Over the past couple of weeks, I have played three puzzle games. Each one has been a unique and engaging experience. The most recent of these, Arrog, comes courtesy of a small studio out of Peru. The team crafted a small but impactful experience and I am hoping that more players will embrace it as I have.
Arrog Review – Follow the Stars
The black and white art direction that Hermanos Magia went with for Arrog is what initially caught my eye. These seemingly simple scenes do not have any sorts of voice over or accompanying text, allowing the player to immerse themselves into the world. This made everything that much more impactful for a game about death. Struggling through the rain, alone, following a star along its path made my heart hurt. When I encountered a community gathered to celebrate my life, that sorrow turned to joy and brought color into the world. That’s how I want my friends and family to honour me when I am gone, not with sadness but hopeful and remembering happier times. For a game you can finish in half an hour, it does an amazing job evoking feels you may not expect from a puzzler.
The puzzles are not overly challenging. Some are fairly easy to decipher, and you are never penalized with a game over if you make a mistake. Many puzzles, like the one above, are self-explanatory. There were others where I just kept clicking on items to see what would happen until I finally saw a pattern. At no point was I frustrated with the lack of direction from the developers. In this particular case, any text prompts may have taken away from the journey.
Ultimately, this is an artistic game first and foremost, and the puzzles are the medium in which players participate in the story. It is bittersweet and real, rooted in cultural significance. I fully expect this game to be snapped up by trophy collectors looking for an easy platinum, but I sincerely hope that everyone who purchases Arrog appreciates the experience as much as I. If you have a few dollars burning a hole in your PSN wallet, consider using them to pick up Arrog. I really want to see more from Hermanos Magia in the future.
Arrog review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a PlayStation 5. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.