Brilliant hand-illustrated Indiecade finalist Gorogoa now has a demo

UPDATE: Platforms announced, title explained. OMG you need to play this!

Update: Gorogoa creator Jason Roberts revealed to us the game is being developed for PC and Mac with iOS and Android versions to follow. It's tentatively scheduled for the end of next year.

When asked about the peculiar title he explained, "The title is a word I invented when I was a kid for an imaginary creature, and since the game contains no language I wanted a title that is not a word in any language (or not meant to be)."

He remained cagey on details about the story because he prefers to leave things open to interpretation, but said it's about "a boy seeking an encounter with a possibly divine monster."

Roberts also gave a little insight on where the idea came from. "The idea began long ago as an idea for an interactive comic whose panels could be moved around and interact with each other to effect the story. I abandoned some of the complexities of that idea for something that would be a little bit freer of strict narrative structure and a bit more abstract, which allowed different parts and layers of the game's world to dissolve together more easily. The design was also inspired by card games in a roundabout way, especially the idea of playing a card game that is simultaneously a magic trick."

Original Story: Indiecade 2012 finalist Gorogoa is one of the most clever, beautiful games I've come across this year.

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This is all one screenshot.

The unique puzzler transpires across several different tiles, each with their own snippet of a universe to explore. Zoom in on one tile and you may notice a texture that seamlessly blends with an image in another panel that when lined up form a complete picture and move the ambiguous story along.

Often tiles can overlap with one another too, so a doorway in one image may fit directly on top of an identical shape elsewhere, which will cause something surprising to happen - like a little boy entering a closet only to appear on a rooftop in another world.

It's quite mind-bending, and a stupendous artistic and design achievement to have so many pictures of vastly different worlds linked together by the tiniest common ground.

The whole thing looks lovely too, with the hand-drawn illustrations coming to life in exquisite detail every time you unravel another piece of clandestine visual trickery.

Creator Jason Roberts has just released a reasonably lengthy demo (it took me upwards of a half hour. Probably longer because I'm dumb). I'd highly recommend giving it a go here.

This gameplay footage has no sound, but it should give you a rough idea of what to expect.

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Notice any similar shapes?

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