Critical Play: Puzzles

I played the puzzle Goragoa and I found it incredibly innovative. The mechanics involved were indeed puzzle-like, but this game utilized its digital nature to innovate beyond the traditional definition of a puzzle to create a gameplay that was unlike anything I’ve seen before, and a story that is rich in both its substance and the way it is told. 


The game operates on a four-square grid. Throughout the game, there are around 2-3 squares in the grid that the player is working with. These pieces can be dragged to any other square position on the grid, just as one would move a puzzle piece. Additionally, like a puzzle, each square works together somehow. However, in this game, rather than making meaning in the physical space of the pieces as in a traditional puzzle, the meaning is made through the interactions between objects within the puzzle pieces. Each piece is animated, so the player may zoom in, zoom out, move left and right within each piece. The player will notice certain objects between pieces that are similar in shape or color, and will need to overlap the pieces in order to match them and create a new piece on the grid. It is within these animated puzzle pieces in which the story of the game is told. 


I believe this mechanic of taking the familiar moving puzzle piece action and making it unfamiliar in the context of animated puzzle pieces makes this game incredibly unique and touching. The experience of the game and piecing together the story, then, is not only mysterious and thought-provoking, it is also fundamentally interactive. On top of this, the graphics are absolutely beautiful and full of personality. I am glad I got the opportunity to play this game.

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