Gorogoa

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Gorogoa App Poster Image
Artistic mind-bender gives puzzle-solving moments of Zen.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Moving and layering pieces together is a smooth and natural process. Despite the lack of any tutorial, gameplay feels intuitive. It's a short experience, and overall difficulty depends solely on player's observation and attention to detail.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gorogoa is a puzzle game available for download on iOS and Android devices. Players examine a series of hand-drawn art panels, zooming in and layering them in particular ways so that they interact with one another, and progress to the next challenge. The game relies on the intuition and deduction of the player, with very little help to guide players along through the journey. There's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.

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What's it about?

GOROGOA is, simply put, a game about a journey. The story, told through hand-drawn panels, follows a young boy as he travels through an artistic world, uncovering the secrets of shared relationships and unlocking the keys to hold back a mysterious force looming close by. Players take part in this journey by examining the panels of artwork, looking through the details in each to figure out ways that elements of one might affect the environment of another. A door from one panel may open a path in another. The light of a distant star may light a nearby candle. It's a surreal quest through an elegant, painted landscape, challenging players' intuition and attention to detail.

Is it any good?

This pleasant puzzle game is really more about your experience as you explore its world than how you play through this game. Gorogoa's story is an odd sort of abstract, almost spiritual, journey that's difficult to explain. The best way to deal with it is to not spend too much thought trying to understand it, but rather to be in each moment as it occurs. Those moments are best spent zooming in and out, interacting with, and studying the details of the pictures, not just for the clues they hold, but also out of admiration for genuine works of art. Sorting out how the different panels are meant to work together can be a bit of a mind-bender, but the challenge never rises to the point of frustration. And while Gorogoa is admittedly a bit on the short side, completing it leaves you genuinely satisfied, not only with your abilities, but with your state of mind as well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about life skills like critical thinking. How can puzzle games help players develop their observation and problem-solving skills?

  • What defines art to you? How can art evoke emotion? What are some positive artistic outlets for young kids?

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For kids who love art

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