Carto is an adorable, pleasant, and deceptively tricky game. As the cute titular cartographer, you embark on a globetrotting adventure to fill in pieces of your magical map while also chasing your equally adventurous grandmother. The journey gets tough at times, but ingenious puzzle-solving awaits those willing to embark on the voyage.
The game’s world is divided into square tiles that can be connected and manipulated on the map screen. However, tile borders must have matching topographical features, such as roads, rivers, and forests, to connect. Anyone that’s played Carcassonne should feel at home with Carto’s map-making mechanic. Whatever you change in the map alters the world in real time. Need a quick way to cross terrain? Just move the tile you’re occupying where you want to be instead of walking there manually. It’s a neat mechanic, and there’s a magical feeling in seeing your makeshift terrain instantly come to life.
Carto is still enjoyable when you only focus on creating routes, but it shines brightest when it uses its mechanic to encourage out-of-the-box thinking. These situations usually involve solving clever riddles or using visual hints to determine how to orient tiles to make new pieces appear. Some are obvious,