Windows 2013: Gorogoa

the more I think about it the more I realise the Terry Gilliam comparison I made was nonsense

If Terry Gilliam was a bit more of a softie and made videogames, they probably wouldn’t sell very well and would be increasingly disappointing as he got older. They might also look a bit like Jason Roberts’ Gorogoa, a rather pretty, painterly take on the middleground between room escape games and point and click adventures.

The only thing trickier than describing Gorogoa, which scooped up the visual design award at this year’s IndieCade, is playing it. I am currently stuck, but am okay with that as getting stuck in games has become a vanishingly rare experience these days. Kids today, etc. Puzzles – though the entire game appears to be one, elaborate, inter-liked puzzle, entail moving around four ‘squares’ into which the game’s world is divided, layering them on top of, next to and within each other to open up new sequences.

Like Samorost, It is very much lateral thinking rather than conventional logic, and the air of feyness will not appeal to all, but there’s a rewarding fluidity when sequences are hit upon, as multiple squares combine into a series of events and the pay-off of a charming new hand-drawn scene.

Gorogoa isn’t out yet (and won’t be until late next year_, but there is a free demo to poke at. I’ve not done a great job of describing that, but once again maybe that’s a blessing in disguise – it’s the act of discovery that makes Gorogoa such a pleasure.


  1. FlammableD says:

    I saw that X-Com diary part 3 in my RSS feed Meer. Give it back!

  2. DrGonzo says:

    I really liked Tideland! I actually think his modern films are pretty good. But maybe its just because I can’t stand the picture and sound quality in the old ones any more!

    • leafdot says:

      Agreed, re: Tideland. I think it’s right up there with Gilliam’s best work. Hard to get other people to watch it, though…

      • kochambra says:

        Actually, I see Tideland as the high point of Gilliam’s career. Not only it’s as creative and daring as anything he’s ever done; he also takes his usual dreamer protagonist archetype to its ultimate conclusion, showing the dark side of that dream. It’s beautiful to see an artist take the foundations of his whole career as far as they can go, way past the breaking point; but it must be hard to go on after making such a film. No wonder the dreams in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus were either glittery and obviously fake, or rather old and battered.
        The only film in Gilliams’s later career that I consider a disappointment is Brothers Grimm; not only because of the producer’s obvious meddling, it also felt like he was just treading old ground. Something he hasn’t done in any other of his recent films.

        • Luftmensch says:

          I’m so glad to see this much agreement here, because with the first sentence I immediately jumped up and said “Tideland was an excellent film! And Dr. Parnassus was pretty good too!”

          The only thing I have to say about Brothers Grimm is, I enjoyed it well enough, but it certainly wasn’t his best work and his heart wasn’t in it like his other projects. Fun fact, Tideland’s entire production phase took place in the time between the time Gilliam did his last cut for Brother’s Grimm and its theatrical release. Very small and tidy production.

    • malkav11 says:

      I found Tideland’s pacing to be supremely problematic, but it’s a gorgeous movie.

      • kochambra says:

        Gilliam has never cared much for “standard movie pacing”, so to speak. He proved he could do it pretty well when he tried his hand at directing other people’s scripts (Fisher King and specially 12 Monkeys), but he hasn’t looked back since then.

  3. elfbarf says:

    That was pretty neat; I’ll have to follow this one.

  4. Metalfish says:

    Thanks for the heads up, RPS, that was quite lovely.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    Played through this twice today. I feel like paying him twice already for the full version.

  6. Seraph says:

    The demo is definitely a special experience, but I don’t really see how it’s unique kind of gameplay can be stretched much further than the 1 hour mark. 5 fruits is indeed probably exactly how long the game can stay fresh and exciting, and you get up to 3 in the demo. Needless to say, I eagerly look forward to being proven wrong.