TOEM, Review. A Humorous Photographic Episode
Something We Made presents a work full of good ideas in a great way, with good rhythm and lots of mystery to solve. Relaxing and enjoyable.
TOEM: There is a Photographic Adventure one of those standalone video games that we will remember at the end of the year. The work of Something We Made, a small Swedish studio with only three, brought to our attention its proposal in the last Nintendo Indie World in August: a relaxing adventure involving taking pictures angular return of everything. It was worth knowing and tasting; to carry out his simple proposal and out of the way he has to take us to the end.
One other example is TOEM that it is sometimes best not to cover too much to surprise the public, but to focus on what was once born in a notebook with pen drawings captured on the screen; How is the case.
You set the pace: an absorbent approach
As if it were Paper Mario, Something We Made offers us an adventure in which he or the main character take on journey through various towns, handheld camera, completing missions, taking animal captures and doing favors to humans. The IS interconnection Many of these tasks and their implication in advancing the adventure are essential to achieving the end. And that is the key for TOEM, the missions are not trivial, they are not a simple procedure, but sometimes they are part of a puzzle that fits perfectly with the design of the scenarios.
It is unfortunate that the game, which took us 4 hours to complete (about 7 to get everything), does not try to tell a great story, but puts all the creative efforts into making a puzzle out of it. all cases. all parts of the city —Who is divided into parts separated by roads on the four axes—, puzzle. His account, when the TOEM legend was seen as the ultimate goal, is pretty surface.
You, your camera and your visual and deduction system to solve the simple but ingenious mystery of this beautiful and beautiful world. TOEM does not need a color palette to be aesthetically appealing, with sympathetic animation, small elements of the stage that act as clues. And it works. It works because it is out in the country; because the rest of the residents are bordering on the absurd; and because some are the key to achieving the next areas.
To get an idea, there are between ten and five key missions in every city we visit; but we only need about six or nine, depending on the city, to move on to the next one. Each mission guarantees us a stamp of completion; By having the required number of stamps, the bus stop will unlock the next destination. Each region can live for an hour and has its own animals (which we photograph simply for collection, displaying the overarching motto), offering new mechanics – which we are not about to reveal – and photographic challenges. sometimes confusing.
Everything revolves around your camera; the importance of small details
This is one of the main problems with TOEM. Trying not to try to give too many clues about these challenges, the inventory list makes little reference in a few words. Sometimes, instead of encouraging discovery, they raise doubts. It’s not clear what to do, and that led us to go around interacting arbitrarily with some characters. On the contrary, other missions are much more resourceful, fun and, at the same time, more balanced. For example, there is a city where a hot dog stand needs to attract customers. To do this, we will need to put on a special hat and start a conversation with very determined characters so that we can complete it and get the seal of this mission.
The mechanics of photographic work are astonishing; we can zoom in, with mode selfie or self-portrait … The design of each step is like a diorama, in 360 degrees. It’s a success, since the camera – not the tool, but the one we control in the third person – is always moving. Depending on the location, sometimes we will trim tracks or not see key features of the environment.
Its reusable component is complete, since we can achieve the end without solving some of people’s problems. TOEM is an adventure that always shows altruism, give the fact without expecting anything in return. You may discover the mystery of the TOEM, about which we are not going to say anything, and that you did not manage to rescue a lost family balloon; you may not have won the frisbee of some young people who played on the street; You may not have heard the news about a commission in which we make journalists … Fortunately, here’s the rhythm for you.
Even if we move on to the next city, we can go back to the previous city to complete pending tasks. Unfortunately, the Something We Made team has no bet on the backtracing how he could leave each region with its independent tasks, with no secrets to be resolved when unlocking one of the latter mechanics. We would love to see some of them, whether special hats that unlock specific skills or actions, involved in previously visited environments; a clear invitation to withdraw our steps. But it is not so.
However, the speed is to be commended for giving so much freedom of movement and choice to the player, not limiting the advance but enough to avoid trusting us and pay attention not only to the simplest missions, but to the most complex ones. As you can imagine, the approach leaves the doors open for more regions, more content and, who knows, maybe new adventures in the form of DLC or a sequel. As it is, the best qualifier we can think of to define a TOEM is that it is a sophisticated job. They have made a very good achievement, with surprises that we did not expect in a work as modest as ours..
We played on the Nintendo Switch version, though the game also launches this September 17 on PS4, PS5 and PC. The port is fairly honest, with impressive performance in laptop mode – occasional drops in FPS – and almost always 60 frames per second. The music, of its own accord, did not end up convincing us, although it is compensated by a very successful sound design.
Motto: help people solve their problems
THE BEST _____
- Capture from the first minute: effective in its mechanics.
- The design of the world and the arrangements; Very resourceful.
- How easy it is to invite us to accomplish everything.
- Responsible, environmental and humanitarian message.
- Her story made us want more.
- He repeats many patterns and does not exploit his possibilities.
- Some missions are too vague.
TOEM is a surprisingly thought-provoking video game. With a camera and a diorama-like set design, the episode progresses little by little; you choose the speed and the tasks to be completed. A reflective title, which seeks to demonstrate human good deeds and solidarity. Despite not tapping into the potential of his world to tell a good story and some complex tasks, the result is remarkable. More than recommended.