Preface: It’s definitely been a while since I’ve written a review on this site, but considering I need to get back on track, here is a game I completed over the weekend and thought would be cool to write about. I don’t know how the quality of my reviews will be after so long of not writing in this style, but the length and quality do not matter – all that matters is getting back into the hang of things.
The Nintendo Switch is genuinely such a marvel of a console to behold. Given it’s tiny size, the quality of the games available on it never seizes to amaze me, both graphically and from a gameplay perspective. It’s been rare to actually find a bad game on the platform (even if they do exist).
Thankfully, The Touryst was another such game that managed to fit into the former camp, with a charming story, and genuinely stunning graphics, this was one such game I felt compelled to write about.
You start the game off as a brand new tourist to a new island (self-named Touryst Island), and from here it’s your job to discover the core tenant of the game – that is to explore. Upon meeting some locals who task you with unlocking a monument, you’re then tasked with doing the same across many other islands (gotten to by tour guides), and solving the mystery of these monuments whilst meeting inhabitants of each location and taking part in mini games.
It’s a simple story, and simple premise, but one the art style and gameplay genuinely make the most of in it’s 5 hour playtime. I found myself revisitng locations, and 100 percenting the game during this time, wanting to see everything The Touryst had to offer.
From the get go, you’d be genuinely forgiven for being floored by the graphics on display. The voxel art style may not be to everyone’s liking, but the fact The Touryst manages to look as clean and gorgeous as it is whilst running on Switch hardware is an achievement in itself. The squarish-look doesn’t prevent the world from feeling alive either, with palm tree’s swaying in the wind, waves hitting the beach, and so much grass being rendered and swaying it’s a joy to behold.
The variety of gameplay on offer is also a joy. At one point in the game you’re tasked with beating an arcade player’s high scores, which then entails playing different arcade games which could be whole new games in and of themselves, from an f-zero clone to breakout, it’s pretty damn awesome. Then there’s the little side objectives like taking pics around the islands, and doing challenges like beating surfers on a surfing competition. You’d be hard pressed to not find something you do enjoy throughout your playtime.
Controls wise you may get a little frustrated with The Touryst. You have your jump, and eventually buy the ability to hold onto ledges, double jump, and sprint – it doesn’t sound like much, but there are many times where you don’t feel properly in control of the character, with simple jumps being missed, or sprinting stopping for no apparent reason.
That’s not to say the controls weren’t the only irritation for me – for one, the game can be very annoying at times due to it’s strict camera angles. There were many instances where I’d die by falling in some ruins due to the camera angle not properly conveying where my character was in relation to the platforms around.
Then there’s the bosses which you have to take down at times – due to the weird collision detection at times, I’d have some bosses which would have to be run into to defeat, but a few times I’d glide off them, making me believe running into them wasn’t the way to defeat them – causing many dozens of minutes staring at the screen wondering how I’d defeat the enemy.
Overall, for £17 I’d recommend the game. If you’d have asked me a few years ago whether The Touryst was worth £17, I may have said no, but after spending the best part of a year making a book and charging £10 for it, and for an (mostly) enjoyable 5 hours with gorgeous graphics, I’d say get it. It’s definitely worth a try, and I genuinely look forward to what the developers at Shin’en Multimedia come up with in the future.