Minimal art and max personality makes Chuchel explosively funny
Poor Chuchel. The eponymous hero of Amanita Design’s latest point-and-click adventure can’t catch a break: the furious little dust ball suffers injury after indignity in pursuit of his beloved cherry. “It’s fun to watch him do – and fail – pretty much anything,” says Jaromir Plachy, designer, animator and artist on Chuchel. Whether he’s attempting to communicate via abstract jabberings, playing the reluctant ship in a Space Invaders minigame, or being mercilessly teased by a giant blancmange, Plachy’s creation is frequently hilarious.
Unlike previous Amanita titles such as Samorost and Machinarium, Chuchel’s look and feel is entirely in service of its comedic personality. “We decided on a very minimalistic art style,” Plachy says. “It keeps you focused on the things we find important – beautiful backgrounds would be a distraction. When you’re playing with your dog, you don’t care whether you’re at home, in a park or in a tin-can factory: you just focus on the actual play.”
Offbeat percussive flourishes and expressive animations are key, Plachy says. “I wanted to design something the player could have a relationship with: a virtual buddy, a pet, or an annoying squirrel who just won’t leave you alone.” We’re looking forward to Chuchel’s cherry-fuelled rampage across PC, Mac, iOS and Android this year. Plachy, too, is keen to see if his joke lands: “I believe the best way to make people laugh is to ‘tickle’ them with animations, and challenges.”