Review: Arrog (Switch)

Coming to terms with death.

By Achi Ikeda. Posted 12/30/2020 00:35 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Good animation and art design; good score and sound design
Poison Mushroom for...
Puzzles that are too easy; a short experience

We’d like to note that this is one of the shorter reviews we’ve published, but that’s because Arrog is not a particularly long game. However, that doesn’t mean our analysis is any less insightful! Read on to see if Arrog is worthy of a download on your Switch.

Arrog is a short puzzle game made by Hermanos Magia and LEAP Game Studios. I was initially attracted to Arrog for its hand drawn visuals. I love 2D animation and I think it is a medium not fully taken advantage of in video games. Arrog is animated almost entirely in black and white which remains intriguing throughout the game. Unfortunately, that time is short. The game can be completed in just thirty minutes.

In those thirty minutes, Arrog tells an enigmatic story relying on visuals and a few words and phrases. It begins with a man’s death and ends as he finds acceptance in his dreams. You progress through the game by clicking on areas on screen and completing various puzzles. As a lover of puzzle games and someone who plays them often, I found that they unfortunately offered no challenge. Even if a puzzle leaves you confused, most puzzles can be accomplished through trial and error. The puzzles are not only easy but unoriginal. Many will likely feel familiar to the puzzle game enthusiasts like myself.

The best part of the game are the visuals and sound. The art design is magical and the score includes natural sounds such as bird calls and crickets. I would replay for these two aspects alone. The art and sound design combine so well to create an imaginative, relaxing world I wish I could visit in my dreams. Unfortunately, the visuals and sound are disrupted by occasional lagging and loading screens.

I play a good amount of indie games yet this game, I believe, is the first game I have played by a Peruvian game developer. My first playthrough left me scratching my head at the cryptic story. It was only after reading an article on Peruvian funeral traditions did I begin to see the story and its metaphors with more clarity. It is experiences like this that make me happy as both a gamer and an anthropologist. As barriers for video game development become less and less of an obstacle, gamers are more and more likely to come across games made from cultures they have never been in contact with. I am thankful for the opportunity to both play this game and learn just a little bit more about Peruvian culture.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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