Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive. 2018. iOS, requires 9.0 or later. Version 1.1.0. $4.99. Other platform prices top at $14.99.
Gr 4 Up—Gorogoa is a beautiful puzzle box of a game. Its creator, Jason Roberts, toiled over its design and hand-drawn art for five years, before the game's official release on iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Windows in late 2017. As of May 2018, players on macOS, Sony PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Xbox One can also download this intriguing and award-winning title.The game's wordless narrative is presented through colorful, animated, 2-D illustrations, with music by Joel Corelitz. The mechanics are striking; players interact with the game by separating, combining, and rearranging four panels, which change constantly from one sequence to the next. If players drag a tile (picturing a door, for example) from one part of the screen and overlay it on another, a new pathway suddenly opens.The story opens with a single window frame, through which a boy catches a glimpse of a mysterious, dragonlike creature winding through the streets of a city. The child rapidly flips through a book, looking for some context for what he has just observed, landing on a picture of a bowl placed below apples in five colors. From there, the game's play space expands to four frames and the search for the fruit will structure the arc of the narrative.The game's distinctive illustrations and engaging riddles make it an ideal choice to play with a group; spectators can suggest solutions, adding an element of cooperative play and team problem-solving. Its six chapters could easily be divided up across several 45-minute class periods or club sessions.After finishing the game, players unlock a demo (originally released in 2012) providing a great teaching example of iterative design, or the process of prototyping, testing, and revising a game as it is created.
VERDICT Art, English, and computer science classes will all find something to admire and analyze, whether it is the stunning art, wordless narrative, or elegant design of the deceptively simple, yet thought-provoking puzzles.

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