After a bit of faff with downloading, Guilty Gear Strive launched. It was finally ready, I played all of 5 seconds of it to make it sure it worked and closed it down. Despite the wait and anticipation all I wanted to do was finish Chicory: A Colorful Tale. This is nothing to be sniffed at, I’ve been excited to get into Strive since the announcement in 2020 and was even more obsessed since the open beta but this beautiful painting dog game had such a hold over me. I had to find out how the story concluded and even after those credits passed me by I’m still thinking about it. Chicory: A Colorful Tale is something so special and so rare that everything else needs to go on hold until you’ve seen it through to the end.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale is the game that takes you back to the best Zelda style game you’ve ever played. You’ll be exploring the world as your favourite-food-named dog (there’s going to be a lot of Pizza players out there) colouring in each screen as you progress and slowly unlocking more powers that allow new areas to be explored. The world is packed with side quests, NPCs, collectables and secrets to explore. The paint brush you control has multiple unlockable extra styles, colours and abilities but the best thing about Chicory: A Colourful Tales is how you’ll intuitively know where on the map you’ve explored because as you progress your style of colouring in the world will naturally evolve. This is the perfect balance of quantity and quality that absolutely nails that feeling of exploration and reward.
While your ability to colour in the black and white world relies on you getting to grips with the controls for the paintbrush using a PS4 controller (either the analogue stick or touchpad) you’ll be surprised to find that Chicory: A Colorful Tale is absolutely stunning regardless of the mess you inevitably make. You can still paint some fantastic patterns and create lush environments and artwork but that’s the joy to be had, the control for that is in the players hands. This is helped along in no small part by the artwork you’ll be colouring and painting from being simply gorgeous. There is so much fantastically drawn and painted art already in game, sprites that stand out, levels that are unique and a world focused on art that everything looks incredible regardless of how slap dash you throw colours around.
After an hour you can still be surprised and delighted by playful and wonderous things in Chicory: A Colourful Tale that it’s hard to not think back and smile. There are fantastic little nods in the music and sounds throughout. You’ll be humming a track that has nods to Zelda pieces you’ve known for years then find yourself wondering where you’ve heard a sound before to only realise it’s similar to Commander Keen! Chicory: A Colourful Tale features a nice cameo from Wandersong and it’s a great example of what Chicory absolutely nails, you won’t just find this cameo, it has a function, a feature and more unlockables that fit perfectly with the stage through the story you’ve reached.
I would love to give Chicory: A Colourful Tale a coveted 10/10 but on the PS4 version I was reviewing the game had a few technical hiccups. A few times the game would crash out back to home but here’s the reason why I’m still singing its praises, when I jumped back in it would carry on from the screen it crashed out. There was never any progress lost and in this day and age that’s impressive of itself. Chicory: A Colourful Tale is absolutely packed with content to get on with and it cannot be understated how well it handles this. You’re never overwhelmed, it’s never a case of needless grind, the unlocks and progression is superbly in step and you’ll welcome every screen as a blank canvas.
Chicory: A Colourful Tale is a great example of a game that takes the essence of what makes a Zelda game good and crams it with quality of life tweaks. There’s a quickly accessed map screen for the overworld which not only opens as you explore but updates as you colour. You’ll know when you’ve explored an area completely because it’s covered in colour. You can take in game photos for puzzles, track side quests, collectables and cosmetic items. NPCs aren’t simply there for great dialogue, some will actively tell you how many items you’ve missed in an area or offer to trade cosmetics you’ve collected for ones you’ve missed! I can’t think of any game that’s this open about wanted the player to just enjoy the experience. The puzzles are just the right level of challenge and even then you can phone your mum for a hint or have your dad tell you the exact screen to go to. Everything in Chicory: A Colourful Tale feels like it was crafted with the player in mind and it’s such a delight to be treated like that. No timers, no cool downs, no waffle padding dialogue, just incredible fun from start to finish.
From the ridiculously good writing of its characters to its steadfast telling of a difficult story Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an absolute joy. Moments that invoke Spiritfarer feelings where your emotions are drawn from you, scenes that empower you to carry on and a few moments that are so funny you’ll need to take a break to recover. The last game I couldn’t stop playing until I saw the credits was Control and this was just as good if not better at times. E3 hype will have started to fade by the time you’re reading this and if you want to feel your heart race, your mind spark joy and maybe enjoy a little moment of creativity you owe it to yourself to give this a go. Chicory: A Colourful Tale is the better Zelda game.
9/10 – A Colourful tale of Chicory and Pizza