Creativity lies at the heart of both Greg Lobanov's games. In Wandersong, it was singing. In Chicory: A Colorful Tale, it's painting. While not the most heroic of video game pursuits - indeed, Wandersong's bard and Chicory's janitor-turned-amateur brush wielder are repeatedly shown to be considerably less capable than their games' personal and professional heroes - both end up playing critical roles in restoring their respective worlds to their former glory. They balance out the bad, and revive what was lost. It's a feeling that anyone with a creative outlet can relate to, whether it's drawing, singing, knitting, playing an instrument, heck, even writing, but Chicory goes one step further.
Despite its big, chunky picture book veneer, this top-down adventure game strikes hard at what it actually means to be creative, celebrating its joyous and fulfilling highs while also tackling its (sometimes literally) monstrous lows, including imposter syndrome, burn-out, depression and more. It's very much a story first, game second kind of tale, but as with Wandersong before it, its winsome cast, sensitive story-telling and infectious soundtrack go a long way in papering over its somewhat limited mechanical toolset. At the risk of sounding like a big clanging cliche, it's very artfully done.