Monday, 10 December 2018 10:48

REVIEW: TSIOQUE (Steam)

Written by Evallia
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TSIOQUE is a brand new dark but playful point & click adventure that features beautiful artwork and animations, nice story, and a playing style that differs from the standard casual point & click format. While it may still be considered casual to many, it has a lot of timed components and many fail states, so it is not going to be enjoyed by everyone. Fortunately there is a demo available and so anyone can easily see what the game is about without needing to buy.

The game has a nice story and a good set of animations to begin, setting the mood for everything and why you will follow child Princess Tsioque on her quest. She is resourceful and intelligent, she knows where to go and how to act in situations of danger. She has super-child strength and is able to do most things living and breathing adults cannot. She can also make some good and timely decisions to get herself out of trouble, with player input.

Almost all aspects of the game and every interaction is animated very well. So the production quality of this game is very high. At the same time a lot of these animations may take some extra time and you cannot skip them, but a lot of the built in humor is evident in these animations, so they are enjoyable while you casually observe and take mental notes.

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There are certain scenes that are fairly wide open that involves several places our princess can venture to and to explore and to interact with. These form the basis of the larger puzzles that the player will need to play through. Some situations are tough and confusing, but after playing for a while, the player will recognize some patterns and clues and be able to move forward. On saving, there's no manual save option and most achievements are story progression, so you'll get them just by playing. A few require you to do specific actions and might require a full restart if you fail. But again, they are not overly difficult to get once you know what you have to do and you'll probably get a few of these on the first play through anyway.

Graphics are a bit of an unfair metric when it comes to point & click games since they don't really have to do very much. However the hand-drawn art of TSIOQUE does more than enough to elevate it above its competition. The images pop off the screen and the art style serves the subject matter extremely well. The hard drawn aspect feels like the labor of love it most likely was and there's a wealth of personality in the characters because of this. This game would have suffered a bit if it was more typical computer animated fare as the story isn't quite unique enough to hold its own, but the artists that worked on TSIOQUE brought a beautiful look to the table.

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The screens are as interactive as you'd hope from any quality point & click title and the devs do a great job of making each. It was rare to find out something wasn't clickable. It helps to make exploring each scene fun and this kind of stuff makes or breaks point & clicks titles.

The puzzles aren't overly complicated, although some might be a bit of a challenge if you don't get the visual clues presented. Most of the mini action sequences are timed events in which you need to do certain things within a very short amount of time, but the game doesn't punish you very hard for failing because it drops you right back in the action and saves in-between quite regularly. Make sure to pay attention to everything on screen.

For those players who are looking for a traditional point & click experience, this is not it. Those games usually ask the player to find things, put them together in the right order in the proper situation, and to solve a series of puzzles. This game is more of an adventure where your mouse click prompts the on-screen protagonist to perform an action in an often timely manner. While there are puzzles as well, mostly fairly straight forward, the timed actions may excite some players, but deter others.

TSIOQUE is an exciting point & click adventure game with a lot to offer. The developers clearly put a lot of effort into this title to make it worth the potential player's time. It is very nice that there is a demo available for people to try out.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, Steam
  • Developer: OhNoo Studio, Smile
  • Publisher: OhNoo Studio
  • Genre: Adventure