Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a perfect co-op game

dear polygon,

I like to find games (not necessarily cooperative) to play with my wife. The most successful game we somehow played together was Samorost 3 – we both really liked the atmosphere, the puzzles, the creativity. I personally play a variety of games, but finding something that my wife and I can talk about and play together as a single player game can be a bit tricky. Things with a story, some puzzles, and an interesting aesthetic will likely draw them in!

We are keen to explore some of Amanita’s other games like Samorost 3 and we have our eye on Stray as we both love cats. My wife also tends to get motion sickness from watching video games, bobbing her head and looking around too much from the first person perspective, so that’s a bit of a limitation.

—Bret

Hello Bret. Finding the right game to play with a companion is really important because the wrong game can lead to chaos and frustration for both players – especially if one is less experienced than the other. If you’re looking for a collaborative experience, you won’t find a competitive classic like mario party or an input-heavy, intense game like Overcooked. Finding the right cooperative play is something I’ve absolutely struggled with – especially when playing with friends or family who aren’t as used to games as I am.

I know you’re not necessarily looking for a game that you can play cooperatively, but I think I have a game that will still be perfect. And it only happens be cooperative.

While my husband and I occasionally play competitive games such as over watch We both have a lot more fun together when it comes to working together. He’s not into games like me, and I’ll admit he gets it a little frustrated when he can’t keep up. But last year I found a game that was perfect for us: Chicory: A colorful story.

Chicory: A colorful story is a 2D adventure game about a dog with a brush who has to bring color back into a black and white world. When Chicory, a famous painter and brush bearer, stops painting, it’s up to the player to take over. The most exciting thing (at least for you, dear reader) is that it can be played with two players, with one person navigating the dog Pizza through the world, while the second player takes control of the brush. (Pizza is the dog’s canon name, but you choose a name based on your favorite food. If you were me, your pizza would be called Watercress. If you were Review Editor Mike Mahardy, your dog would be Cacciatore.)

Each of these players has different abilities, all of which are crucial to the solution chicory‘s puzzle. The player controlling Pizza is responsible for navigating the actual game world – wherever your controller dictates, Pizza goes. This player is responsible for maneuvering through puzzles, interacting with the environment, and also speaking to non-playable characters. The player with the brush, on the other hand, is responsible for coloring the world. The brush moves independently of pizza, and different colors and brushes are available to the second player. You have fun coloring everything, but it’s still an integral part of the game. Many of chicory‘s puzzles require color to customize the world in crucial ways: for example, there are flowers that need color to bloom, and in their blooming state they become a bridge for pizza to walk across. When they are colorless, they turn back into small flowers and pizza cannot pass.

These types of puzzles vary greatly in terms of difficulty and involvement of both players, and the fun part is figuring out which pieces move and change, and how – or if – color will change the world in fascinating ways. It’s a multiplayer dynamic that requires players to talk to each other throughout the game, asking for help and offering ideas. But it’s also very fulfilling when both players eventually understand each other and the language of the game so well that the same cries for help are no longer necessary.

I think it could be something you and your wife really enjoy. It’s a really nice game with nice design, real heart and touching story – personally it was my favorite game last year!

Also, I want to say thank you she for a recommendation! I hadn’t heard of it Samorost 3 – or one of the Samorost games – before you read your letter. The art style is stunning and I can’t wait to try it out. Chicory: A colorful story looks very different but I would like to hear how you and your wife are doing with it.

—Nicole

PS: citizen sleeper is another game my husband and I play through together. It’s single player, so one of us takes control and the other just helps to make decisions. It’s like a digital tabletop role-playing game with lots of reading and decisions to make. Your wife will definitely not feel sick here!

https://www.polygon.com/dear-polygon/23200338/chicory-a-colorful-tale-dear-polygon-advice-column Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a perfect co-op game

Charles Jones

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