Tengami
Gameplay 6
Graphics 9
Sound 9

The standout features of Tengami are definitely the unique visuals and great soundtrack, but the tranquil gameplay is also quite good. It doesn’t have an epic story or any action, but the gentle puzzle solving and relaxing atmosphere makes for an interesting experience. The game doesn’t have a lot of freedom, challenge or replay value, but it is quite enjoyable while it lasts and definitely leaves an impression.

Gameplay: The puzzles are fairly straightforward and not very numerous, but interacting with the gameworld by pulling or sliding parts of the scenery is quite neat.

Graphics: The pop-up book world visuals are simply beautiful.

Sound: Features an atmospheric and very appropriate soundtrack by David Wise

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Tengami

Developer: Nyamyam | Publisher: Nyamyam | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Indie / Adventure / Puzzle / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / itch.io

The lead character in Tengami might be a samurai, but don’t expect to hack and slash your way through this game. Instead, the unnamed samurai appears to be on a quest to acquire the sakura blossoms of a dying tree in order to restore it. Standing between him and his goal is a series of obstacles in the form of puzzles and not foes. The result is a casual, relaxing experience which is made even better by the unique visual style used.

Tengami was originally released on iOS and later the Wii U, but if you have already played these versions and expect something more from the PC release you will be disappointed. However, newcomers are in for a treat as even without any changes Tengami is a game with lots of style and a unique atmosphere. This is due to the visuals that are designed to look like a Japanese pop-up book. The journey of your samurai will take you through a forest, across seasons and even over the ocean, with appropriate palette changes for each of the scenes. The traditional Japanese style illustrations not only look great, but form an integral part of the gameplay as well. As you walk through the multi-layered landscapes of sharp lines and pastel colors, marked hotspots invite you to pull, slide and drag elements in order to solve puzzles. You might be required to manipulate the scenery in order to create a path or to spot symbols that would otherwise be obscured from your view. With the exception of one or two puzzles the solutions are always straightforward which cuts down on any frustration and a built-in hint system enables players of any skill level to complete the game. I would definitely have liked to see more done with this unique concept though.

It is not just the visuals that are impressive, but the moody soundtrack by David Wise as well. The soundtrack makes effective use of traditional Japanese instruments to create an immersive atmosphere, so be sure to play this game with headphones on and the volume up high. The sound effects in Tengami are also spot on, from the rustling of wind through trees, to water flowing and wolves howling. There is no speech in the game, but this fits in well with the tranquil nature of the whole experience. In fact, beyond a haiku for each level you complete there is no text in the game either to further the storyline, which makes it open to interpretation. The relaxing nature of the game coupled with the unique visuals and great soundtrack made it feel like I was watching a dream of a samurai sleeping underneath a sakura tree unfolding.

Although obviously designed with touch screen devices in mind, Tengami is still very playable using a mouse. You simply point and click where you want your samurai to move and click and drag to interact with the gameworld. Since all hotspots are clearly marked you will rarely be confused about what to do in order to proceed. The character movement felt a bit slower than what some people might be used to as you cannot run in this game, but it gives you enough time to soak in the atmosphere of each screen.

Tengami is definitely a game where I recommend you take your time playing as the whole experience will be over in less than two hours. There are four achievements, but these are all tied to progressing through the game and cannot be missed, so there is very little replay value. Apart from its short length and a couple of instances where backtracking was required I really enjoyed the experience of playing Tengami although obviously it won’t appeal to players who demand plenty of action from their games.

The relaxing nature of Tengami makes it a great choice for when you feel like dipping into something that won’t require a huge investment in time or effort. The gameplay is definitely more suited to mobile devices, but still looks great and plays well on PC. If you base value for money on how long it takes you to complete a game instead of the actual experience you might want to wait for a price drop though. However, if you want something a little different from the usual retro platformer and role playing games that are so prevalent lately you can do far worse than Tengami.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Open GL 2.1 compatible graphics card
  • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
  • OS: Mountain Lion
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Open GL 2.1 compatible graphics card
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space

Related posts

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Ask fans of the genre to name some of their favorite classic point & click adventure titles from the nineties and you can be sure that the name Gabriel Knight will crop up. Thanks to the dark and mature nature of the game it is perhaps not as well-known as the family friendly Lucasarts titles, but offered an experience that was memorable to say the least. From the voodoo steeped setting of New Orleans to the cast of memorable characters and enthralling storyline, Gabriel Knight was, no make that IS, a bona fide classic. Gameplay: A great version of a classic game. Graphics: Not perfect, especially the animations, but very good overall. Sound: The new voices take a while to get used to, but the soundtrack is superlative.

DESYNC

DESYNC

Assault your eyes, ears and self-confidence with this ultra-challenging first person shooter by The Foregone Syndicate. Desync is an all-out action fest that doesn’t believe in hand holding or pulling punches. This can make it an extremely frustrating game, but also very satisfying when you master the skills required to stand a chance. The visuals are stylish, but blinding while the music is outstanding. If you prefer playing your shooters on the easiest setting or easily frustrated, then this is probably not the game for you, but if you want to really put your skills to the test then this is the game to get. Gameplay: Fast, frantic and very unforgiving. Graphics: The Tron-style visuals are stylish, but a little headache inducing after a while. Sound: Sound effects lack a little punch, but the music is excellent.

Borderlands: Claptrap’s Robot Revolution

Borderlands: Claptrap's Robot Revolution

While not the epic finale that I would have liked to see, Claptrap's Robot Revolution still has plenty to offer fans of the game. The Claptraps are adorable and the new "claptrapped" enemies look pretty cool even if they still act the same. While not as big on content as the last DLC it should tide fans over until the inevitable arrival of Borderlands 2. Gameplay: More of the same but still fun. Graphics: Apart from the Claptrapped themed enemies, not much new. Sound: Still good.

Icebound

Icebound

With its Steampunk fantasy setting and fleshed out characters Icebound is a Western visual novel that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. The writing is for the most part very good and the story features plenty of intrigue. The visuals are a bit rough in places, but the excellent soundtrack deserves a special mention. It is a must for visual novel fans, but the puzzle elements and great story will appeal to other players as well. Gameplay: Icebound features a great story, interesting setting and even some nice puzzle mini-games. Graphics: Good, but rather uneven. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is superb.

NEKOPARA Vol. 1

NEKOPARA Vol. 1

If you are looking for something cute, lighthearted, polished and filled to the brim with catgirls then NEKOPARA Vol. 1 is the obvious choice. Even without the h-scenes, the Steam version is an enjoyable, albeit slightly short, romp. The E-mote system works quite well and the artwork by Sayori is absolutely gorgeous. It is not as long or as involving as some other kinetic novels, but serves as a very polished and enjoyable introduction to the genre. Gameplay: NEKOPARA Vol. 1 is a kinetic novel, so gameplay is restricted to simply clicking through the story. Graphics: Beautiful artwork by Sayori and the animation is a lot livelier than what is the norm for the genre thanks to the E-mote system. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for the catgirls, plenty of sound effects and some very nice tunes.

Battle Group 2

Battle Group 2

Although you don't have direct control over your battleship, blasting enemy ships and aircraft is still an addictive experience. There are multiple battleships and support ships to unlock as well as upgrades, which along with the ratings for each level gives the game plenty of replay value. There is a bit of grinding involved to purchase the best equipment, but the game remains fun throughout and if the developers support the game like they promise to do it is only going to get better. Gameplay: An action packed experience despite the simple controls. Graphics: Detailed ship and aircraft designs, but fairly bland backgrounds. Sound: Decent voice acting and a very fitting soundtrack.

1 Comment

  1. NotThatMan94 January 17, 2015
    Reply

    Very pretty!

Leave a comment

twelve − 5 =