a screenshot of the video game Gorogoa, featuring four images. The image in the upper left is of a green eye surrounded by geometric patterns of various colors. The image in the bottom left is of a blue bowl and a white apple, both being held by white hands, in front of a statue. The image in the lower right is of a mechanism featuring a series of valves, two of which are surrounded by small wooden shacks. The image in the upper right is of a tree branch with leaves in the foreground, and buildings in the background.

Gorogoa Review

Genre | Puzzle, Art
Developer | Jason Roberts
Platforms | PC, OSX
Website | gorogoa.com/

Gorogoa is a puzzle game designed and illustrated by Jason Roberts, where the player arranges tiles on a grid to progress through the story. The player is trying to help a boy with a bowl collect fruity offerings to put into his bowl for a big, colorful god. The game does not make clear what “Gorogoa” is eponymous for.

The grid the game is played on is four-by-four, and as such there are up to four tiles the player can click on and rearrange on the grid. Each tile has a image inside it that works like a portal into a particular area of the game world. The images are clickable and sometimes trigger animations. Organizing the tiles in the right way will also trigger animations and solve puzzles, moving the story from one point to the next. Sometimes tiles fit on top of each other, combining to make a new tile. Sometimes they fit next to each other. There are zero guns in Gorogoa.

To play Gorogoa, the player must figure out how tiles fit together by looking at the images inside the tiles and deducing which tiles might combine to make new ones. Solving a puzzle is a matter of matching different shapes or patterns, like squares and circles. The game also demands the player employ almighty logic to figure out what is missing from a specific scene in the story (e.g., needing a coin to ride on a cable car). The game also sometimes requires color matching. There are many colors to match in Gorogoa.

The graphics in Gorogoa are all hand-drawn in style, not next-gen in style. A person illustrated these tiles and added them into the game. There are many sounds in Gorogoa, such as city sounds (like cars honking) and nature sounds (like birds tweeting). There’s also a sound effect for a leaky pipe in Gorogoa. The boy with the bowl does not have very many sounds. He is mostly silent, like many silent protagonists in video games, many of whom are also boys (and most of whom don’t have bowls). There is sometimes music that’s not part of the environment, implemented in certain situations to add dramatic effect.

Gorogoa contains references to religion, spirituality and the environment. There is also a lot of natural and urban imagery in the game. Gorogoa asks the player to solve puzzles by intuiting how the world fits together. This game does not tell the player explicitly what to do or where to go next, leaving the player to figure it out by reading hints in the environment. Gorogoa is not done yet. It is a work-in-progress and the demo can be downloaded for free. It currently ends on a cliffhanger.

This is a score for an objective game review. The score is an 8.5 out of 10.