TSIOQUE in General
As described by developers OhNoo Studios and Smile, “TSIOQUE (pronounced: “chiock”) is a dark but playful Point & Click adventure, hand-animated in meticulous, frame-by-frame 2D. Escape the clutches of an Evil Wizard and discover the secrets hidden within the spellbound castle of your ancestors.”
You control the heroine Tsioque and must find items, solve puzzles and click on a lot of things to escape the Evil Wizard.
The main character in TSIOQUE, is the titular Tsioque, a golden haired princess, she has large facial features (in particular her eyes), which make her very animated, weirdly she also seems to be missing a chunk of her ear? Then there is the antagonist the Evil Wizard, who is tall, shadowy and his head is on fire, he is suitably menacing, evoking the dark fantasy of the Lord of the Rings books, he has a bunch of goblin minions who are mostly different in design which gives them more personality as well, even if it’s just minor things like the one with a helmet that looks like a UFO or the huge goblin.
TSIOQUE takes place in a castle, as a point and click adventure most rooms are singular areas with a lot of details, some of which have little things you can interact with that don’t affect the story (such as the skeleton of a bird in a cage that just rattles around), overall through my time with the game I went from a gloomy yet lively dungeon through spooky halls and even along the walls of the castle to the courtyard, each area looked distinct and is well drawn.
As TSIOQUE is a point and click/puzzle game, there isn’t really too much need for a variety of enemies, you have the Evil Wizard and his various goblin minions, when you get caught or killed, there is a small animation pertaining to the situation and then you move back to the previous safe area to try again, as such the enemies are more of an annoyance than anything, TSIOQUE requires mostly trial and error to avoid or defeat those that would capture or kill the princess.
Sound / Music
The sound and music in TSIOQUE is quite good, in particular the sound effects, as the game relies on running the predetermined options instead of exploration each sound effect I encountered was quite fitting, they synced up well and gave a real atmosphere to the game, the music was mostly in the background and only really picks up when the situation becomes more exciting (as opposed to sneaking and searching), it does fit quite nicely and heighten the experience though, even if it’s not outstanding or particularly noticeable, but when it comes to a story (which this essentially is) they say the best scores are the ones you don’t notice, because they seamlessly draw you into the story rather than being the center of attention.
TSIOQUE is a hand drawn, traditionally frame by frame animated art style, it reminds me of the polished classics from the 80’s like The Black Cauldron, although it is more similar in feel than actual style, and the images are crisper than that time period really allowed for, overall the art style is really the selling point of TSIOQUE, there are other point and click adventures out there, other stories of princesses being held in dungeons by Evil Wizards (all though the princess escaping herself is a lesser used trend that is enjoyable to follow), the painstaking art style, the animation that feels fluid but you can still see the slight juttering between frames really gives you that sense that TSIOQUE was a handmade, labour of love, which certainly aided in my enjoyment of the game.
TSIOQUE is a lovely artistic piece, it has a lot of trial and error puzzles as well as point and click adventure, combine objects in the inventory and try them on anything you can find puzzles, multiple times I got stuck in how to proceed (sometimes it resulted in some rage filled frustration), however I pressed on and found the solutions, you probably already know if you’ll like the game just by the key words “point and click” “adventure” and “hand animated”.
Price / Quality: The price/quality is well done
Rating: 7/10 – An enjoyable game that’s more for fans of the genre than newcomers.
Genre: Adventure, Point and Click
Developer: OhNoo Studios, Smile
Publisher: OhNoo Studios
Release Date: 8 Nov, 2018