The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo Review (Switch eShop)

Exploring the Animation Artistry of The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo

Throughout the history of gaming, developers have often strived to create interactive experiences that resemble movies or cartoons. While many AAA titles focus on realism, indie games like Cuphead or Hoa showcase the labor-intensive, hand-drawn aesthetic. Additionally, the resurgence of full-motion video has added another layer to this artistic race.

However, there has always been a conflict between a game’s movie-like qualities and its interactive nature. The more cutscenes or bespoke animations a game has, the less room there is for player engagement. Nevertheless, Madrid-based indie developer Gammera Nest has taken a bold step with their game, The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo. While it sacrifices some aspects of point-and-click-adventure gameplay, it compensates by presenting a visually stunning and fantastically surreal cartoon experience.

A Surreal Journey with Mr. Coo

Explaining the story of Mr. Coo is no small task, as the minute-to-minute events are absurd. The overarching thread follows Mr. Coo’s desire for an apple, his acquisition and eventual consumption of said apple, his unfortunate encounter with a monster that slices him into pieces, and his subsequent quest to recover and reunite his scattered body parts. What sets this game apart is the remarkable bespoke nature of each scene. There are no inventory items popping out from the scenery or tile-based movements with repeated animations. Everything feels meticulously hand-drawn for each cursor click.

Moreover, the hand-drawn elements themselves are wonderfully bizarre. Giant kung-fu chicks, eyeballs on legs wearing dresses, arcade machines hosting Punch and Judy shows controlled by cats receiving signals from lightbulbs backstage—these are just a few examples that highlight the game’s fantastical world. And to accompany this visual spectacle, an abstract jazz soundtrack sets the perfect mood.

Innovative Animation Techniques

The animation in The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo features a standout gimmick: objects regularly transform from one thing to another right before your eyes. For instance, an umbrella magically morphs into a flower frame by frame. Similarly, a house suddenly becomes a pig’s head wearing a top hat, or a single eyeball splits into two. This transformative animation extends even to the loading screens, usually considered an annoyance in games. Here, they become captivating moments that leave us wanting more.

A Short but Visually Captivating Experience

Given the tremendous amount of creative effort poured into every moment, the game’s length is naturally limited—we completed it in around 90 minutes, including three crashes. With such a strong focus on scripted animation, the interactive elements can only go so far. Furthermore, the surreal atmosphere makes it challenging for puzzles to adhere to any form of logic. However, despite these limitations, the game undeniably exudes visual charm.

The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo represents a standout title that prioritizes delivering spectacular, surrealist animation. While it may lack substantial gameplay and offers limited interaction, the captivating animation and music easily distract from these shortcomings, providing an hour or two of delightful entertainment.