Tengami Preview (PC)

Tengami tells the story of a wandering samurai looking for his lost love... I think. This game leaves a lot of the story to your imagination, it's up to you to provide context for exactly what you've just seen in it's pop-up world. You're simply given a vague intro scene and haiku's at the start and end of every level. The rest is in the world.

Exploring the world is certainly worth it. The world is beautiful, hand drawn and painted and made to look like artful Japanese pop-up book has come to life. The artwork is an amazing thing to behold. And behold it you will as the Samurai is not a swift fellow. His movement speed is like he's out for a leisurely stroll, most of the time this is fine, but occasionally the game will have you walk back and forth between three pages and then you wish the little warrior would get some haste on.

Everything unfolds as part of an ongoing pop up story book

There are puzzles that are interspersed through the journey to break up the Samurai's wandering. Some are incredibly simple fetch quests while others do involves some thought, though none are too taxing. You may spend a minute or two fiddling with a puzzle before the solution presents itself and your Samurai is venturing further on. What is clever with the puzzles is how the deeper ones are presented. Everything is done to keep the illusion of the pop-up going. The problem of filling and lowering a well includes small pull tabs like you used to do as a kid to move the Hungry Caterpillar.

The beautiful art is really the main driving force of Tengami

However, in the section I played no major decisions ever present themselves, your little samurai follows an incredibly linear path on his journey. For a game that is as much about the journey it strikes me as the wrong decision even though I get the feeling that's missing the point Nyamyam are going for. At times Tengami is little more than a showcase for its art, yet most of the time this is enough. Combined with the tinkling, if slightly stereotypical, Japanese music, it's a very calming experience. Its abstract story furthers this, especially the haiku's at the start and end of each chapter. It is all about the context you place on that journey. In some ways I get the felling it's trying to echo Journey, but it doesn't manage to quite reach the pure astonishment thatgamecompany managed.

From the demo I played it seemed each world told a section of the story, and each of those worlds formed a perfectly timed section. Due to it's slow, meandering, pace I can't help but feel that overindulging in the game would be to it's detriment. Play a chapter and take a break. Anything more than that and you're likely to get frustrated. I played it a little too long and got annoyed, but avoid that pitfall and I'd quite like to see just where that Samurai was wandering to.

Most Anticipated Feature/Element: Seeing more areas in the art style

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