Developed and Published By: The Irregular Corporation Composer: Christopher Larkin Categories: Adventure, Point and Click Release Date: 01.28.21
Quirky and Adventure games seem to meld together well, yeah? TOHU is particularly quirky. It’s cute, it’s strange, and much like other games in the genre, had left me scratching my head on multiple occasions.
A little girl, her robot alter ego, and a wacky cast of characters fill the game. There isn’t too much dialogue and what there is, is a fun gibberish. It’s all in the journey to repair the Sacred Engine. Thankfully, the text bubbles are all in English so you’re not lost. Lost is a good word though. Puzzle wise, I found that a good handful just made absolutely no sense.
I suppose it has to do with a mix of things. A staple of the genre, clicking/tapping everywhere is in full swing in this game. The issue with this comes that everything seems to just be in the background. TOHU is a charming looking game, but it didn’t take the time to make things to interact with stand out. Now, more often than not, it’s fairly obvious what can and cannot be interacted with, but at times you’ll need to grab a small item to put in a different place and it just casually blends in with everything else.
There’s that and then there’s the riddles, which have some really obtuse and at times ridiculous ways to solve them. I suppose the game wants you to experiment, but I feel like if they wanted me to hit a tuning fork in certain ways and directions, they should have made it a bit clearer. Thankfully, since I apparently don’t have the mental fortitude for a few of these riddles, they give you the option to just get hints. Do a tiny minigame that has you push in the red teeth and it gives you a cute little comic of sorts that more or less explains the entire area. That said, sometimes the hints, while showing you what to do with the tools you need, it won’t exactly show you where to get the tools. It’s not just outright playing the game for you, which I appreciate.
As mentioned before, I’m quite fond of how the game presents itself. There’s a childlike charm to it I adore. Tap random things and they’ll just make noise or move. A good hunk of the creatures you see and tap give you cards to look at them whenever. Having so many things you can interact with that do ultimately nothing can really be counter productive, especially with some of the trickier riddles, but I find it adds character to the game. Christopher Larkin’s music is wonderful, it fits right in. Wistful is a word for it.
I want to love TOHU, purely on it’s charm alone. I find it at times is too focused on making things odd and can make riddles frustrating. However, I am in the camp of people who will recommend games purely on how much character it has, so I would say play this…but maybe with a guide. I’m hoping to see more in the future, improved from criticisms, with just as much flair to it, and I think it could be something great.
Buy Now: $14.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes