The long-awaited Tengami ($5) has finally reached the App Store. Created by Nyamyam, an independent developer founded by former Rare employees, Tengami is described as “an atmospheric adventure game set inside a Japanese pop-up book.” Rated 4+, the game has no in-app purchases and no advertisements.
As expected, Tengami is a beautiful game, as it looks like a real hand-crafted pop-up book in motion. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the aesthetics of Tengami are pretty undeniable for an iOS game. Players can fold and slide pages of the intricate book while guiding the character past waterfalls and wolves. The soundtrack from David Wise and sparse sound effects only add to the enjoyable, soothing experience.
The experience is so relaxing because there is no place for urgency in Tengami, which is both a blessing and a curse. You move the character around the screen in a leisurely fashion — there is no button for running. It’s just tap and walk. This lets players really enjoy the game’s look and get a sense of the world around them, but it can also be frustrating when you want to get something done.
Puzzles in the game are simple, and often based around figuring out patterns through swiping the pop-up folds. Despite their simplicity, the puzzles do give users a sense of satisfaction. The game is so pretty that you want to turn the pages to see what’s next.
To many iOS gamers, Tengami will be a must-download title. It’s been anticipated for sometime, and it is undeniably beautiful and unique. One could argue that Tengami’s look is the entire reason for the game’s existence. But the slow pace isn’t for everyone. Casual gamers who prefer action-packed games have every right to balk at the $5 price tag. For those who revel in their virtual surroundings, Tengami is gaming serenity, now.
iLounge Rating: B+