Game Reviews


Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off
| Tengami
| Tengami

Static screenshots do not do Tengami justice. Sure, the soft colours and simple shapes look pretty, but this world of corrugated cardboard is at its most beautiful when in motion.

Touch the screen and these paper scenes spring to life. Intricate buildings fold in on themselves, paper flaps can be unfurled to reveal bridges, and turning a page transports you to new lands.

And it doesn't look like some cheap visual trick, either. You can slowly tease the pop-up creations with a lingering slide across the screen, and see how each piece of paper neatly bends and folds into its perfect home.

And that's not to mention the fact that everything is backed up by a beautiful, haunting score from famed Donkey Kong Country composer David Wise, which blends oriental tones into some gorgeous ambient soundscapes.

Card battler

In play, you potter about in these papercraft worlds, solving the sort of harebrained logic puzzles we've seen in games like Year Walk and The Room.

The puzzles are perhaps not as inventive as you might expect, though. They rarely tie-in to the game's clever pop-up concept, and when they do the solutions are disappointingly straightforward.

Tengami is an understated, slow-moving game. In fact, it might be too slow. Your character saunters around at such a snail's pace that experimenting with different ideas, and exploring the landscape for clues, becomes quite painful.

Paper view

And you'll find yourself wandering aimlessly a lot, if your experience is like mine. Because while many of the puzzles are well-designed (with subtle hints littered about the environment), others can be more inscrutable or just plain tedious.

I had to ask the developer for a hint or two, and I've had reviewer friends call me up for solutions. With no hint system, and absolutely no alternative paths to take, Tengami just screeches to an unsatisfying halt whenever you get stuck.

I'm not a betting man, but I predict that our strategy guide for this game will prove quite popular.

Fold me

Tengami is also remarkably brief, even by £3 tablet game standards. You'll spend a few hours in the game, but there are only a handful of moments that I would describe as puzzles.

Those are buffered by long uneventful journeys, tiresome backtracking, and simply butting your head against an abstruse puzzle for half an hour.

Don't get me wrong - there's a lot to love about this game. Tengami is a rich, contemplative adventure that will appeal to fans of immersive, transportive, atmospheric wander-'em-ups like Sword & Sworcery and Waking Mars.

But its glacial pace, dearth of content, shallow simplicity, and frustratingly cryptic riddles keep it from true greatness.


A gorgeous, engrossing experience, but it's too straightforward, too brief, and too slow to be an essential adventure