Friday, April 12, 2013

PAX East 2013: Tengami (Nyamyam)




In the midst of all the insanity of PAX East's Indie Megabooth, we caught sight of a much calmer but equally enticing title on the floor: Nyamyam's Tengami.  We got to speak with Jennifer Schneidereit about the game and developing as a smaller developer.  We also have some footage of the game from the showfloor for those curious about the gameplay.

Tengami is a stylistic adventure in the world of a pop-up book.  You take control of a Japanese warrior who comes to life with the power of a cherry blossom, and from there you venture through the wilderness to learn more about the world and the mysterious happenings around you.  Nyamyam made sure to display the story in a more subtle way, fitting to the more casual, relaxed experience of the game.  As relaxed as the music and game might feel, the artstyle is striking and bold, designed in a mix of papercraft and Japanese traditional artwork.

Players do not control the character directly but instead select the point for him to approach.  Throughout the world, certain items or the side of the world will glow faintly, hinting that movement with them is possible.  By grabbing those glowing parts and pulling over the screen, the object reacts as though you are manipulating a real pop-up book.  In the demo, I encountered a few short puzzles involving a broken bridge or a fallen staircase, and all it took was a flick of the finger to pull things back into place.  There were times, however, where things were not as simple as a single pull across the screen.  In one instance, a wolf continued to undo my handy work, so I had to find a way to get it to fall asleep with its pack in order to venture quietly around it.  World manipulation and item collection were key to solving puzzles, and all the while, the game maintained its pop-up style consistently.

I really took to the game's slower pace, as it greatly contrasted with some of the other games I had experienced at PAX.  If the game keeps the pace throughout its adventure, I think this game will definitely fit into a more casual, chilled yet rewarding experience on mobile devices, as well as other platforms, too.

Tengami releases on the iOS App Store this Summer, followed by PC and Mac releases later this year.  A Wii U version is planned afterward at this time.

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