Tengami is an interactive, pop-up-book-style game by Nyamyam, designed for play on tablets. It is a unique, remarkably relaxing, and wonderfully intriguing piece of work which is ideal for the platform for which it has been designed. It is the sort of game which would be ideal for playing along with children, having a go at in bed, or keeping you occupied on long journeys. It has a chilled out feeling to it which is particularly rare in this age of gaming, but is something which really draws you in with its beautiful design style, minimalist storytelling and enticing adventure.
Tengami, as you may already have picked up on from the introduction to this piece of writing, was a real pleasure to have been able to play at Rezzed. Unlike the majority of games which are released on the market today, this one has a peaceful and tranquil nature to it which passes on to the feelings and emotions of the player’s who experience it. Even before I had my chance to sit down and play the game myself, it was fascinating just to watch the other people who were trying it out and the way that they had become visibly calm and emotionally attached to the adventure which was literally unfolding in front of them. Both the look of the game and the soundtrack which accompanies it are able to draw you in and relax your mind while you play; it is an incredible thing to experience when playing a game. The developers have been very careful not to include and intrusive visuals such as a heads up display of any kind or large, guiding indicators in the landscape. There is a very small pointer visible once you have tapped the screen to move your character and a few, minimalistic indicators for where to move to in order to progress, and even these fit in nicely with the surroundings. Other than simply following the story, the player is given some simple but effective puzzles to solve as they move along in order to keep the game element of the experience alive. These are not necessarily simple to solve but there are clues to be found in the environment and none are in any way stressful as to hinder the overall atmosphere or experience.
It is of course the look of Tengami which is its most captivating feature. With a Japanese artist having produced a 3D world out of 2D origami-style textures, there is much beauty to be taken in and admired here. Your character is 2D personally, as are other models in the game such as wolves, but everything fits perfectly together into what is an astonishingly aesthetically pleasing world to be a part of. Speaking to the developers of the game, it is clear that they are very proud of their idea and what they have produced from it. They themselves are impressed by the effect which the game has on the people who play it and have been pleasantly surprised by its reception at Rezzed given its very different dynamic to the other titles being displayed. Just over 3 years if work have gone into its creation in order to ensure that what they have made is perfect to them, and from my personal experience and what I have seen of the experiences of others they have very much achieved this aspiration. There is a strong hope that the game will be available on tablets, specifically iOS, in the near future, and with an estimated price tag (unconfirmed but suggested at Rezzed) of around £2.99 this is certainly a game which should absolutely not be ignored.
Nathan’s Final Thoughts:
Tengami was one of my favourite games at Rezzed this year. It is something beautiful and unique to play, and it inspires such a relaxing feeling while playing that it can truly draw you in to its wonders. The game is perfect for the tablet gameplay for which it has been designed and I will absolutely be buying a copy for myself and ideally reviewing it in the near future once it has been released. The developers are proud of their work over the past 3 years and very rightly so. Tengami is fantastic.
Charlie’s Final Thoughts:
Even with the sounds of many gamers enjoying themselves and Nathan conducting a suburb interview with the developers behind me I became totally engrossed in Tengami, almost entranced by its smooth animation, gorgeous visuals and relaxing gameplay. I could see myself spending hours, lying in my comfy bed, cup of tea, comfy trousers and some quality headphones on, tapping and swiping my screen to solve ingenious puzzles. I’m very excited for its release and look forward to playing it on Nathan’s iPad after I fight him for it.