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

Sword Daughter

Sword Daughter

Follow Tyrna the Sword Daughter on a quest that might lead her to vengeance, treasure, glory, death or even love in this adaptation of the original gamebook. Although short, the 22 different endings add a lot of replay value and the game is worth it for the beautiful art style alone. It is a little heavy handed when it comes to romance and some of the story elements definitely shows their age, which is no surprise as the original gamebook was released way back in 1984. Despite its flaws the game is still quite enjoyable and well worth checking out. Gameplay: The story is straightforward, but has plenty of branching routes and a whopping 22 different endings. Graphics: The fantasy artwork might not be very animated, but it is quite beautiful. Sound: Not many tunes, but the ones on offer are very good.

Seven Days

Seven Days

Seven Days is a visual novel that starts out like something straight out of a horror movie as the protagonist, Kanzaki Shuuichi, receives a cursed Blu-ray disc from a friend. However, thanks to the exorcism skills of his childhood friend, Shuuichi is saved from the evil spirit trying to possess him after watching the disc. This leads to the unexpected development of the female ghost gaining a physical human form and revealing that six other girls are trapped inside her. Shuuichi ends up with his hands full as he attempts to make the last days of these spirits as pleasant as possible, but along the way, it’s impossible for him not to grow attached them. Seven Days is a captivating and well written visual novel that will stay with you even after the credits roll. Gameplay: The story is well written and there are enough choices for multiple playthroughs. Graphics: Everything from the character sprites to the backgrounds look great. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the girls and the soundtrack is pretty neat too.

EVERSPACE

EVERSPACE

Everspace might not have millions of systems to explore or an open world galaxy of possibilities, but it does have action-packed dogfights, procedurally-generated levels, roguelike elements and stellar visuals. The end result is a game that is highly addictive and offers buckets of replay value. Like all roguelike titles it can feel like a grind at times, but with three very different ships and plenty of perks to upgrade, each new run is very entertaining. If you are a fan of pretty visuals, addictive gameplay and plenty of action, then you don’t want to miss out on Everspace. Gameplay: Very polished and highly addictive. Graphics: Space has never looked more spectacular. Sound: Decent voice acting, great sound effects and the soundtrack isn’t half bad either.

Ellipsis

Ellipsis

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful minimalist visuals that Ellipses sports. It isn’t just another Geometry Wars clone, but a polished and very addictive title where your avoidance skills and puzzle solving abilities are needed instead of an itchy trigger finger. Ellipses features tons of great levels, spread across eight worlds and in addition to plenty of replay value it also ships with a level editor and Steam Workshop support. If you are looking for something fresh and unique this is definitely not a title you want to miss. Gameplay: Simple, but very polished and highly addictive. Graphics: Makes great use of minimalist, but striking visuals. Sound: Complements the on-screen action perfectly.

Gatling Gears

Gatling Gears

Play as Max Brawley and take on the evil Empire from the cockpit of your Gatling Gear in this top down shooter by Vanguard Games. It features vibrant visuals, tons of explosions and plenty of action. Since the game pretty much only consists of shooting everything in sight, it can become a little repetitive, but blowing things up remains satisfying and with three difficulty levels, you can challenge yourself no matter what your skill level is. It's not the most memorable or impressive title in the genre, but it is very solid and very enjoyable. Gameplay: Blowing up everything in sight stays a blast right throughout. Graphics: The levels are varied and packed with detail. Sound: So-so music, but the sound effects are really good.

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura Estival Versus offers an impressive amount of fanservice mixed up with some solid hack and slash combat. The game does have its fair share of questionable elements, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on content. There is a meaty story mode to complete, along with plenty of side missions, while the money you earn can be spent on clothing and accessories for the girls. Like most hack and slash games it can get a little repetitive, but despite the large cast none of the girls feel alike in personality or fighting style. If you are a fan of the series or enjoy fighting games, this comes highly recommended, as long as you realize you are going to get bombarded by fanservice around every turn. Gameplay: Features plenty of content and a learning curve that eases you into the various combos and attacks you can pull off. Graphics: Looks great on PC and the detail as well as animations are impressive. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the girls and a funky soundtrack that complements the action nicely.

1 Comment

  1. NotThatMan94 January 17, 2015
    Reply

    Very pretty!

Leave a comment

3 × 3 =