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My basic takeaway from Tengami is that it seems that Monument Valley is part of a genre, that that’s a good thing, but also that Monument Valley is quite impressive.

Tengami really is a pretty game, the puzzles are fine, and the atmosphere is relaxing. But it just didn’t come together quite as well for me as Monument Valley. I like the backgrounds a lot, but I don’t like your character’s movements as much. And you spend a lot of time moving: while Monument Valley loves single-screen puzzles, Tengami has you moving from place to place. Which fits in with the more contemplative feel of the game: Monument Valley puts experimentation with Escherian geometry right in your face, whereas Tengami is more of a feel of traveling through a storybook.

Actually, as I write this up, I’m not entirely sure what the role of the game’s puzzles is. They’re fine, but not great; I never found them nourishing, and I found the final puzzle actively annoying. And, for that matter, while I called it a storybook above, there’s no real story there, either: no Totem, and not the same feeling of discovering history as in Monument Valley.

But still: I do think there’s something there with the backgrounds, with the the atmosphere. Maybe I’m getting distracted by the puzzles, and Proteus could be another comparison?

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