TCHIA, a captivating open-world adventure game from indie developer Awaceb, invites players to embark on a magical voyage across the rich and colorful landscapes of New Caledonia. At the heart of the game is Tchia, a young girl gifted with the extraordinary ability to inhabit various animals and objects. Through her eyes, players set out to discover the hidden wonders of her mystical island home. In this review, we will delve into five crucial aspects of TCHIA, shedding light on both the game's strong points and its areas for improvement.
Visuals and Artistry
The game's art direction is nothing short of breathtaking, featuring a hand-painted aesthetic that bursts with vibrant colors and intricate details. Drawing inspiration from the real-life beauty of New Caledonia, TCHIA's environments offer players an immersive and visually stunning playground for exploration. Although the character and creature designs are truly charming, the game is not without its technical hiccups, such as occasional frame rate drops and minor graphical inconsistencies.
Gameplay and Mechanics
TCHIA offers a seamless blend of exploration, puzzle-solving, and platforming. The core mechanic of possessing animals and objects adds a layer of variety to the gameplay, as each creature has its own unique abilities. While this feature provides fresh challenges and encourages creative problem-solving, the controls can sometimes feel a bit clunky, especially when navigating tight spaces or executing precise jumps.
Story and Characters
The game's narrative is a heartfelt coming-of-age tale that delves into themes of friendship, self-discovery, and the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Tchia's interactions with the island's inhabitants are endearing, and the game does a commendable job of showcasing the richness of New Caledonian culture. However, the story pacing can be slow at times, and some players may find certain plot elements predictable.
Sound and Music
TCHIA's soundtrack is a standout feature, with a mixture of traditional Kanak music and modern compositions that perfectly encapsulate the game's spirit. The ambient sounds of nature and the island's wildlife add to the game's immersive atmosphere. On the other hand, the voice acting is a mixed bag; while some characters are charming and well-performed, others can come across as wooden or over-the-top.
Replayability and Length
TCHIA offers a satisfying amount of content, with a main storyline that spans roughly 20 hours and numerous side quests to keep players engaged. The open-world design encourages exploration, and the variety of animals and objects to possess adds replay value. However, completionists may be disappointed by the lack of post-game content, as there's little incentive to revisit the world after the main storyline concludes.
Overall, TCHIA is an enchanting adventure that beautifully showcases New Caledonian culture and offers players a captivating world to explore. While the game is not without its flaws, its unique mechanics, charming characters, and stunning visuals make it a memorable experience that's well worth your time.
Meet Alex Chen
Alex is a content creator who focuses on indie games and lesser-known titles. He loves to showcase hidden gems and underrated games. Alex is also an accomplished writer, having contributed to several indie gaming publications. When he's not writing, Alex likes to play tabletop RPGs.