GORSD is an action-adventure game from SPRINGLOADED for the Nintendo Switch. It’s a quirky little title that may grow on you, with a curious top-down world littered with portals to puzzle battles.
There are three parts to this game. When you first play, you start in an overworld setting reminiscent of an RPG from the ‘90s. The top-down view and grainy aesthetic conjure memories of Secret of Mana. It’s not quite as beautiful as that classic title, but it looks nice nonetheless. The difference is that there are no enemies or weapons. It’s also much creepier in tone. You play the role of some kind of octopus girl, wandering the world, seeking answers to a mystery. These come in the form of ancient runes that warp you to a type of puzzle.
This is the second part of GORSD. When you step on certain stones with hieroglyphic-like characters on them, you’re whisked away to another view. Here your little avatar is standing on a path, which needs to be colored completely in your color (which happens to be red). You must move along the path to color it in. This is simple enough at first but soon becomes more complicated. You’re granted one reusable bullet, which can bypass uncrossable sections to fill in the other side. There are also obstacles to avoid. Eventually, you’ll battle other characters, having to complete 100% of the path before your opponent. This unlocks the third part of the game, a multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer mode is undoubtedly where the game’s longevity improves, since this can be enjoyed long after the main quest is finished. You can play with up to four local players across eight modes and twenty-one maps. For example, one mode requires 100% of the path to be filled; another requires you to survive the longest. These variances keep the game feeling fresh.
The music is quite a treat in GORSD. The overworld scenes are accompanied by dramatic piano tunes, which serve to be simultaneously soothing and disconcerting. The puzzles are conversely more upbeat, with a quicker tone that gets your heart pumping. It suits the adrenaline-fueled mood of the battle arena.
On the downside, GORSD begins with vague instructions on how to play. This makes it daunting at first, with controls that take a little getting used to. The difficulty level also ramps up quite quickly, which might put some players off. Eventually, if you are defeated often enough (like I was), you’ll unlock the ability to change the difficulty setting. Although this is a welcome addition, why couldn’t it have been included from the outset?
The mystery behind the game’s story is a bold and creepy concept, but it’s delivered in a jarring way, with cutscenes of demonic creatures taunting you in strange languages. There’s also quite a bit of blood and other off-putting devices used. It’s rated T for blood and violence, and I can verify that it earns this rating; it’s not recommended for younger audiences.
Overall, GORSD is a game that’s hard to define at first yet fun to play once you get the gist. It becomes hard early on, which is made more manageable with an easier difficulty setting. It looks and sounds great but could use some improvements in the overall gameplay experience. If odd creatures and quirky puzzles sound interesting to you, check this one out!