There is something about the games that Amanita Design brings out that just makes me want to go tell all my friends “oh my god, you have to play this, for REASONS.” You are not here to read that kind of quote though. Instead, you are probably here because you want well-written reasons of why you should try out Chuchel. So let’s get started!
It is not secret that we are pretty big fans of Amanita Design’s games and you can tell so from our review of Samorost 3. Unlike some of the other more brain-twist puzzle-filled games that Amanita Design has brought out, Chuchel takes a much more casual approach as to how it plays. The player gets to see the entire story of how Chuchel, a little black ball of fur with an orange hat, tries to get back his cherry. Does that sound like the plot of a kids’ cartoon to you? Well, that is because it literally is like that. But that is only of the reasons why the game is so good.
As players, we get to watch little cutscenes of various (EXTREMELY OBSCURE) characters do all sorts of things and then at some point, we are called to click on things in order to interact with them. Once we are at the clicking-things phase, we basically have to solve all sorts of puzzles with our surroundings. As I already mentioned though, Chuchel is much more casual than the studio’s previous games. This is actually quite great since its casual puzzle-solving gameplay fits the theme perfectly and allows us to enjoy a very fun interactive experience that feels somewhat like watching a cartoon. The fact that we are involved in this cartoon only makes it that much more fun.
The playful characters, environments and interactions between them all make up for a very happy atmosphere that just keeps you hooked and wanting to see and play more of Chuchel. I will be honest and say that I actually found myself giggling alone while playing it and I was actually a bit sad to see that it was over. The journey though was awesome and the ending very satisfying, so I can’t even be mad at it for being over.
Next up, we should definitely talk about how the game looks and sounds. Now, although there is a lot that can be said about Amanita Design’s unique graphic style and sound desing, I feel like one would have to play one of their games in order to fully get why what they do is as good as it is. After all, it is “interactive” art and just talking about it would not do it enough justice. Nonetheless, it has to be said that Amanita Design has yet again managed to deliver a game with a lot of character. I do not think that I will be forgetting Chuchel or his adventure any time soon and if anything, I will even be looking forward to a continuation to his adventures.
Chuchel is filled with characters that make zero sense in the real world but actually fit right in when it comes to the world of Chuchel. That obscurity and weirdness is adds even more fun to the game and actually allows it to play around with all sorts of situations. Little metaphors like a toothpaste snake frightening a toothbrush among many other things, are there to just there to give the game depth in ways that just make it more funny and interesting. The game actually even has a little button with a question mark on it that we can press if we ever feel like we are stuck and need some tips on how to move forward. Even the tips are all, one by one, made in such a unique way, that make you want to press it on every frame so that you can see how it is going to be shown to you.
My favorite part of Chuchel though was most definitely the music and the sound design. I have played a lot of games with really well done sound design, but Chuchel just topped them all. Not only did it feel like watching a well animated and sound designed cartoon, but things like how the characters’ voices changed entirely, depending on their mood, as well as various sounds objects made in the world just made this gaming experience something to be remembered. The songs in the game were also all just so fitting to the overall theme and are worth playing again once the game is over.
My only complaint for the game was that there was no skip button, since sometimes, I repeated a scene and wanted to get through what the characters were doing a bit faster. That is not even a real issue though since the game just flows so nicely the rest of the time. If anything, the fact that there is no skip button actually allows the game to work the way it is meant to progress through scenes. So all good on that part as well.
I have to note at this point that, I rarely ever give that high of a score review to a game, but for what Chuchel sets out to do as an interactive experience, it succeeds at it perfectly. If you disagree though, please feel free to tell me why it would deserve any less. The game for me has become somewhat a landmark as to what games can aspire to be while being extremely simple.
You can find Chuchel on Steam!
Chuchel is a MUST pick title if you like animated cartoons with a funny attitude. On top of that, it is one of the most fun gaming experiences I have had in a while. Simple, playful and to the point. It actually puts meaning to the word “video game” because it gives you exactly the right kind of experience you should be getting when you decide to have fun playing one. Amanita Design has delivered yet another amazing piece of video game work and it is really worth trying out, no matter what kind of gamer you are.
+ THE most playful characters you can find in a video game
+ Gameplay that resembles watching a really funny cartoon
+ Beautifully animated characters and amazingly done sound design
– A skip button for some repeated scenes would be nice, but is not that big of a deal either
Score : 9.8/10
~Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis