Review: Gomo

Gomo is an odd little creature that resembles a sack more than any living being. With his big white eyes, thin lines for arms and stitching for a mouth, he serves as quite the unusual hero. Gomo begins slowly. Our protagonist ambles out of bed only to discover aliens have taken his dog for some reason. All of this is conveyed without language and everything proceeds at a snail’s pace. Gomo feels almost like a foreign film except for the fact that there’s no meaning at its core.

The whole thing unfolds in a typical point and click adventure game fashion but without any extra frills. What does that even mean? Simple – there’s very little extraneous content to explore. Everything is pretty linear. As Gomo searches new areas he can rarely backtrack. Proceeding ahead into new rooms grants a new puzzle and that’s basically it. As long as you can solve easy puzzles there is never a need to worry about failing like in other adventure titles.

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Puzzles themselves are almost exclusively simplistic. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it expands the game’s audience to many age groups and skill levels. Most of the time when you find an item it is used in the same room. Even if it’s not, you know when an item cannot be used further. Instead of cluttering the inventory, Gomo simply throws useless items away. The inventory only holds a maximum of three trinkets anyhow. Apparently he travels light.

So, with simple puzzles and an inability to get lost, Gomo completely waters down the point and click experience to its basest elements. Without much investment in actually playing then there must be compelling visuals, storyline, or even music. None of these aspects manage to become a driving force. Instead, everything ends up feeling not only average but dull. Actually boring the player is one of the worst things you can do as a developer and unfortunately that’s exactly what they’ve managed.

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That’s not to say everything about the game is passable. The art and animation is interesting, if weird. Despite never speaking, Gomo manages to have a bit of personality to him. Well, the personality is mostly derived by how clumsy he is, but it’s entertaining all the same. Multiple times, the poor guy gets smacked by opening doors. Other times, players are just left creeped out by the way he stuffs inventory items into his own body. Environments could stand to be jazzed up further, but some at least have something going on in scenes. There might be a spider crawling around or a rat scurrying about in a cave. Still, areas look drab and lack creative flourish in most regards.

Plot is incredibly thin when it is usually the driving factor in adventure games. You have one goal and it’s incredibly basic: Find a diamond to trade with an alien to get your dog back. Beyond that, there’s very little done to tweak the story. For one, no one speaks a discernable language so it would be hard to convey much. Still, Gomo sure doesn’t have a very hard time getting a rare jewel and making it to space. You’d think these tasks, especially the latter, would require a fair bit more work.

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Closing Comments:

Gomo takes an hour or two to play through. There’s nothing wrong with short experiences, and sometimes they’re preferred, but when there is nothing special about this game, it is harder to justify a purchase. Here we have a brief, short experience available for purchase against a massive library of fantastic point and click adventures. This might very well be the hardest genre to stand out in due to vast quantities of titles. Gomo fails to rise above the rest or even keep pace with the rest. Instead, it leaves players bored. At least it didn’t fall into the trap of extending game length with ridiculous puzzles. If given the choice between Gomo and another adventure game, choose the other one.
score1.5

 Platform: PC