Black and White and Awesome All Over
I have always enjoyed trying out smaller games that seem to offer an artistic experience that is unlike any generic AAA game. Gris, Hue, and Ape Out are on the forefront of those top-tier indie games that hit a style that is immediately distinguishable among the thousands of games released each year. Arrog, developed by LEAP Game Studios and Hermanos Magia, emerges onto PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 with an art style that can rival some of the best
Arrog is a relaxing puzzle game where you explore the depths of a dying man’s mind while also seeing the impact of his death to the people around him. In the wordless experience, I was challenged to decipher and interpret a slew of small puzzles to push the narrative forward. Though none were exceptionally difficult, the imagery and symbols throughout the game gave it a unique touch that I haven’t seen in a game.
The abstractness of the game almost hampered the gameplay, making it difficult, on occasion, to distinguish what exactly needed to be done for the puzzles. The opportunity to move the cursor around to guess-and-check sections of the screen quickly absolved any problems. I was happy to see the focus be on the experience and not the level of difficulty of the prompts, something that could have otherwise ruined the journey.
In addition to a wordless story, the game is primarily monochrome. In the early moments of the game, you’re thrown into a primarily black area, representing the physical world. Conversely, the primarily white areas seem to signify the character’s inner spirit and attempt to process what is happening to them. The touches of color, when present, provided a wonderful contrast that highlights the more beautiful moments. The hand-drawn feel of the game further built the experience into a personal adventure; of one man cycling through his life and I was just the tourist visiting.
The story beyond what’s mentioned is embedded with numerous bouts of symbolism, avenues for interpretations, and a heartfelt conclusion. The Peruvian and Latin American cultural influences of the game are seldom seen, so I was excited to engage in a new experience through Arrog.
8.0 out of 10
Since so much of Arrog is experiential, I would encourage you to jump right into the game for yourself. The 30 minute experience would be well worth your time for an adventure that is uniquely beautiful and impactful.
This game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review.