Gurumin is an action RPG so deliciously cute and energetic, and delivered with such spunky confidence, that playing it is like nibbling on a strawberry shortcake while chasing around an enthusiastic puppy. Sometimes you’ll be giggling at how much fun you’re having, other times you’ll be delighted at how adorable everything is, and the entire time, you’ll be thinking how good it tastes.
The art style is one thing that makes the game so delightful. Imagine characters with small bodies and large, prominent eyes who like to exaggerate their expressions. Now, add in some vivid colors, strangely proportioned structures, and scrumptious-looking sweets. Finally, throw in a dash of wacky personality traits - such as a cheerful monster who dances to restore morale or another who adopts the cultural traits of whatever sombrero, beret, or hat he dons - and you’ve begun to understand Gurumin’s charm.
You play as Parin, a girl who befriends the inhabitants of Monster Village. When the village is ransacked and the monsters are kidnapped, it’s your job to battle through dungeon after dungeon to rescue them all. In a game so focused on presentation, it wouldn’t be surprising if the gameplay were rather lackluster. However, even though the charming pixels and the wacky characters are the winning points of Gurumin, the gameplay is solid.
The levels are varied - you’ll journey through forests, ruins, caves, and more - and there are enough moves to keep combat varied. For the most part, it’s the typical action RPG fare: hidden treasure chests, secret areas, platforming, boss fights, some puzzles, and a couple of minigames, though there are a number are levels that feel truly fun and unique. One potential problem is that the game might seem too easy at first, but there are a total of five difficulty modes, and the last couple - which need to be unlocked - are pretty insane.
One of the perks of the game is the variety of hats and outfits you can get. Adorable Parin in a monkey suit (complete with monkey ears!), or a schoolgirl outfit, or a goth vampire disguise… for those who enjoy dress-up, it’s worth beating the game on every difficulty mode just to unlock them all. Gore-hounds might go into sugar shock, but if you enjoy light-hearted action RPGs, you’ll probably fall in love with Gurumin.