Gorogoa, a puzzle game seven years in the making, was released quietly last week. Despite the lack of fanfare, it’s made a critical splash, even elbowing its way into our list of the top 50 games of the year. It is singular in its vision and its gameplay, and the best way to experience it may actually be on mobile.
Gorogoa is, of course, available across multiple platforms including Steam. But when it dropped I was out and about, so I bought it on my phone. It’s become an obsession of a sort, a delicious drink that I’ve been sipping at all week as not to waste it.
Players must navigate a series of layered images, moving and manipulating them in unusual ways to progress the story. A circle drawn on a page becomes a door when overlaid on top a matching frame, and items and characters are allowed to move between worlds when those connections are made. It trades in fantastical creatures, multiple dimensions and gobsmackingly gorgeous art almost casually. But on mobile, you can actually play it with one hand. In fact, holding your phone in the traditional way you can even double tap one of the frames to blow it up for closer inspection. I’m not sure I’ve played a game so compelling and so engrossing with only my thumb before.
With luck, I’ll be able to draw out the experience through the holidays to help get me through the down time traveling to the in-laws. After that, here’s hoping I don’t have to wait another seven years for Gorogoa 2.