There are proven recipes for creating video games. Fashion trends and trends make the studio release twin games.
Real masterpieces, able to attract attention, appear infrequently. They create them, who does not recognize the rules and standards, goes contrary to marketing requirements. It stands out against the background of the independent Czech company Amanita Design. Her every game becomes an absolute hit: Machinarium, Botanicula, Samorost.
Amanita Design Studio employs no more than ten people, but there is no doubt in the talent of these artists and animators. The first major game of the company was released in 2009 Machinarium. In it, the player had to meet a little robot and help him overcome many obstacles to the final goal. The game fell in love with unusual graphics, smart and addictive puzzles and nice music.
Czech publishers have not changed themselves and in 2012 released the next hit – Botanicula. This time the players had to identify themselves not even with a humanoid robot, and immediately with five creatures. With a big stretch they can be called mushroom, which already brings a taste of madness. An energetic team is engaged in rescuing a parasite from a seed on some fancy plant. The game made you think through the moves of the characters and pleasantly surprised you with unusual graphics. The next major project of the Czech studio was CHUCHEL, released in March 2018. Degree of madness in it has increased even more, but it is easily compensated by an abundance of humor.
This time we are invited to manage a small shaggy cute monster Scarecrow. But for children, do not fit into the linguistic subtleties, he will be just stuffed. This wad of black hair wears a bright orange hat, and next to it almost always present either friend, whether a competitor Kekel. This smart monster is vaguely like a little mouse. The essence of the game is in the pursuit of a cherry, favorite treat of both heroes. The action is somewhat similar to the adventures of a squirrel and its acorn in «Ice Age». Cherry over and over again in the hands of our heroes, but powerful forces intervene, extended searches. So, someone’s giant hand may come down from the sky and just take away the tasty prize. But if the heroes are frankly angry, then we are only in joy – the adventure continues!
The game itself consists of a couple of dozen levels. But not every one of them – puzzle. Sometimes for the passage to the next stage, even the riddle can not be solved, but just to participate with the help of our Scarecrow in a fascinating cartoon scene.
The gameplay itself is an attempt to get to the cherry again. Constantly she finds herself in sight, but out of reach for our heroes. I have to help them each other, use surrounding objects or use other characters. And those in their color confirm the wildest fantasies! «Monsters, Inc» can only envy these forms, flowers, teeth and eyes.
The puzzles in CHUCHEL are simple – it is usually enough to do 4-5 actions in a certain order in order to catch the desired cherry. But this process is not so much thought, how much allows you to enjoy what is happening. When you click on an item or creature, they immediately respond or offer a choice of several options for further action. And each time we are waiting for another fun scene. Passing a level leads to a new stage, the same mad.
Cherry is guarded by very colorful creatures, unbanally responsive to an attempt to take away their prize. Watch this frankly fun! Moreover, even the same actions of the Scarecrow can cause a different reaction each time. Scene not rush to pass – interesting to see everything, what are the heroes capable of. And the Scarecrow itself reacts very hilariously to failure or success – pulling faces, mumbles amusingly.
In this game we will have to face not only monsters, but with aliens, take part in boxing robots and unusual snail runs (Snail rocket motor – victory pledge? Not so simple!). It’s funny to see in the game references to the legendary hits of the past: Tetris, Pacman, Angry Birds, Space Invaders. They are elegantly inserted into the CHUCHEL and are an integral part of the passing game.
Do not be afraid, what are you stuck on some kind of puzzle. Tips question solved quite tactfully. Funny, but even step-by-step comics-instructions that come up after pressing a button with a question mark can be compiled at random. But this puzzle is solved much easier. And is there really a place in this crazy world for something clear and understandable?? Need to say, that Amanita Design is not trying to confuse players with complex decisions. In the same Machinarium present book with tips, true, with access restrictions.
CHUCHEL can easily be called family entertainment. Children will certainly catch up to an adult, if you do not solve riddles, then at least watch the heroes. They are not scary at all, and terribly charming. Situational humor is absolutely not vulgar here and is universally enjoyed by people of all ages. Scarecrow and Kekel are constantly selected from unimaginable situations, change shapes and colors, lose limbs, but constantly revive and continue the journey. Purposeful adult is able to complete the game in a couple of hours, but for some reason there is no doubt, that children will certainly want to run the game again and again, repeating pleasure.
Amanita Design Publishers have created a crazy fun world, in which to predict the next scene is simply impossible. It is so easy to fall in love with superheroes or seductive beauties with perfect shapes, but in CHUCHEL for some reason you are terribly sympathetic to awkward monsters. They drew by hand and with obvious love. The game really seems alive, and unusual images supported by high-quality animation. Yes, and sound – important part of the game. This is not the case, when the gadget is put into silent mode, so as not to interfere. In CHUCHEL you also want to hear the characters and the sounds they make, Especially since sometimes it is part of the puzzle. Bright images, animation and music create the spirit of this bright and fun adventure.
Pros of the game are obvious. There is everything, for CHUCHEL to become family fun for a couple of evenings. Good jokes, heroes with their own character, fun situations and adventures with solving puzzles like adults, and the children will continue to just play around with the Scarecrow and Kekel after reaching the final. The atmosphere of madness is not only not confused, but also is the foundation of the success of the game. The only disadvantage is the inconvenience of controlling the characters in a couple of scenes, but it concerns gadgets with tachkrin. And the game would have been worth making at least a dozen scenes longer, and then another ten… CHUCHEL tightens, but the creators wisely did not dare to completely immerse us in this madness.