TOHU (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

TOHU is a point and click adventure with beautiful hand-drawn graphics.  In the game, you play as a young girl who lives on one of several ‘fish islands.’  These are giant fish that float in the sky and have buildings and stuff on their backs.  Your girl character has the ability to change into a big, strong robot, which you’ll use when you need to lift heavy objects.  Change back to the girl when you need to climb obstacles or fit through small spaces.  A hooded character has been breaking stuff on the islands, and now the girl must find out what’s going on and fix it.  TOHU is available on most current game consoles, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on PS4 here.

The game does a good job of teaching you the controls, whether it be switching out characters, using items, or checking your inventory.  Your cursor will also change when you go over objects so you know if you can pick them up, walk to them, climb up them, and more.  You can also click on creatures and add them to a collection of card drawings for an extra challenge.  Obviously the game’s premise is strange, and that weirdness carries over to the gameplay as well, since what you must do to progress often defies logic.  Luckily there is a hint system that you can use if you wish.

To activate the hint system, you must open your menu and click on the hint tab and play a little mini-game where you must time your button presses to hit certain notches as a gauge goes back and forth.  Luckily it’s pretty easy to do.  Then you get a little comic strip showing you the next few steps you must take to progress.  Unfortunately, sometimes these pictures still aren’t very helpful, and the fact that the puzzles do not adhere to any manner of logic doesn’t help either.

Here’s a couple of examples.  To leave your fish planet, you must power a spaceship by clicking on bees and having them land on perches on your ship, so you can fly away.  But the game doesn’t tell you anything about that.  Later on, to unlock a door, first you must collect fireflies in a jar, then put the jar on a flower like a lamp, which shines on some weeds that then shy away.  Then you uncover some holes and must play a color pattern game to put moles in the holes.  Then a machine will let you play a game where you must make a closed circuit out of vines, kind of like Pipe Dream.  All that just to unlock a door!

So yeah, if you’re like me, you’ll be using that hint system a lot.  And speaking of that Pipe Dream puzzle, sometimes you must solve a Professor Layton-like problem like that one, or piecing together bits of broken glass like a jigsaw puzzle.  But the game doesn’t give you any hints for THOSE kinds of puzzles.  I really like the art style of this game, and I’m always up for a good point and click adventure.  But constantly having to use the sketchy hint feature in this one made me lose interest quickly.  There are certainly better point and click adventures out there.

Kid Factor:

TOHU is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence.  I didn’t really notice anything violent, but reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

2 Responses to “TOHU (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)”

  1. Very nice looking game. I’m glad I’ll be able to check it out on Xbox.

  2. This sounds like exactly the type of point and click that sucks me in and I end up not liking. It’s a no from me.

    I did play a funny British detective game demo on Steam a while back, as well as one with a pixelated cat detective, so I think I’ll look more into those instead.

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