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Cuccchi Review

Official Score

Overall - 70%

70%

A title described as an “invasive expression of gesture” might not sound like a good time, but Cuccchi’s blend of art and gameplay largely pays off. Those that can stand a bit of awkwardness in its navigation can enjoy a novel experience that they are sure to remember.

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The debate as to whether games are art still rages on, but what about games inside art? Julián Palacios Gechtman and Fantastico Studio take players into a deep dive of Enzo Cucchi’s paintings with their new title Cuccchi. Does its neo expressionist style translate to compelling gameplay, or is this title too abstract for its own good?

Cuccchi Review

This title serves as a concept album journey, one where each level is based off of a different painting of Cuccchi’s. One would wonder how one would play a painting – some liberties would no doubt have to be made to have two different mediums mesh with one another.

To pull off this feat, players will experience a journey that is not unlike that of a walking simulator. Using a traditional WASD setup, players will venture around to different parts of its world in an attempt to get a close look at each part. The game encourages exploration, almost to a fault; it can be tricky to figure out where to go at any given moment, especially with the artistic flair each zone has.

If anything, this art is by far its strongest suit. There is certainly no shortage of variety; one area will have players venturing through a mountain range full of trees and cow heads, only to end up in a Van Gogh tribute just 10 minutes later. The floating pigs, clocks, tables, and houses of each “painting” might not be for everyone, but those with an open mind will greatly appreciate the novelty the whole experience has to offer.

There is a bit of a gameplay element to Cuccchi in the form of its eyes and skulls. Within each area are a number of hidden eyes – 51 in all – that players can collect by moving towards. However, there are also a number of floating skulls that make a munching effect – run into one and you lose an eye. If one were to lose all of their eyes when encountering a skull, they are sent back to the beginning of each level.

This might sound like an ominous threat, but it is not as grim as it seems. While this might sound like a bad time, the penalty for failure will just set players back a few minutes. There are some awkward mazes that look like they were ripped from 1981’s Castle Wolfenstein that make dodging a bit challenging, but those who go with the flow can likely make it through this adventure without too many setbacks.

In all, the title runs for around 30 minutes across a number of different paintings. The experience does not change between playthroughs, but one who’d like to see things in motion certainly has a reason to come back.

A title described as an “invasive expression of gesture” might not sound like a good time, but Cuccchi’s blend of art and gameplay largely pays off. Those that can stand a bit of awkwardness in its navigation can enjoy a novel experience that they are sure to remember.

This review of Cuccchi was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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