There are some multiplayer games that come with a warning: Play with your friends and family at your own risk. This includes games like Overcooked and all of the Mario Party titles – Overcooked for the stress of working together in chaotic scenarios and Mario Party for the inevitable betrayal. That doesn’t mean these games aren’t great or fun: they’re awesome! You can both bring you together or tear you apart. But in the end, for a variety of reasons, the games are notorious for the battles they create.
However, I found the antidote: Chicory: a colorful story
It’s an absolutely delightful game that combines a unique painting tool with innovative puzzle mechanics. chicory also has a fantastic multiplayer mode and I’ve found it to be the perfect game to play with family and friends who might otherwise not be interested in games or competitions.
While playing chicory Alone, just lead your dog around the screen and paint with a large brush. If a second player joins in, a second floating brush appears that he can control. Both players can paint, but only one can control the action. I played with my husband, took our character Pancake around the world, and we worked on the painting together. Sometimes we worked together to solve a puzzle, and sometimes one took the lead while the other painted wildly. I imagine this would be a great game for people with kids – especially kids who may be too young for more complex games like Overcooked.
chicory is a low stakes experience; There are no clocks or timers. If one of the players confuses something – for example by coloring something that changes the environment in such a way that a puzzle is botched – it can be easily undone. Sure, there is always room for trouble: sometimes my partner accidentally deleted a brushstroke that was important in solving a puzzle, but it was still an easy fix. The other was a short schtick that he found funny repeating “POOP” in large letters across multiple screens. (Please note: we are both actually over 30.)
The rooms in chicory should be recorded; The game encourages players to play around with color to create weird, wacky pieces of art. These types of spaces, in real life and in games, are where collaboration and creativity thrive. chicory is very Alone fine, but maybe even better with a friend.