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Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a perfect cooperative game

Dear Polygon,

I like to find games (not necessarily cooperative) that I can play with my wife. The most successful game we kind of played together was Samorost 3 – the atmosphere, the puzzles, the creativity, we both enjoyed it immensely. Personally, I play a wide variety of games, but finding something that my wife and I can kind of talk about and play together as a single-player game can be a little tricky. Things with a story, puzzles, and interesting aesthetics are likely to appeal to her!

We’re looking forward to exploring some of Amanita’s other games like Samorost 3, and have our eyes on Stray, as we both love cats. My wife also tends to get motion sickness from watching video games that cause her head to move too much in first person and looking around, so it’s a bit of a limiter.


Hi Bret. Finding the right game to play with a companion is really important, as the wrong game can cause chaos and frustration for both players, especially if one is less experienced than the other. If you’re looking for a collaborative experience, you won’t want to play a competitive classic like mario party or an intense and input-intensive game like Overcooked. Finding the right co-op game is something I’ve absolutely struggled with, especially when playing with friends or family who aren’t as game-savvy as I am.

I know you’re not necessarily looking for a game to play co-op, but I think I’ve got a game that will be perfect nonetheless. And that’s right arrived be cooperative.

Although my husband and I occasionally play competitive games like Surveillance together, we have a lot more fun when there is collaboration. He doesn’t like games as much as I do, and I confess to having a little frustrated if he can’t keep up. But last year, I found a game that suited us perfectly: Chicory: a colorful story.

Chicory: a colorful story is a 2D adventure game about a dog with a paintbrush who must bring color back to a black and white world. When Chicorée, a famous painter and wielder of brushes, stops painting, it’s up to the player to take over. The most exciting element (at least, for you, dear reader) is that it can be played with two players, one person sailing the dog, Pizza, around the world, while the second player takes control of the brush. (Pizza is the canon name for the dog, but you pick a name based on your favorite dish. If you were me, your pizza would be called Watercress. If you were editor Mike Mahardy, your dog would be Cacciatore.)

Each of these players has different abilities, all of which are essential to solving Chicory‘s puzzles. The player controlling Pizza is tasked with navigating the real world of the game – where your controller dictates, Pizza goes. This player is tasked with maneuvering through puzzles and interacting with the environment, as well as talking to non-playable characters. The brush player, on the other hand, is responsible for coloring the world. The brush moves independently of Pizza, and the second player has a number of different colors and brushes at their disposal. They have the pleasure of coloring everything, but it remains an essential part of the game. A large number of ChicoryPuzzles require paint to adjust the world in key ways: for example, there are flowers that need color to bloom, and in their blooming state they become a bridge for Pizza to pass. When they are not colored, they turn back into small flowers and Pizza cannot pass.

These types of puzzles vary widely in difficulty and involvement of both players, and the fun is figuring out which elements move and change, and how – or if – the color will change the world in intriguing ways. It’s a multiplayer dynamic that forces players to talk to each other while playing, asking for help, and brainstorming. But it’s also very rewarding when the two players come to understand each other so well and understand the language of the game so well that those same cries for help are no longer necessary.

I think it could be something you and your wife really enjoy. It’s a truly beautiful game with a lovely design, real heart and touching story – personally it was my favorite game last year!

Also, I would like to thank you for a recommendation! I had not heard of Samorost 3 – or one of the Samorost games – before reading your letter. The art style is beautiful and I can’t wait to try it out. Chicory: a colorful story sounds totally different, but I’d like to know how you and your wife are doing.


PS: sleeper citizen is another game that my husband and I play together. He’s a single player, so one of us does the controls and the other just helps make decisions. It’s like a digital tabletop role-playing game with lots of reading and decisions to make. Your wife will certainly not get motion sickness here!

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