The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo (Switch): COMPLETED!

The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo (Switch): COMPLETED!

Back in the 90s, Channel 4 in the UK would sometimes show strange animated short films from abroad. I think they were part of some animation festival or something. This game immediately put be in mind of one of those. It’s a weird, nonsensical, abstract cartoon but it’s also a point and click adventure game. There’s no (recognisable) speech. Little in the way of explicit instruction, no narration, and certainly no explanation to the events. But it works!

Assembling the story yourself, Mr. Coo is given a present which manages to escape. The first half of the game is trying to get this back, with weird events and creatures that help and hinder. Like a thing which jumps on mushrooms, or a tree that un-grows back into a seed or an arcade machine which you can reach into (and get slapped by a monkey in a fez with a crowbar).

After that, Mr Coo is cut up three pieces and the rest of the game involves trying to reassemble him. Some of the puzzles require controlling each part separately, adding a level of complexity (and absurdity). That said, most of the puzzles are either reasonably easy, or solvable with trial and error. Unlike most point-and-click games you don’t have an inventory and there aren’t that many items you can actually pick up or interact with. It makes it a bit limited, but it does mean if you’re stuck you don’t have 15 items in your pocket to try on 30 different hot spots in the hope something works. One really obscure puzzle was on the end “boss fight” where I didn’t realise you could use a specific background object at a specific time with a specific part of Mr Coo, but most of the rest are work-out-able.

I was disappointed that the ending came so quickly, not least because it’s a “to be continued” rather than a completion of the story, and who knows when the follow-up will be released. It finishes on an ending of sorts, but then there’s more and it feels like the developers just decided “that’s enough game for now, we’ll do the rest later” which is frustrating. I also came across a handful of bugs; One was when an item was “spawned” in the wrong place and couldn’t be moved to the right place, and a few times the game just crashed out completely. As you can’t save manually, and you rely on non-obvious and irregularly spaced checkpoints, that was a pain too. I had to redo parts of the game several times as a result. Not a massive hassle, but a negative in a game which is otherwise so polished.

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