Tamashii is a new puzzle platformer from publisher Digerati and developer Vikintor that takes place in a pretty horrific world. It was inspired by Japanese games from the late 80’s and early 90’s but to me it has a lot of similarities to some recent indie titles such as Inside and Super Meat Boy. It isn’t as good as those games but it does a lot right that makes it worth a look.
The story in Tamashii focuses on the creature you play as who has been created by some deity in order to conquer the dungeons in this game. That’s basically all there is to it but thankfully what this game lacks in pure story it makes up for in pure atmosphere. Every area of these dungeons that you travel through is full of haunting and grotesque imagery. This game will certainly make you feel uncomfortable as you seek to conquer every inch of it. In order to conquer each dungeon you’ll have to platform your way around while avoiding the traps within them along with the various monsters. There is no combat in this game so you are just trying to avoid anything that can harm you. Every dungeon ends in a boss fight that challenges you to figure out a puzzle to defeat them all the while dodging their attacks.
While I compared this to Super Meat Boy earlier the platforming isn’t as difficult as that game is so if you were turned off by that don’t worry. The controls felt good and responsive which is very important for this kind of game to work. It can still be challenging to make certain jumps especially when something is after you but overall it’s doable. There is also an option to toggle a slow motion modifier on to make the game more accessible to those who may struggle with these type of experiences.
The puzzles also provide a nice challenge without having the solution to them feel too obscure and making you waste too much time thinking on how to solve them. One of the core mechanics you’ll be using to solve them is a clone mechanic. You’ll find in order to proceed past certain points you have to stand in a certain spot to open a path so making a clone to stand there is the viable solution. You can make up to three clones and they only last a certain amount of time so you’ll find yourself rushing to solve the puzzles before they vanish. I’ll say that you do start to do a lot of the same kind of puzzles as you make your way through the game so a bit more variety would’ve been appreciated. Once you finish the game you can get a little more mileage out of it by playing the score attack and time trial modes if those kind of things interest you.
As disturbing as the things you see in this game are the pixelated art style the game went with helps make it bearable. While most of the game is blacks, whites, and reds for all the fleshy things you see there are bits of other color throughout as well. I also really liked how the screen would distort at times giving the feeling that you are watching an old VHS tape. If you find this annoying though there is an option to disable certain visual effects. The game has a total of 26 trophies including a Platinum. A lot of them are given via progression through the game but some are tied to finding certain secrets and others are tied to the score attack.
If you enjoy games with twisted worlds and dark aesthetics then Tamashii is a game for you. The platforming is responsive and the puzzles provide enough challenge that you won’t be bored of them nor frustrated. Tamashii’s world is one I won’t forget soon due to just how disturbing it was and I strangely enjoyed that.
*Tamashii is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.