- Summary: Experience the mysterious world of Toren, the first adventure game from Brazilian indie developer Swordtales. You are Moonchild, destined to climb the tower (known as Toren) on a hauntingly solitary journey to find your purpose.
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Toren - Official Trailer
May 19, 2015Toren really is about its narrative, and that is arthouse gold. Like the finest of foreign cinema, this game challenges how the wisdom behind blockbuster design would dictate a game should be put together. It's constrained by budget and, perhaps, a lack in confidence to go all the way and risk complete innovation, but it's a beautiful, emotive, and powerful experience, and it's going to be one of my games of the year. If not one of my favourite games ever.
Games Master UKAug 5, 2015The sense of goodwill you'll take into this Ico-aping adventure peters out pretty much instantly. [Aug 2015, p.79]
May 12, 2015A beautiful fairy tale. An exciting history, an astonishing visual, supplemented by a great soundtrack. Special fondness for the final battle.A beautiful fairy tale. An exciting history, an astonishing visual, supplemented by a great soundtrack. Special fondness for the final battle.
May 17, 2015[DISCLAIMER: There will be some small spoilers up ahead. Also, I was a beta tester for some of the boss fights when the game was in it's[DISCLAIMER: There will be some small spoilers up ahead. Also, I was a beta tester for some of the boss fights when the game was in it's development stage. Also this is a re-post from the pc review,]
I really don't like scoring games over numbers, I feel this is a system that does not truly convey an interactive experience, nor I feel slicing a game on it's different systems is the way to truly say if a game is worth a look or not.
Rather, I like to look at the whole.
Toren is a game of simple mechanics. Perhaps 'subtle' is the word I am looking for, as in this is not a game defined by it's combo system Moonchild can do (despite having a sword at several points of the game and using it to actually hit and wound a Dragon), nor by the "salt the holy icons" moments the game have (which feel like a chore - both for us the players as well the character.)
I'd argue these little mechanics help tell the story.
You salt the holy symbols because it's a purification ritual.
You hide behind the statues because a terrible wind is blowing, and you do not want to fall down the platform.
The mechanics are there so you react and interact with the scenes and the story. Only when you confront the dragon there is a "fear", a "tension" that you might lose some short of progress (Well there are some platform/exploration that might end up resulting on your character death but those are uncommon).
So it's a game that doesn't want to train you or reward you for being awesome at platforms and most puzzles are basic - They often make sense in the logic of the world meaning they are really simple.
This leaves us with the center of Toren itself: It's story. It's message.
Once you actually know that it's a story is about the cycle of reincarnation as seen by some gnostic sects, all the symbolism makes sense.
All the concepts of the game match the mythos surrounding it, and the game ends with it beginning anew, as if you 'reincarnate' the experience to do all over again,
It's a game about learning 'truths' as seeing by said religious/cultural lens and navigating a beautiful world and having rituals that mark these learning experiences.
Which I guess makes Toren a "Narrative" game; A game where you do not play for it's sick jumping mechanics or kick ass sword combos, but by paying attention on it's muted and quiet story. Some reviews claim it's pretentious, yet all it does is take knowledge that exists outside the game and creating a symbolic experience for them.
If you wish to experience a story in which the gameplay helps convey some emotional moments for the experience, Toren is your jam. Take note it's a story that barely has any dialogues and it's marked by rituals. Trying to figure out said rituals was part of the fun for me, but your mileage may vary.
I truly feel even if you disagree with the game beliefs, seeing them executed in this form is interesting, unique even. I'd love to see more spiritual games like that being made, all sharing different point of views.
If anything I said here interested you, then take the game for a spin. It's cheap and in the short side length wise, you can beat it in about two hours and a half, perhaps more or less. But this game wasn't crafted to pad things up. It wishes to tell you a story, to show you a world, and then to give you the message that inspired the crafting of the story in the first place. And then it ends in a metaphor.… Expand
May 17, 2015Toren is great conquest to Brazilian game market, when I start to play I got really surprised the game has as very beautiful art (I love theToren is great conquest to Brazilian game market, when I start to play I got really surprised the game has as very beautiful art (I love the cartoon like style), a great story and a awesome way to delivery it. I saw some bugs (there is a stair where I always get stuck on the top) but nothing which interfered in my gameplay. The only thing I have to complain is that the game is to short.… Expand
May 19, 2015Toren is in the vein of Journey or Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons in that the "puzzles" are not hard unless you are a total idiot and that it isToren is in the vein of Journey or Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons in that the "puzzles" are not hard unless you are a total idiot and that it is about enjoying the visuals and story. The visuals are really unique and sometimes amazing. Look up some screenshots for this game!! The game is wonky and a technical mess. The were some meta puzzles of how to get through the game without it breaking and having to restart the checkpoints. Might be worth putting up with if you like these types of games.… Expand
May 13, 2015Interesting premise, story, and game that fails to deliver in the end. The visuals and music are the best part of the game which relaxes you.Interesting premise, story, and game that fails to deliver in the end. The visuals and music are the best part of the game which relaxes you. The game however doesn't feel deep enough to be satisfying. The gameplay is very basic, repetitive, and not fun. Overall, its a decent attempt at a videogame from a first time developer. I liked the spiritual aspect of the game.… Expand
Jun 13, 2015My interest in the game was only mildly sparked by an occasional unusual setting or character. But nothing connects well. And poorly writtenMy interest in the game was only mildly sparked by an occasional unusual setting or character. But nothing connects well. And poorly written prose, choppy game events, terrible character animations, and buggy game play make this a title to avoid.… Expand
May 18, 2015Four years to develop this crap? This game is a bad joke.
Extremely boring. Broken in every way.
Poor gameplay, poor graphics, poorFour years to develop this crap? This game is a bad joke.
Extremely boring. Broken in every way.
Poor gameplay, poor graphics, poor duration, zero replay value.
Save your money and stay away from this crap.… Expand