There has been much debate whether video games classify as art, and the new game Tengami is exhibit A in favor of the argument that video games are indeed art. The game delivers a beautifully formed paper craft world designed around ancient Japanese fairy tales. It’s absolutely beautiful to see in motion with such a high fidelity to the color schemes, depth, and fine details to each part of the environment. The graphic design is coupled with an ornate soundtrack to make for an absolutely immersive zen like experience to tie into the theme of the game. Some games need a little background to tell their story, but Tengami unfolds it story from the very first glimpse.
The level of artistry in Tengami sets it as potentially the most beautiful game available on iOS, but it takes more than artwork to make a game. Tengami is a puzzle adventure where you slide, flip, and unfold the world to form the path forward. It’s an experience like you’ve never had before as you’re given a 3D pop-up book that acts as the backdrop to the zen based adventure game. The game begins by highlighting an area in the world, and you get to that point to open up the ability to flip the page. It’s pretty basic at the beginning, but as you advance you come across various puzzle elements that will definitely challenge you. There are portions where you need to unfold a mountainside through three different phases in various order to slowly, but surely form the path forward, one step at a time. Other puzzle phases include unlocking rooms by remembering objects in the environment, collecting pieces to unlock knobs, and simply exploring to find what’s necessary.
There’s so much detail put into every single aspect of the app that you can simply get lost in the Tengami experience. It’s the type of game that you want to set aside a couple hours for, put some headphones on, and sit down undisturbed. The entire game lasts only about two hours with four main sections that take about a half hour each depending on your puzzle solving skills. Those two hours will be one memorable experience that you will appreciate every minute of. You can spend part of the time just being mesmerized by the scenes that are created. There’s an overarching storyline to push you forward as you try to revitalize the last Cherry Blossom tree that has shriveled up. You will travel to distant lands with each of the four environments offering a completely different color scheme that absolutely sparkles on retina displays.
There are few games that can rival Tengami as it’s more than just a game, and rather a complete experience that tantalizes you sense of sight, sound, and touch. The one drawback of the game is that the main character moves at an extremely slow pace. It does tie into the idea of the zen like experience, but it’s a bit too methodical. Further on in the game you will come across a boat, and if the character moved at the speed of the boat, then it would be a perfect game. The overall pacing can help you stop, and smell the preverbal roses of all that’s included, as this isn’t a game to speed through, but rather cherish.
Tengami ($4.99, Universal) is an absolute masterpiece of game development that is an immersive experience that is not to be missed making it a must buy.