Chicory: A Colorful Tale
The world is a cynical place, so naturally it’s full of a lot of cynical games. Even the most compelling of titles can leave a sour, unsympathetic taste in your mouth, and plenty of others have a thinly-veiled attempt at sentimentality that ultimately ring hollow. Then there are games like Chicory: A Colorful Tale, that break through the clouds and give us a wonderful, earnest experience about the fact that despite it all, the world can sometimes be a really beautiful place. Naturally, this optimism landed it as our Best PC Game of 2021.
With all of the darkness that surrounded 2021, it’s hard to pick anything other than Chicory as the best PC game not just because of its uplifting tone, but because it has something important to say about treating others with kindness and using art to make the world slightly better than how you found it, even with the smallest of actions.
Of course, for a game with such a sunny disposition, you’d expect it to become a bit tiresome or tedious after a few hours, but Chicory‘s design holds up, and kept us engaged until the credits rolled. The moment-to-moment painting was relaxing, but also kept evolving in subtle, satisfying ways throughout the game’s runtime. The lack of combat aside from boss battles was refreshing, and felt well-balanced within the gameplay loop. Overall, it’s Chicory is just a joy to play, as you’re really able to enjoy it at your own pace and be as creative as you want.
Aside from the design of the mechanics, there’s also the game’s tone, and what it has to say about the creative process. As someone who reluctantly calls herself a creative who is also very familiar with imposter syndrome, parts of Chicory: A Colorful Tale could be pretty difficult to stomach. This is the last kind of game that I would expect to gut-punch me like that, but I’m actually grateful that it did. It gave the whole experience a lot of depth, and well, made me feel a lot of things, and that’s what good art is supposed to do. Of all of our nominees for Best PC Game of 2021, Chicory had me thinking about it most afterward, reflecting not only on what kind of artist, but what kind of person I want to be. Plus, it’s always fun to see an indie get the credit it’s due.
I feel happier, more thoughtful, and a little bit kinder to myself after playing Chicory: A Colorful Tale, and that’s a really great feeling to finish out 2021 with.