Qora is absolutely beautiful. The music and visuals are perfect. It’s less of a game and more of an interactive story, but it really immerses you in its surreal world and is well worth playing.
The movement of your character is very slow and cannot be sped up. In each screen, you are faced with obstacles which will take not skill or imagination, but time and patience to overcome. At times it can feel eternal, and even get a bit frustrating, but you are driven forward by curiosity – what strange and interesting thing will you encounter on the next screen? where is this mysterious journey taking you? and who is the ghostly figure leading you forward? – as well as a desire to overcome the obstacles and prove your determination. There are countless games out there that test our reflexes or critical thinking skill, but it’s rare for a game to test our patience – and to do it well. Qora is an impressive exception.
My only complaint with Qora lies with the Steam achievements: in order to get them all, you must play the entire game through twice. I think this was a huge mistake on the part of the developer. This game has no real replay value. There are two endings, but the differences in gameplay between getting one ending and getting the other are minute. Most people will probably get the “good” ending first, then, noticing they are missing an achievement, realize they have to go back and do the whole thing over again while making mistakes. You might desire to play the game through more than once just to enjoy it again, but when you feel forced to do so just for the sake of a Steam achievement, the second playthrough has all the joy and wonder sucked out of it. The game would have been much improved without this.
Despite this one criticism, I still recommend getting Qora. It’s an experience which you will not regret. The visuals and music alone make it worth your time and money, and the ending will make you think differently about how we view certain aspects of our culture.
Qora is available on Steam for ($/₤/€)9.99.
(Originally posted on Megan Lee Prose.)