michael puskas

Gorogoa and Meaning in games

I’ll skip an introduction to the game since there’s plenty of that around. Watch a video or read the opening paragraph to any review (or play it, it’s short), then we can talk about it.


I spent 95 minutes with Gorogoa, during which I was thoroughly delighted, but not-at-all affected. While there’s nothing wrong with delightful experiences, games are capable of much more, which leaves games such as this (which have high potential to push the medium forward, yet fall short) incredibly frustrating.


Here’s where I’ll beat the drum as I always do: games are unique because of their ability to facilitate the practicing of skills. You can tell stories in them, but if that’s your entire goal, then you aren’t taking advantage of the medium (regardless of how many neat puzzles you include). Games become transcendent when their stories and practiced skills work together in a way that allows you to become a better person. I don’t just mean morally either, I mean more knowledgeable, or even more psychologically healthy.


Gorogoa looks like it has something to say, but it doesn’t say it. It feels like it has something to teach, but it doesn’t teach it. I can feel the touch of the game’s creators in every corner of the game, and I’m sure that there are plenty of ways in which they could help me grow, but they stop short of doing so.


If we’re trying to push the medium forward, then we need games that offer meaningful experiences, not just delightful ones that hint at more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Andrew says:

    Gorogoa had a lot to say. It just wasn’t spoon fed to you as so many other games do.

© Michael Puskas, 2016. All rights reserved.