Reviews - Updated on April 1, 2022

It often happens that after the release of a very successful game, developers fail to repeat the success. However, in the case of Greg Lobanov (Greg Lobanov) and his comrades, there was no doubt – no matter how amazing Wandersong was, the next Chicory: A Colorful Tale, according to the description, seemed no less interesting. Moreover, the soundtrack was written by Lena Raine, who delighted many with her musical talent in Celeste. You expect something special from such a team, and, as you can guess from the “Our Choice” plate, they succeeded.

The throes of creativity

The protagonist (or heroine – gender undetermined) is a dog who works as a cleaning lady at the Owners Tower. The title of the Owner in this world is given to people who have the only existing brush, and only they are able to paint the environment in different colors. At some point, the colors completely disappear – everything becomes black and white, and only the contours remain. And Chicory – the current Owner – disappears and leaves behind a brush. The dog, who has dreamed of using it all his life, takes it in his paws and tries to restore everything.

The story, which begins as a cute coloring adventure, increasingly begins to bring up unexpected themes. And self-doubt, and suffering from the impostor syndrome, and excessive self-criticism that spoils the mood – everything is there. Many creative people who are trying to achieve mastery in their craft have faced all this: with the desire to achieve a non-existent ideal, with low self-esteem, with complexes and ignoring the pluses in their work while paying too much attention to the minuses.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale: Обзор

Translation into Russian is wonderful. Too bad Wandersong never got localized.

Sometimes Chicory does not try to cover up these topics much: for example, the only episodes in which you need to fight someone are battles with inner demons. But the game does without moralizing, and in the vast majority of cases it is different – it gives freedom of expression, allows you to make the world the way you want it to be. There is much more positive here than sadness and soul-searching. Anthropomorphic animals, whose names are always associated with food, are endlessly charming – you want to talk to everyone and help everyone. Their emotions are conveyed either through simple animations or through deliberately simple dialogues.

Many see the protagonist as the new Owner of the brush (even if he himself is not confident in his abilities), so the talent is not disputed. For example, at some point you will be asked to draw a logo for a T-shirt. The built-in graphic editor is far from Photoshop: you can only erase and draw in it, the number of colors is limited, and the strokes are “pixelated” due to the lack of anti-aliasing in the brush. But still, you try to make everything beautiful within the limits of your possibilities. Even if you end up dissatisfied with the result, you soon realize that in fact everyone likes it. The customer is happy, and some residents suddenly start wearing T-shirts with your logo.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale: Обзор

We will not argue.

There are several such moments here, and the idea is especially cool implemented in the art workshop – there you either draw anything on a given topic, or try to repeat the paintings of local painters. Even if you get something indistinct compared to these masterpieces, you still put your soul into it – conveyed your own vision, made accents where you saw fit, picked up the right colors. Other students find something special in your paintings, and the teacher gives a comment depending on the palette and composition – and everyone likes everything. Because you drew for yourself, and did not create a masterpiece for hours to impress someone, no one will see your work in the game except yourself.

black and white world

The game gives similar freedom in the open world. The large map is divided into “rooms”, and in each only the outlines of objects are visible, and you are given four colors – they are always different. If you want – run past and do not draw anything, if you want – add life to everything that surrounds you. Individual objects such as bushes and trees are filled with paint with one click, while painting the floor (ground) and walls will require several strokes, depending on the selected brush size. Fortunately, you quickly get a bucket with which the process becomes easier.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale: Обзор

You always rejoice when there is a blue color and you can paint over the reservoir with it.

The idea is unique and good because here you really leave your mark, wherever you are. Despite the large map, the game remembers all your actions and keeps the environment the way you made it. So, exploring the locations, you can easily understand whether you have visited a particular place. This also applies to characters – if you painted someone’s torso yellow and clothes green, then the hero will always be that way even if he enters a region where these colors are not available in the palette.

Over time, Chicory increasingly begins to push the player to “dirty” locations, opening up new gameplay opportunities. For a game about coloring the environment, there are surprisingly many of them here: either you find balls exploding from paint, or you learn to transform and use paint in unusual ways – those who played Splatoon roughly understand what you can do here. There are a lot of skills, and after receiving them, you immediately begin to remember where you saw areas where they would have been useful a couple of hours ago. There are mechanics that I don’t want to reveal in the review – just believe me, there are a lot of interesting ideas here.

Clouds work exactly as they should.

Claims arise only to control on the gamepad. The cursor moves slowly, and when drawing on the canvas, its speed decreases by another half – by the time you bring it to the color palette, you will already regret this decision. And in the open world, when painting a section, the cursor does not go beyond the contour – sometimes it helps, and sometimes it hinders. In general, there are no big inconveniences, but if possible, it is better to use a mouse or combine both types of control.

“Zelda” with a brush

In terms of world building, Chicory is reminiscent of the early The Legend of Zelda, and Lobanov does not hide the fact that during the development process he decided to create his own Zelda. It turned out great: the locations are diverse, there are a lot of puzzles, puzzles are different from each other. There are secrets and barely noticeable passages everywhere – sometimes you see a collectible item that is located high up, and you start running to neighboring “rooms” in search of a way to it. Although these items are hats, outerwear and texture brushes, which are not really needed in such huge quantities, you still collect everything in a row, enjoying solving puzzles.

Even simple puzzles are interesting here.

In addition to elements of Splatoon and Zelda, there is a pinch of Animal Crossing. In the process of exploring the large world, you find scattered garbage. And in different regions there are people who are ready to exchange this trash for something more valuable. Some flowers sell, others sell musical instruments or furniture. You can put all this at home, or you can help others – someone invited everyone to a party and did not have time to somehow prepare, and someone asks to plant plants in a clearing to make it brighter. If there is no desire to do this, then you won’t have to, but it’s difficult to refuse the characters.

Separately, it is worth mentioning the brilliant hint system. There are telephone booths all over the map, and at any time you can call your mother, who will always remind you of the next goal, ask about your well-being and give parting words. And if this is not enough, she will hand the phone to her father and he will directly say what needs to be done and how many “rooms” and in which direction to move. Sometimes I talked to my parents just for the sake of touching conversations.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale: Обзор

It’s like that.

Chicory is filled with interesting ideas – it brilliantly combines story and gameplay, which for 10+ hours remains diverse. And the traditionally delightful music of Lena Rein changes depending on the mood in the story, emphasizing the inner state of the protagonist and everyone around. Although for some players it’s just a Zelda-like adventure with great gameplay, others (especially creative people) will find something more here and better understand the experiences of the characters. In any case, both of them will be one of the best games of the year.

Pros: a fascinating story that raises topics unusual for video games; big world with dissimilar regions; a variety of puzzles built on fun mechanics, mainly related to the brush; the ability to color the environment and characters allows you to make the world the way you want to see it; you are constantly distracted by collectibles and side quests for the sake of pleasure, although the gifts received are not so necessary; original hint system; wonderful soundtrack.

Cons: control on the gamepad is not the most convenient.

Similar content:

Wildermyth Review & Wiki

Reviews • 31/03/2022

Have you seen a lot of role-playing games where magicians bind their souls to tables, trees, lanterns and other objects of the environment, so ...

Gaming computer for 2018 – tips for competent assembly

Reviews • 12/04/2022

The Year of the Yellow Dog is already very close, and the outgoing 2017 has seriously shaken up the market for computer components. In ...

Twin Mirror: Press Review & Wiki

Reviews • 06/04/2022

Studio DONTNOD Entertainment in their games never get hung up on one topic. Remember Me told about life in a totalitarian society of the ...

Tormented Souls Review & Wiki

Reviews • 30/03/2022

As you know, big studios no longer make classic horror films. Alone in the Dark is dead, Silent Hill is in a cryochamber, and ...