Carto Review

Introduction

Carto is a puzzle oriented game that was developed by Sunhead Games, and was published by Humble Games. It was released for Consoles and PC in October 2020.

Review

What would you do if you had the power to orient the position of the world, any way that you want it? Carto is a little girl who was traveling with her grandmother in her airship, until one day, they lost their maps and Carto fell out during a big storm. On a quest to recover the maps, and return to her Grandmother, Cartos journey begins on a tiny little island. On this island, she meets Shianon, who agrees to help her on her journey, because she wants off of her home island, as she prepares for her coming of age journey. 

The game has an overarching story of Carto trying to get back to her Grandmother, but every single level of the game has its own self contained story. Like in one level you’re helping the people of a Volcano Resort restore the lava to it all because that’s what they thrive off of. Or another where you’re helping find the replacement for a watcher of a forest. As you do all these tasks, you learn that people surprisingly know your Grandmother, and help you in your journeys. The story is so light hearted and wholesome, I couldn’t help but to smile during a lot of it. Especially with some of the dialogue.

The game itself is very puzzle heavy. As you walk around the levels, you pick up little sheets of paper. These sheets of paper are pieces of a map. You then place them on the grid, and unlock new sections, that you can then travel to and search. But the game doesn’t just stop at “find the pieces, place them down, and run all over.”. No, this is where the game incorporates it’s puzzles. So as you run around and meet people, you learn little facts about the area. You then have to use this knowledge to uncover new sections. So someone may talk about an area of a garden, that’s in the middle of yellow flowers. So you have to position all the map pieces with yellow flowers, in a specific position, to unlock the hidden area. So you’re rotating and placing and scratching your head as to what you did wrong. It was really fun to do!

But at the same time, the consistency of the puzzles was very varying. So there would be a puzzle that I would blaze through, only to have a puzzle that takes 20 minutes. Just to get through the next couple immediately. They don’t just grow in difficulty naturally as you progress the game. There were two times I had to look up solutions though, once because I hadn’t yet understood the mechanics of the game, and the other because I was too tired for my brain to work. But other than that, the puzzles weren’t overly complicated. But I’m also a stubborn bastard.

The one thing the game could’ve done though is given you an objectives tab. In the event that you haven’t played the game in a few days, or your memory is just bad when it comes to remembering things, it would be very easy to lose track of what you’re doing. So if you play this, don’t drop it until you’re done.

The art style is very cute and colourful as well. Lending to it is a very cheerful song to every area. Nothing felt moody or dramatic, but very adventurous. All the characters you encounter are also extremely cheerful and excited to be in the area they live in. Which is weird when you live in a volcano. There’s even a fun lovable bear that loves to give hugs! I had to give him a bear hug (he he he), every time I saw him.

Rating

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Amazing Characters
  • Interesting Puzzle Mechanics
  • A Bear You Can Hug

Cons:

  • No Objectives Tab
  • Consistency Of Difficulty

Summary

Carto is the kind of puzzle game that doesn’t come around often. I’m not a big fan of puzzle games, but this just hit the spot. With fun characters, a cute story, and a very creative puzzle mechanic, there was a lot to love about this game. Although I do wish there was an objective tab as I said, but if you play the game enough, you shouldn’t forget too many objectives in the short run time the game has. I highly recommend this, even if you don’t like puzzle games. Just try it, because you never truly know.

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Game & Developer Information

Developer Website: Sunhead Games
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Humble Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £15.99/€19.99 Europe / $19.99 North America
Trophy Information: 20. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 9 / Silver 5 / Bronze 5

Images – http://press.sunheadgames.com/

Carto – Release Date Trailer | PS4

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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