Chicory: A Colorful Tale is a perfect co-op game

Dear Polygon,

I like to find games (not necessarily co-op) that I can play with my wife. The most successful game we’ve played together is Samorost 3 – the vibe, the puzzles, the creativity, we both thoroughly enjoyed. Personally, I play a variety of games, but finding something where my wife and I can talk and play together as a single-player game can be a bit difficult. Things with a plot, some puzzles and interesting aesthetics are likely to attract her!

We want to explore some of Amanita’s other games like Samorost 3 and we keep an eye on Stray, as we both love cats. My wife also tends to get motion sickness from watching video games so much that the first person has to squirm and look around, so that’s a bit of a limitation.

– Bret

Hi, Bret. Finding the right game to play with a companion is really important, because 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 classic competitive game like Mario Party or an intense, input-heavy game like Overdo. Finding the right cooperative game is something I absolutely struggle with – especially when playing with friends or family who are not as familiar with the game as I am.

I know you’re not necessarily looking for a game to play cooperatively, but I think I’ve got the perfect one anyway. And it just happen to cooperate.

While my husband and I sometimes play competitive games like Overwatch together, we both have more fun in cooperation. He’s not a gamer like me and I admit it a little frustrated if he can’t keep up. But last year, I found a game that was perfect for us: Chicory: A colorful story.

Chicory: A colorful story is a 2D adventure game about a dog with a paintbrush who needs to bring color back to a black and white world. When Chicory, a famous painter and brush user, stops painting, it is the player’s duty to take over. The most interesting element (at least for you, dear readers) is that it can be played with two players, with one navigating the dog, Pizza, around the world, while the second player brush controls. (Pizza is the dog’s usual name, but you choose a name based on your favorite food. If you were me, your Pizza would be named Watercress. If you were review editor Mike Mahardy , then your dog will be Cacciatore.)

Each of these players has different abilities, all of which are key to solving Kalepuzzle of. The player controlling Pizza is responsible for navigating the actual game world – where your controller gives orders, Pizza will go. This player is responsible for maneuvering through puzzles and interacting with the environment, and talking to non-playable characters. On the other hand, the player on the paintbrush has the task of 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 fun coloring things, but it’s still an essential part of the game. Much KalePuzzles require paint to adjust to 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 through. When they are not colored, they will revert back to small flowers and the Pizza is impassable.

These types of puzzles vary in difficulty and involve both players, and the fun of it is figuring out what the bits move and change, and how – or if – the colors will. change the world in some fascinating way. It’s a multiplayer dynamic that requires players to talk to each other while playing, to ask for help and to offer opinions. But it’s also really satisfying when both players finally understand each other and the language of the game is so good that those same cries for help are no longer necessary.

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

Also, I want to thank friend for a suggestion! I have not heard of Samorost 3 – or any Samorost game – before reading your letter. The art style is amazing, and I can’t wait to try it. Chicory: A colorful story seems completely different, but I want to know how you and your wife accept it.


Postscript: Citizen Sleeper is another game my husband and I are playing together. It’s single player, so one of us controls and the other just helps with the decisions. It’s like a digital tabletop role-playing game with lots of reading and decision-making. Your wife definitely won’t get motion sickness here!

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