The original Framed showed how to take an idea and create a compelling game around it. It felt unlike anything you’d played before, with its mixture of action and comic-panel swapping. Gorogoa is definitely hewn from the same rock, but it takes things in an intriguingly different direction.
The images you’re playing around with here don’t just need to be put in the right place, you need to zoom in, dissect them, then stitch them back together in the right way to push the narrative on. And quite frankly it’s a little bit wonderful.
This is a game that’s fit to bursting with ideas, and it’s all wrapped up with a narrative that makes solving the puzzles feel like something you have to do. Gorogoa is the sort of game you’re going to sit down and play until the end, and that’s pretty darn special.
To give you an idea of the sort of thing you’re going to be doing in the game, it’s probably best to share an example. In one scene you connect two shelves from different images together. You need to get something from one of the shelves onto the other one.
Once you’ve worked that out, you need to change the weights of the items that are balancing the shelf. You’ll zoom in and out a few times, switch frames around, and eventually find that you can add a pile of stones to one end of the shelf.
And the game expands even further from there. You’re not just swapping pictures around so the hero can walk from one of them to the next in safety, you’re taking images of stars from books and using them to light lanterns. You’re dropping stones from a box in one world, letting them fall through two different worlds, and then positioning a bell jar with a butterfly in it underneath them.
Gorogoa is full of wonderful eureka moments. This is a game that doesn’t hold your hand, but at the sam time gives you everything you need to work things out for yourself. That’s wonderfully refreshing, and even when things get more difficult, there’s a solid, if slightly twisted, logic underpinning the whole thing.
And on top of that the game looks incredible. All watercolours and beautiful vistas. From the mandala on a moths wing to the stitching on a pillow, everything here means something. And, perhaps more importantly, everything here is trying to tell you something.
This is one of those rare times when a game simply wouldn’t work on any platform other than mobile. Gorogoa is a tactile experience, one that demands to be poked and explored. And you’re going to have a brilliant time doing just that.