Developed and published by indie-developer OhNoo Studio, TSIOQUE is a 2D point-and-click adventure game that has been on my wishlist for a while now. So, when I was offered the chance to play and review the game, I jumped at the opportunity. While point-and-click games certainly have their place in the world of gaming, they have never been particularly effective at opening themselves up to wider audiences. Can TSIOQUE shake this stereotype? Let’s find out!
The game opens up on an intro that provides an understanding of the story prior to game play. The story is told by means of storybook pages with rhyming verses, thus giving it a true fairy-tale feel. This was a feature that I found to be heartwarming and captivating, two characteristics that I feel are very important. This is especially true for a point-and-click game that relies so heavily on storytelling. Drawing the player in right from the start is a clear sign of a well thought out story that quickly leads to a very entertaining game.
As soon as the story’s prologue ended and I was able to start playing I immediately noticed the ability to pan slightly to the left and right of the scene. This made me feel as though I was right there in the room with Princess Tsioque (pronounced “chalk” for those of you who may be just as confused as I was).
The music was perfectly chosen; creepy yet enchanting. This, along with the wide array of sound effects that range from clanging metal to creaking floors, will have you fully immersed before you know it. I found that I was able to interact with quite a few objects even though they had no relevance to the story’s progression and yet I rarely felt confused as to what to do.
There was still a great deal of trial and error required to complete certain tasks, as with many other point-and-click games. It did seem, however, that TSIOQUE took this to the next level by using clicking for more than just searching, picking up or interacting with objects. Instead, they implemented a sewing mechanic. With this I was able to click and guide my sewing needle back and forth as if I was really stitching something back together which I felt was a very clever addition to this style of game.
The characters designs and colour schemes were simplistic but elegant and the animation style was fun and charming. I was shocked to find out that all the animation and art was done by hand. This includes those stunningly detailed backgrounds with BEAUTIFUL lighting that I am a huge fan of. All of those features together made this game a great experience for me.
That being said, I must point out that there was a particular event that took place on a downward spiral staircase which I found MUCH too long and rather dizzying; I feel there may have been a better way for the creators to approach this for I found it bothersome and simply did not enjoy it.
Overall, this game was indeed magical, entertaining, heart-warming and has a wonderfully relatable ending that I feel people of all ages will enjoy. Keep in mind that the amount of game play provided to fully complete the game is only 2-3 hours so it may not be worth the full price but I would definitely recommend you add it to your collection whenever possible.
OhNoo Studio also has another point-and-click game that was released back in March 2015 called Tormentum which also had very positive reviews. If something slightly darker and creepier sparks your interest I would recommend you check that out as well.