Making landfall on a remote island location, you breathe the air as you begin to look around at the surrounding area. You start speaking with the locals and learn of different stores and things to do. Obviously, your next step is to explore and see what this new place has to offer. Digging deeper into the lore and your surroundings, you come to realize this place is more than it first appeared and you wonder what more there is to discover. This adventuring mindset is what The Touryst wants to capture. Does it fulfill that feeling of mystery and awe or does it just feel like being stuck at the hotel?
The Touryst starts you off by dropping you off at Touryst Island with no exposition. The game puts you firmly in the shoes of its namesake protagonist where you are able to start exploring your surroundings and talking with the locals. Once there, you discover a shop and an interesting, yet peculiar, monument. After further exploring the monument you begin this grand mystery that there are other monuments in other locations with plenty of secrets to hide. At this jumping off point, you discover the game’s various locales and the many activities and mysteries hidden within them. With activities and mini games scattered throughout each island, there is always something to do while you are between the puzzles hiding with each monument.
Here’s What I Liked:
Always a Plan – The game’s many tasks are given to you by the locals and added to your to-do list. This list covers a broad range of activities, from something as small as doing a pull-up competition on the beach to beating someone’s series of high scores at the local arcade. These tasks reward you with coins with which you can buy new abilities and pay tour guides to grant you access to new locations.
Scratching an Itch – Throughout The Touryst you are met with various puzzles including the bosses of each monument. Some take longer than others, but it is always fulfilling when all the pieces fit right and you get that eureka moment.
Sense of Wonder – Each island feels alive and conveys a sense of it having its own history. It encourages exploration and seeing what each location has to offer. Different stores and experiences make each island feel unique and make you excited to see what’s just around the bend.
Here’s What I Didn’t Like:
Lack of Something in the Air – While sometimes peaceful, there is no overworld music while traversing the islands. The sound design as a whole is perfectly fine but this feels like a weird omission. It creates an odd vibe as a whole which grates against the game’s aesthetic.
The Road Less Traveled – The Touryst doesn’t necessarily have a sharp difficulty spike but there are certain puzzles that could have benefited from doing more to nudge the player in the right direction. While not every puzzle should be self-explanatory, the solutions to these ones were a little too well-obscured.
The Touryst is an absolutely great game with a lot to do during its playtime. The mini games are diverse and fun enough that I would come take the challenge again. The story, while barebones, is quirky enough to hold my interest with a twist that I can say I didn’t expect. This will be a game I make a return visit to.
Score: Must Buy
The Touryst was developed and published by Shin’en Multimedia GmbH. The game released on July 30th, 2020 for $19.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.