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Nairi: Tower Of Shirin

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 6 - 2018

Point and click goodness on Switch.

What makes a good point and click adventure game? Well, games in this genre rely far less on gameplay mechanics than other genres, and so it would need to look good, have a story that pulls the player in, and preferably have some head-scratching puzzles, but none that are so difficult to be frustrating. Oh, and it also needs to work properly on the given platform, something that isn’t always the case. Nairi: Tower of Shirin, a hidden gem from Homebear Studios that recently appeared on the Nintendo eShop for Switch, manages to tick all of those boxes, so is off to a good start.

nairi1 (Copy)

The visual style is absolutely charming. While the low level of detail may put some people off, it is easy to see the love that has gone into creating the game, from the hand-painted style to the wonderful cast of anthropomorphic animals. The colour palette is muted and feels much more relaxed as a result, giving the game a very friendly, almost calm, feeling. In all, it is a very nice looking game.

The story revolves around the titular Nairi, a young girl who begins the game as part of the elite class in the city of Shirin. However, her world is turned on its head when her parents are arrested and she is forced to flee and ends up in the less well off part of the city. This is where Nairi will find friends among those less fortunate and start to investigate the mysterious Tower of Shirin.

While the story is filled with mysteries and revelations, it is the moment to moment interactions of the characters that keep the game moving forward. The developers have done a wonderful job of bringing these characters to life, and even the way the on-screen dialogue is presented feels purposeful and important. The game builds the lore of the world masterfully, making it feel like a living, breathing place that players will want to find out more about. The entire game has a storybook feel to it, and the pacing of the story fits in perfectly with that.

nairi2 (Copy)

Then come the puzzles. The general gameplay will involve moving and exploring one area after the next, looking for all manner of objects to interact with or pick up, and talking to the interesting cast along the way. Characters who are able to help Nairi will often want something in exchange for doing this, and so begins the often used gameplay hook of having to pick up everything the player can, as you can be sure it will be needed at some point. There will be a certain amount of backtracking in the game, as players return to previously visited areas for one reason or another, but it is not really a problem in this game.

This is all fairly regular going for a point and click game. There are some collectible items to find through the game, and players will have to scour each scene in order to find everything of interest. The combining of objects may be required to serve as solutions to whatever problem Nairi faces next. But the puzzle play doesn’t stop there, with some more traditional puzzles presenting themselves along the way and giving the player a moment of pause. As the game progresses through its roughly eight hour play time, the puzzles do become more testing and some players will undoubtedly end up hitting the Internet for solutions. But that’s okay, I never found myself getting frustrated with the puzzles, and finding the solutions myself was incredibly satisfying.

As for how it plays on the Switch, well, it all works very well. The developers have gone the extra mile to ensure that they make the most out of the Switch’s abilities by offering a choice of different control schemes. Players are able to use the Joy-Cons in a regular manner, or use the touchscreen for a more mobile experience. Or, they can hold a single Joy-Con and point it at the television in order to move the cursor around the screen. While I would still recommend using the regular Joy-Con control scheme over the other two, it is nice to have the other options available.

nairi3 (Copy)

Nairi: Tower of Shirin does everything required to be a good point and click adventure game. It doesn’t break any boundaries or push the genre forward in any way, but that is fine because what it does, it does well. The story is engaging, the visual style is filled with charm, and the puzzles are tricky and varied enough to totally entertain. For fans of the point and click adventure who want something new to play on their Switch, Nairi: Tower of Shirin is highly recommended.




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