For a game as bright and colorful as Youropa, it sure has a bleak start. When you fire up a new game, you’ll get to witness the destruction of Paris. The Eiffel Tower seems to lose its power and as a result, the city is torn into pieces. Those pieces are scattered around the vast emptiness of the space that remains.
You are a You in Youropa.
You are a You. That’s short for Youropean. A small, white humanoid that has suction cups for feet due to some evolutionary quirk. You wake up in a tree with no recollection of anything. You must free yourself and explore a strange, fragmented city to find out who you are and where you fit in this new and strange world. That’s all about it as far as the story goes in this game.
Color quickly finds its way back to Youropa. To help with your identity problem, the game allows you to decorate and paint your Youropean. You can pick any color you like as well as attach an insane number of decals. You’ll spend a good amount of time trying different combinations in order to make your character unique and cool. The system, while more simplified, has obviously draw its inspiration from LittleBigPlanet. It’s more simplified in a way that it lacks all the outfits and accessories, but that’s fine. Your own imagination is what will be limiting you with all the coloring options available. With that being said, the real focus of the game is its gravity-bending puzzle gameplay.
As mentioned earlier, your character has suction cups for feet. This allows for a interesting gameplay mechanic which enables you to traverse up certain walls and ceilings. In order to progress in the game you need to solve various puzzles that require you to think outside the box. At the start, those puzzles are fairly straight forward but they quickly ramp up in difficulty. Sooner or later you are required to combine all your skills and wits to solve them. The game has a strong emphasis on experimenting and exploration, meaning some puzzles might take some trail and error for you to figure out.
“Hey man. Watch the paint!”
However, experimentation is not without consequence. While the paint on your Youropean might look great, it also has functionality. It’s an health indicator. Each time you fall and/or absorb damage, paint is stripped off of your body. If your body is stripped bare and plain white again, you will die and then it’s game over.
In order to keep things fresh and interesting, the game gradually introduces new gameplay mechanics or interactive objects. Think of objects like levers, umbrellas ( that can save you from water – because paint – and allow you to glide) and footballs (to shoot against levers or in goals to open doors). All these objects impact gameplay in their own way and add up to the difficulty of the puzzles.
Interestingly, the developers of the game allow you to use their level editor (built right into the game) to create your own unique levels in minutes. Objects and items to tinker with are unlocked as you progress to the game. According to the developers you can unlock more than 450 building blocks. This should provide fans of the game a solid base to exchange their maps, only extending the already substantial gameplay time you could get out of this title. I’m pretty sure there’ll be a sprawling community for this game in no time.
A comic relief.
Youropa is a colorful, atmospheric game. While its graphics might be nothing out of the ordinary, its style sets just about the right tone. Its use of bloom and depth of field effects along with bright blue cloudy skies and an overall comic relief make the overall tone of this game light. Its complex enough to suck you in for hours on end or just a short 20 minutes to finish that one puzzle you’ve been breaking your head around for the last few days. With that being said, it’s a damn shame this game is not yet on the Nintendo Switch or iOS/Android. I think its gameplay and graphics would be a great fit on those devices.
Youropa will release on PC on the 27th on June, 2018. We’ve been lucky enough to receive a full copy of the game early in order to write this review. Big thanks to Frecle for the support. Check out Youropa’s page on Steam.