Chico and the Magic Orchards DX: Review

Chico and the Magic Orchards DX review cover

Chico and the Magic Orchards is an action-puzzle game developed by independent developer Daikon Games. The game was originally designed for a Game Jam, Retrograde Jam 2, a 10-day event which aimed to create games evoking the 90s. The full game was based on the design the developer presented during those 10 days. For those who are more curious, it is also possible to play the version that was released during the game jam.

The developer then returned to the project to create an extended version. This was called Chico and the Magic Orchards DX. This version was released on Steam and itch.io on 13 January 2023. A Nintendo Switch version has also been available since 29 December 2023. Our review is based on the Steam version.

Chico and the Magic Orchards DX screenshot 1

Chico and the Magic Orchards DX is an adventure game that is inspired by the classic Game Boy games. The game recreates the atmosphere of the 1990s, but adds all the conveniences of modern games. For example, you can remap the controls and save your progress automatically.

Our adventure starts when Chico, a chipmunk, finds a portal in the forest and gets transported to a magic world. His goal will be to find his way through this strange world in order to get back to his home. In this adventure we will have to solve puzzles and platforming sections. The gameplay has two basic elements: our Chico can jump to overcome obstacles, retrieve keys to proceed and activate switches. The other basic element is the walnut. We can use it to activate platforms, reach places that are otherwise inaccessible to our protagonist and, in some cases, face bosses.

 Chico and the Magic Orchards DX  boss battle

Chico and the Magic Orchards DX is not an easy game, in fact, like the old games of the 90s, it is full of pitfalls. In fact, our beloved chipmunk slips very close to the edge of ravines, in some areas our movements have to be very precise and the whole section has to be well studied and carried out in extreme caution.
To make things even more difficult, some areas only display traps for a certain amount of time. This means that you have to move blindly, relying on your memory alone.

Chico and the Magic Orchards DX screenshot 2

One of the things we liked most about Chico and the Magic Orchards DX was the varying mechanics. From invisible platforms to teleports, each level introduces a new mechanic. Despite the high difficulty, which can be lowered thanks to the accessibility options, the title is not frustrating at all and manages to keep the player occupied for several hours.

Our verdict

For a very small price, you get a retro-style adventure that will keep you glued to the screen for hours. Fun and with really satisfying puzzles, highly recommended!

  • Very cheap price
  • Different mechanics
  • Old school vibes
  • Good level design