Developer: OhNoo Studio / Smile Studios | Publisher: OhNoo Studio || Overall: 9.0/10
Tsioque is a quick point-and-click adventure game with beautiful 2D art, fun puzzles, and interesting mini-games. Often, point-and-clicks emphasize on having many clickable items, but Tsioque emphasizes the presentation and mystery being presented by the narrative instead. The name “Tsioque” is pronounced like “Chalk” — not “see-O-Q” like I keep reading it as.
In many ways, Tsioque bears resemblance to the themes of the Bear With Me games, except it is done almost perfectly. The theme is set in a fairy tale castle and the overall story leads you to think there is more than what it seems. An evil wizard has taken over the castle as the Queen, Tsioque’s mother, has gone off to fight a battle against a Phoenix with her army. The entire time the wizard is trying to develop his evil plot but constantly keeps getting disrupted by the noise Tsioque makes. Despite the ending being a bit self-serving, it ended up being satisfying; which can’t be said about Bear With Me‘s ending.
The art is far and away the most enjoyable thing about the game. It feels like you are playing through an animated movie, though there’s very little dialogue. There’s also plenty of humor to keep the game entertaining. The wizard’s goblin-like underlings are also full of personality with their animation and are very entertaining to interact with. Eventually, you’ll find and free allies that will lead you on the path to the final encounter of the game. There are also a variety of different puzzles and action sequences, so nothing feels re-used or “lazy.”
There are quick reflexes demanded at times where timing is an issue. You’ll see something happen and immediately will have to fish into your inventory to get the correct item before you have to retry the sequence. The game is very forgiving in this regard and you’ll often be reset to just before this event so that you can figure out what you did wrong. Depending on the mini-game, you can also skip it if you just aren’t “getting” it, but the skippable ones are few in number.
The music wasn’t especially noticeable and was more ambient. The sound design emphasized the sound effects more as a result of the music being less “up front.” There is a narrator who reads story book portions, and some voice acting for the incidental characters occurs, but little in the way of dialogue. The goblins are a lot of fun to listen to and even though they’re saying something in English, they say it so fast or distorted it doesn’t sound like it at first.
There’s really not a whole lot to say that is bad. I really enjoyed this title, and clocked in around four hours of play time. A title like this is essentially a one-day affair and breaks up what you may be otherwise playing more seriously. At a current price of $14, it might sound steep, but the production quality is well worth the cost