Another backlog week. I enjoy browsing through the LONG LONG list of backlog games that I have to play at some point. This week I force my wife to color the sprawling world of Chicory: A Colorful Tale.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a top-down adventure game from Greg Lobanov, Alexis Dean-Jones, Lena Raine, Madeline Berger, and A Shell in the Pit and published by Finji. Chicory was released in June 2021 for the PC and PlayStation consoles. The game retails for $20.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale follows the story of Eggs when they take over as the new “brush wielder” and the previous wielder, Chicory has gone missing and has effectively abandoned their role. There is corruption that is sweeping through the country of Picnic and it is up to Eggs to fill the world with color again.
Chicory is much more than a game about coloring a world and solving puzzles, it is a game that explores the corruption of personal worth and self-doubt. These two ideas persist throughout the game and come to a zenith at a very scary moment.
It is known throughout Chicory that Eggs is definitely not special in any regard. Still, the game provides Eggs with the ability to become the hero out of sheer happenstance, to be the hero and color the world. Chicory explores not just Eggs‘ adventure as a wielder but as a catalyst for a new world different from the world that Chicory created when they were wielders.
Chicory‘s story is told in ten chapters with the latter half being more geared toward properly inducting Eggs into the wielder hall of fame. As you progress throughout the game, you will color in the world around you, and paths will be revealed when color is added or removed from obstacles.
Throughout the game, Eggs‘ bond with the brush is ever-evolving allowing Eggs to jump, swim, and even travel through tight corridors. Chicory is always giving the player new methods of exploring and puzzle-solving.
One of the most welcoming attributes of Chicory is how welcoming it is. I am terrible at drawing but the reassurance of the world’s characters made me feel like no matter how I perform, doing my best is the most important.
Chicory is one of those deceptively simple video games. Coloring and traversing through the world of Picnic is easy until you get to the puzzles. The puzzles in Chicory sometimes require a lot of thought and a lot of the time, creativity to really push through. There is one specific wielder trial that had me stumped until I realized that jumping from cloud to cloud was an option.
The boss fights are an entirely different beast. Boss fights are an absolute spectacle. The fights always occur in a negative world, void of color, and the aforementioned self-doubt/worth are in full swing in these sections. There takes a certain finesse to fight a boss alone, with a friend, though, it can be easier. Watching as multiple eyes cloud the screen, attacking with various colors becomes quite difficult, but the reassurance that doing your best allows the player to never actually lose the fight only takes a moment to reflect.
Boss fights are very inventive, and fun and really hit home the self-worth aspect, some really rough stuff.
There is a point in one of the boss fights that really elaborates on the weight that the wielder has on an individual, especially Chicory. The weight of having to be the “absolute best” without having anyone to talk to, being alone, being told, “You are worthless.” These points of light and dark moments throughout the game really make for a balanced experience.
Chicory is an absolutely beautiful-looking game; from the colors that are used to color the world, to the soundtrack and the characters that inhabit the world, everything is just so gorgeous.
If I played Chicory in 2021 it would have been Game of the Year for me. The game’s premise, soundtrack, and overall aesthetic are fabulous. The Juxtaposition between the lighter and darker moments makes the game so much more engaging for the player. My wife and I played Chicory for eight hours and every moment was a blast. Even with someone who is not experienced in video games, Chicory provides such a great alternative to regular gameplay by having player 2 just color the world as player 1 experiences it.
Chicory is a 2021 masterpiece. Enough said.