2021. It has been what some call “a year”. To celebrate this collection of sun rotations, we’re taking a look at the best games of 2021. Next Up: Chicory: A Colorful Tale.
There were a lot of great games in 2021. We’ve written these Game of the Year articles to prove it. But while we’ve all found games that we enjoyed, there wasn’t this killer version that blew it all up. There was no Breath of the Wild or Red Dead Redemption 2 that all players and publications have to kneel down and recognize the technical marvels on display. Instead, 2021 was a year where, more than others, we had to go with our guts and seek out the games that meant the most and had the most to show us.
Chicory is easily one of the most memorable games of the year. This is a Zelda type adventure puzzle where you control a talking dog who wields a magic brush responsible for all the colors in the world. You can color in whatever you see, turn the charming black and white areas into lush, vibrant views, or you can just dab polka dots all over the place and make the world look like a clown’s nightmare. As you wish.
Chicory’s world view and the way she uses coloring in spaces as a means of exploration is still smart and charming. Halfway through the game, I was sure I understood everything the magic brush would allow me to do – climb walls, squeeze through narrow surfaces, etc. – and I thought there couldn’t be other abilities. I was wrong, of course, because Chicory still had plenty of surprises in store.
Along with being fun to play and the sheer cathartic joy of just doodling in each new area of the map, Chicory also has a stellar story. Dealing with ideas of impostor syndrome, depression, and the urge for artists to burn themselves out and suffer for what they create, Chicory doesn’t pull any hits just because its cast is full of talking animals. . Like the previous game from developer Greg Lobanov, the exceptional Wandersong, Chicory has a huge heart and tells a mature, thoughtful, and hopeful story without condescending the player or tacking too hard to get difficult or nervous.
In all of its elements, from its beautiful, playful and evocative Lena Raine soundtrack (who also rocked the house on Moonglow Bay this year), to its surprisingly grounded story, to its original endless level design. and new variations on how to use her magic brush, Chicory never lacks charm. Every moment with him is a delight, until his end credits which is one of the best gaming moments of the year.
Chicory is a charming game made with love that does not waste a moment and does not exceed its welcome for a second. It thrilled me as I stumbled, made friends, and painted their homes in the silliest patterns I could imagine.
Chicory challenged my way of thinking about art and self-esteem. It also helped me come to terms with taking a day off every week, which was no small task. In a year full of strange back and forth between rushing back to pre-pandemic unrest, maintaining constant vigilance for the next disaster, and struggling to find time for ourselves between All of this, Chicory encourages players to take it easy, have fun and be confident that they can complete the quest, even if they don’t think they can.
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