“This island hides a mystery.” It may not be necessary to say more in a video game to get going. And as we will see in the analysis of The Tourist, few things are more attractive than an archipelago of secrets.
The other day, while playing Luigi’s Mansion 3, I thought exactly what gender it corresponds to. What do we call to adventure in the absence of a better name? Or that weird tailor’s drawer from The Game Awards called Family Game, to which he is nominated? For me, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a Game of Secrets, capitalized. A deep exploration of a stage that hides all its mysteries. Like the various floors of the hotel in which Mario’s scary brother enters, the islands of The Tourist work very similarly. They are full of these secrets. Whether through main or secondary missions, any place is good for hiding a new puzzle or a miserable coin.
To create a good exploration and attractive secrets, I believe that a fundamental rule is necessary: to keep safe the guides and the indications to the player. The Tourist starts like this, silent, with just one sentence that states that “a mystery is hidden on this island”. The tutorial shines by its absence and, therefore, you are allowed to experiment with the controls and with the rules of the game itself. The Tourist will never explain how to travel between islands, access the different temples, the order in which to perform various actions and, of course, the puzzles. Thus, the imagination of the player soars and one begins to wander around this dream archipelago, fondling absolutely everything and realizing that this structure has a lot of heritage in the way works such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening made you go through its mapping.
That cubic style reminiscent of Minecraft feels phenomenal
The Tourist always stays much simpler, of course. After all, it is a title with fewer claims. But the method of solving their puzzles is quite similar to that of the dungeons on the island of Koholint. At one point, a scientist asks you a question to solve the classical numerical sequence. You know, one of those logic exercises where the clue is hidden in the problem itself. The puzzles of Shin’en’s work are also like that. Do not expect to find any advice on an old scroll or talking to one of the inhabitants of the island, but interacting with the puzzle itself, you will find the answer. Perhaps the best of the game are these, because the Tourist, like a good magician, seeks first and foremost not to repeat his tricks too much and make each little dungeon and how to enter it conform to a completely unique system.
To solve the puzzles – and like Zelda – we will have a series of skills that we will learn and that will allow us to access areas that we could not before. From grabbing cornices, catching a run and bumping into surfaces or the long-awaited double jump. The mysteries come not only from the hand of the temples but also from some side missions in the form of tasks and mini-gamesThey fulfill the same philosophy as the main structure: do not repeat the trick. As soon as we see ourselves getting dominated, controlling a drone, climbing a surfboard, entering a recreation room with three arcades – among which a retro version of FAST stands out that you will have to master perfectly if you want to beat the record. It is in that variety, even for a relatively short development, that it can last between 6 and 8 hours, in which The Tourist shines with more intensity.
The Tourist, summer puzzles
Despite its secrets and puzzles, I cannot consider The Tourist a real challenge. I don’t think that Shin’en’s idea was as much to challenge the player, as to make him have a good time in this group of islands. The difficulty is well measured. In some moments you may be taken aback by not finding the solution that is in front of your nose, but in the end, it always comes. At other times, you can also end up somewhat frustrated because of their jumps and platform parts that are not the best.
The control is strange since the button scheme does not end up feeling completely natural, although the real problem is in perspective. This isometric and free camera, which shows an aesthetic with a lot of personality on all the islands, is, however, the greatest enemy when it comes to making tight leaps. In the second half of the adventure, it becomes especially harmful in places where we require true precision in the jump and the perspective plays, again and again, a bad pass in the most platform platforms. The good news is that thanks to that variety, frustration ends soon.
The Tourist is captivating. That cubic style that inevitably reminds Minecraft feels phenomenal and the islands are large enough to house different parts and own styles inspired by some of the best known in our real world. Even so, it does not have many flavors, nor does it accompany the experience with a good musical repertoire, nor does it try to go beyond with advanced levels that leave the pattern. It is, without a doubt, a simple and pleasant journey, which invites you to travel from beginning to end in just a few gaming sessions.
Exploration is encouraged and thank you for losing yourself for each of these islands.
That simplicity that shows is its greatest success and at the same time the biggest problem I can have with The Tourist. As everything happens without the game forcing you to take a rhythm or a certain order, exploration is encouraged and you are thankful for getting lost for each of these islands, allowing yourself the luxury and time to reveal all its secrets. It is a great miniature example of how to take the player through a world without shaking hands at any time. But also, in that simplicity, it feels that The Tourist could have culminated in a final traca that encompasses all the ideas and mechanics that it has offered you so far. Something that leaves you feeling full and truly tests everything learned. The same happens with its history, which leaves that “mystery” too much in the air and without any pretension of wanting to deepen its own world. Without that part, there is only the kindest face of this cube, one so pleasant,
The Tourist is a game full of secrets to find, dungeons to solve and mini-games to enjoy. They are a true vacation of the video game. Its simplicity is the norm, one that takes advantage of, but some invoice also happens when it needs to grow in complexity. Even so, it is an enjoyable adventure, of those who do not want to repeat ideas and treat the player with respect and without guides or directions.
- Finding the secrets that each island hides is a pleasure
- The mini-games are simple but fun
- The artistic style is very nice
- Dungeons are always varied and do not repeat mechanics
- Control seems somewhat vague when you need it most, such as platforms
- The story, which promises a little mystery, remains blurred
- Although we enjoy its simplicity, it is sometimes missed that you delve deeper into its structure and its challenges