In the simpler days of gaming where adolescents still packed themselves into arcades like sardines, games were pretty easy to define. Games had a simple gameplay loop, a fun hook, and players would play until they eventually lost, and in goes another coin into the slot. Then rinse and repeat until they have to run home and shake their parents down for more coins. However, in 2021, games come in all shapes and sizes, with some titles offering very little interactivity whatsoever, raising the eyebrow of the older generation that often ask ‘how is this even a game?’ Arrog is one such game that falls into this category.
This title that doubles as a mobile gaming experience aims to offer an artsy and meaningful look at the dreams of a dying man as he ascends to the great beyond. In this review, we see if this is a dream experience or a quick, uneventful death. Here is our review of Arrog.
Now, I am aware that this game was also developed to serve as a mobile game as well as a console title. So for that reason, we cannot expect the world when it comes to innovative gameplay mechanics. However, even with this in mind, this game’s ‘gameplay’ is mindless and dull. Throughout this title, you will be treated to a small selection of simple puzzles, most of which can be cleared through mindless bashing on the single action button in this game.
Not only could the puzzles within this title have been better designed and more clever in nature. They could also have been optimized better for consoles. Throughout the very short time with this title, we still managed to encounter one game-breaking bug which stopped us from progressing. This was in the area with the three priest figures overlooking your lifeless body. Real cheery stuff, right? Quitting and restarting the game fixed the issue but for a laughably short twenty five minute experience, we would have expected this to be a tight and mechanically sound experience.
A Dying Art
While this game may be weak in the gameplay department, we have to admit that there is something rather striking about the art and sound in this title. The game tells a story through visual effects and sound alone. You won’t find any dialogue in this title and considering how short the title is, it does a fairly decent job of telling a full and comprehensive story. All be it through symbolism, metaphors, and trippy artsy scenes.
The art style is a monochrome, pencil-drawn style that is reminiscent of the Moomins series. Whereas the sound takes a more transient and spiritual route with plenty of bell chimes and ambient, echoing noises. This all culminates to offer some fine viewing for the short experience. However, the game never offers any true spectacle in its presentation, leading to a style that is more novel than impressive. It’s easily the strongest aspect of this title but in truth, that isn’t saying a lot.
Blink and you miss it
As you may have noticed from my various mentions, this game is incredibly brief. In fact, you’ll be able to finish the entire game in as little as twenty-five minutes. In truth, this works in the game’s favour as the puzzles offer no challenge to the player. So the game opts to deliver an artistic display of Peruvian culture in as swift a way as possible. Any longer and this title would overstay its welcome.
Though for all you trophy hunters out there who want an easy platinum, this game will gift you one in no time at all. It’s a stress-free experience that allows you to sleepwalk to 100% completion. Granted it’s not the most fulfilling feeling in the world when this trophy pops on-screen but every plat counts.
Overall, this is not a title that will live long in the memory of players. Nor is it a game that offers any of the conventional fun that arcade titles of yesteryear did. It offers some striking visuals, a short but well-crafted story and shines a light on the Peruvian views of life. However, for the price of admission, we aren’t too sure many will take the plunge and try this one. We certainly wouldn’t have.
So that’s our review of Arrog on ps4. What do you make of this title? Will you be picking this one up anytime soon? How do you think this one ranks among other indie titles out there? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, if you liked this content, why not check out our other reviews of Encodya or The Orange Cast. Thank you for reading VeryAli Gaming.
Summary: Arrog is an enigmatic puzzle adventure game featuring hand-drawn art and set in a bizarre black-and-white world with color accents. The story of the game is about the journey of a man accepting his death through his dreams.
Genres: adventure, indie
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, iPhone/iPad, PC, PlayStation 4(Review Version), PlayStation 5
Developers: LEAP Game Studios, Hermanos Magia
Initial release date: 28 Jul, 2020 (PC)