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Posted by GG Goblin On November - 15 - 2018

Zeek? Tizeek? Tiziock? Oh, I give up!

When I saw the name of OhNoo Studios’ TSIOQUE, which is available now on Steam, I immediately imagined so kind of abstract puzzle game. I don’t know why, but it was something about the combination of letters into a word I could not pronounce that left me thinking of coloured shapes and possibly some form of rhythm. However, I could not have been more wrong, as TSIOQUE is actually the name of the young princess protagonist in a rather enjoyable point and click adventure. Oh, and in case you were interested, it is pronounced something like “Chock”. There, doesn’t that make it all better…

tsi1 (Copy)

Tsioque’s mum is a great queen. But as the player is introduced to the story through rhyming narration and the turning pages of a fairytale storybook, it is explained that the queen had to leave her castle to go and fight some great evil, leaving Tsioque behind. As is often the case in such tales, it turned out that the court wizard is actually evil and, in the absence of the queen, takes over the castle with his evil, impish minions and locks poor little Tsioque in a cell. However, Tsioque is not the sort of young princess that needs to wait for a plumber to come and save her, and instantly gets to work escaping the cell and putting a stop to this evil wizard.

The first thing that will strike the player are the gorgeous visuals in Tsioque. The backdrops are hand painted and have a depth to them where further exploration is available. The character models are beautifully cartoonish, and move with a smoothness that suggests a high level of skill. Outside of the interactions of Tsioque, there are often little actions going on that bring this world to life. The soundtrack fits in well with the theme of the game. Aside from the narrator and the evil wizard, there is little voice work to worry about. The impish guards mutter unintelligible noises, while Tsioque herself communicates through the expressions on her face, which are brilliant. It’s a colourful and charming game to watch, and is suitable for a wide age range.

Gameplay is, for the most part, standard point and click fare in which players will find objects that can then be used to achieve whatever they are trying to achieve and move the story along. Tsioque has a little purse in which to keep small items, which can later be exchanged for something more magical and capable of carrying larger items, and these items can be accessed from the main screen in an easy manner. There is no combining of items in the game, so the puzzles never quite reach that level of annoying difficulty. That being said, there is a certain amount of trial and error to the game as many times the solution is not immediately apparent or logical. However, it never falls into the random pixel hunting that older point and click games became known for.

tsi2 (Copy)

It’s not just about finding the right object though, as there are other types of puzzles in the game. Tsioque leans on the side of easy, although the occasional pause for thought will turn up. Some of the more varied puzzles have the player moving their mouse around with dexterity to solve. Interestingly, on the odd occasion in the game, the tempo ramps up and the player will have to deal with some timing based challenges. These generally require the player to click in the right place at the right time, which can be quite difficult if the player has yet to work out what to do. Failure, which results in Tsioque being caught by the guards, is not too much of a hardship though, as after a quick “oops you’ve been caught” scene, the player will be cast back to the start of the sequence to try again. Much like many of the other puzzles in the game, these sequences will require a certain amount of trial and error to get through, but are quite fun and break up the gameplay.

The story is fairly fun and simple, but close to the end there is a surprising twist that may throw some players. Tsioque is a great character and the way she communicates with those around her, and even the player, through her emotive face makes her very endearing. Tsioque is not the longest game, coming in at only three or four hours, which is a shame as I was left wanting more. It is good that the game didn’t outstay its welcome, but I really feel a couple more hours would have made the game even better.

tsi3 (Copy)

Tsioque is a lovely looking point and click adventure with a few twists to the standard point and click gameplay. It is quite charming and easy to play, but comes in quite short, which may put some players off. In all though, Tsioque is a great little point and click game that will provide a good afternoon’s entertainment for fans of the genre.




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