Review: Gomo

there aren’t many more emotional stories than a man and his dog…

Author :  

Being British, there aren’t many more emotional stories than a man and his dog, and that’s the exact storyline used for Daedalic Entertainment’s latest point-and-click adventure, Gomo. Developed by Fishcow Studio, and published by point-and-click giants Daedalic, Gomo sees you waddle your way through a series of puzzles in order to save your beloved dog.

You play as Gomo, as misshapen and miss-match sackboy, who speaks in inaudible grunts and grumbles, scurrying around on his tiny legs and using enormous string-like arms to hoist himself around. You start your adventure dreaming about your best friend – your dog – before finding that aliens have captured him. The aliens send you a message, saying that to get your beloved dog back, you must find a powerful crystal for them, and so your journey begins, as Gomo lumbers around, randomly pushing buttons and pulling levers.

Gomo1

No really, that’s pretty much the entire premise. It seems as though you have no real direction, you just scuttle about aimlessly, finding your way to the crystal more by sheer luck than anything else, as Gomo prods and pokes at a few interactive items, or picking up items and cleverly storing them in his head. He is a sack, after all. But all this aimless wandering does send you through a series of delightfully varied locations, although sometimes I’m not sure why you’re there at all. One certain scene saw you nuke the future. Or so I think. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing, but all of these different locations feature clever little background animations that keep things interesting as you try to figure out what in the world is going on, and what to do next.

Not that there’s too much of that, unfortunately. Gomo suffers dreadfully from not only being far too short, but also being painfully easy – and that’s coming from me, a man so useless at puzzles I normally break down at the sheer thought of them. Most challenges are either embarrassingly obvious, or dealt with simply by trial and error clicking. The only puzzles that could be considered ‘difficult’ (and I’m using the term lightly) were the ‘Bioshock hacking puzzle’ and the slider puzzle towards the end of the game, the sort that you find in cheap Christmas crackers that cause nothing but annoyance.

Gomo2

At first I was left terribly disappointed by Gomo, because everything else about it worked so well. The Machinarium-esque art style worked brilliantly, and the game is filled with subtle dark humour throughout that’s genuinely funny and well thought out. Gomo himself has buckets of character, too, despite his lack of any lines. I enjoyed the way he hoists himself around with his long, spaghetti arms, and scuttles along the floor with his pathetically tiny legs, and the blank, slightly confused look on his face as he’s being flung around, or falling down a pipe. He’s like Martin Freeman made out of canvas.

I found myself enjoying my time with Gomo the character infinitely more than I did playing the puzzles, and in the end the puzzles themselves became more of a nuisance for me. I was worried I’d have to call Gomo a failure, despite that I actually liked it. I thought that the ease of a game would destroy it, but then though that perhaps I’m looking at this the wrong way. As a child, back when my brain was all squishy and proper puzzle games were like quantum physics, I’d have relished the thought of Gomo. A simple, quick, and easy introduction into puzzle games. Something with a nice, immersive story and interesting characters that wouldn’t be too difficult for my child-like mind would have been fantastic, and I’d probably be much more into the whole genre if I had that when I was younger.

Gomo3

Perhaps I’m feeling particularly soppy today, or maybe it’s that I’m British and can’t bear to hate a good dog-based story, but that’s how I’m going to look at Gomo. Not as an interesting prospect that’s gone wrong, but as a nice and simple introduction for those unfamiliar with a genre. A starting block into point-and-click puzzle games, with heaps of character and charm. This of course doesn’t make it a perfect game, the narrative is still all over the place. I have no idea what was going on in certain areas, but I did know I enjoyed the ride along. Currently Gomo is available on Steam for £5.99.

Reviewed on PC

 
 

Leave a Reply