Originally posted January 11th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
System: Wii U (eShop, reviewed version), iOS
Release date: 11/13/2014
The main game/story
In this adventure game, you take control of a samurai who must search around Japan in order to find the reason why a mysterious tree is dying. This game is a bit different than you may expect, as it’s meant to be a relaxing experience with no action whatsoever, instead the challenge being from puzzle solving.
The whole game is intended to take place in a 2D pop-up book, and the look definitely captures that feel. Everything is flat and layered like in those books, and you even turn pages to advance to new areas. Very neat art style.
Music and sound effects:
The music in this game is relaxing in a serene way, which is no surprise considering it’s composed by David Wise, a famous video game composer. Not one song was irritating to the ears, and all of them reminded me greatly of the work of Ryuichi Sakamoto. More precisely, his composition for the very sad yet well made movie Koneko Monogatari. Yet another perfectly captured segment of this game.
Being a game all about puzzle solving, you simply go around and do that, either by looking for anything out of the ordinary or making it to where you need to find your next puzzle. It’s slow, simple and relaxing, and the puzzles are fair challenges that steadily increase as the game moves on. Some puzzles are quick and simple, while others require some thinking and attention to earlier details in a level you may have missed. There’s miiverse stamps to collect, which is a neat little feature of the Wii U version, but nothing major.
Unfortunately, as successful as this game is at doing it’s job of immersing the player, it’s rather short. Combine that with a lack of replay value makes this a bit hard to come back to after you already completed it. This is by far the biggest fault of the game, and it’s a shame considering how well made every detail is.
In the end, Tengami does an amazing job of immersing the player into this peaceful puzzle game experience, with excellent music and a pretty artstyle. Unfortuantely the short length and the lack of any replay value hurts the game, and features like Miiverse stamps don’t really add too much to the game.
It’s also $9.99, which is double the price of the iOS version. While I understand the big jump to HD (Which does improve this game’s visuals) is worthy of a price increase, I still believe that $7 or $8 would have been a more fair price for a game like this, considering the length of the game.
So if you are willing to look past the short length, I strongly recommend you pick this game up, as it’s really a great experience to behold. For anyone else however, I advise waiting for a price drop.
I give Tengami a 7 out of 10
Thanks to Nyamyam for the review code.