Retrospective Reviews Reviews

Deru: The Art of Cooperation review – It’s Black and White

Straight from the hive mind labyrinth developer that is 'Ink Kit' comes the delightful 'Deru: The Art of Cooperation'. With a clean and simple aesthetic, Deru sets out to add to the strong library of puzzle Nindie titles with its CO-OP spin.

Players will find themselves scratching their heads to the point of baldness as Derus difficulty curve rises, but having Player 2 on hand is certainly advantageous and is where Derus gameplay offering shines. Playing in single player mode feels empty and unfinished, which players can’t really moan about given that the CO-OP nature of Deru is literally in its title.

White is Black, and Black is White

I have been waiting to use the phrases ‘Hive Mind’ and ‘Labyrinth’ for quite some time now in a review, Deru forces players to think in sync due to the tasks laid out in front of them. This may be a case of deflecting other players streams or syncing each other’s timing to crack a particular puzzle.

In fact, the gameplay is completely dependant on players looking out for each other. Each level has areas that only one player has access to, this clever idea leads to various static and moving obstacles that constantly challenges audiences.

A Puzzling Puzzle

I feel that the majority of puzzles are simply a Labyrinth due to the amount of thought and precision is involved, which is a good thing. Deru isn’t a game that you could pick up with the ankle biters of the household by any means, but it serves as a great evenings entertainment with your lover, spouse, sibling or stranger you have gaffa taped to your front room couch (I’m so alone).

The beauty of Deru lies in its abstract puzzle presentation, crossing the line between a kaleidoscope and a 90’s Microsoft paint session. To aid Derus mellow yet blindingly frustrating design is the most chilled out soundtrack to bless an Indie title this year. At one point I decided to light a Yankee Candle and sort out a good old face mask.


Graphics: 8
Presentation: 8
Gameplay: 7
Sound: 8

Overall Score: 7.75 / 10

Deru does exactly what it says on the tin and is enjoyable with friends and family for a games night here and there. The single player experience was extremely lacking which I was initially disappointed with, so make sure you have a player 2 on hand before purchasing.

Format: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed) and PC
Price: £13.49 (eShop)
Publisher: Piece of Cake Studios
Developer: Ink Kit
PEGI Rating: 3+
Release Date: 07/11/2018

Review copy provided by publisher


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