Tchia Review

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Tchia will be released on PC and PlayStation consoles on March 21, 2023, and promises an exotic adventure that the whole family will enjoy.

A breath of fresh air in the French-speaking video game landscape, Tchia invites you to travel in an open-world tribute to New Caledonia and its countless beauties.

A proposal from Awaceb, a small team of only nine talents with a thousand ideas in their heads.

An incredible story for the whole family

On the small island of Uma, away from the rest of the archipelago, young Tchia celebrates her birthday with her father and spends happy days diving from the cliffs and singing by the fire.

This peace of mind is suddenly shattered when the men of Meavora, an evil power, crash into the cocoon and steal her father away.

Equipped with a backpack and a makeshift raft, the child will cross the archipelago to save her family on a moving journey.

As beautiful as it is concise (the main adventure takes less than 10 hours), Awaceb’s story is remarkably gentle even in its cruellest moments, offering a dark fable illustrated by a gallery of endearing characters and dubbed by local talent with such warm voices.

The game graces us with dialogues in French and Drehu, the Kanak language of Lifou, a real treat for the ears.

But even more entertaining than the story is the music.

And we’re not just talking about the fabulously catchy soundtrack that carries us through the exploration with its traditional sung melodies and pretty percussion; plenty of sessions are available, leaving us to strum our ukulele strings or let the music automatically scroll by to enjoy the moment.

From the introduction, a few minutes of happiness are granted to us, during which Tchia rubs ferns to the rhythm of her father’s voice, who dedicates a song in her name.

And beyond the simple pleasure of it all, the music also plays an important role: With her instrument, Tchia can play a few invocations that change the time of day; even better, by unlocking new melodies, you can make animals appear that will serve as fast means of locomotion.

A super complete exploration game

Suppose the music largely contributes to Tchia’s exceptional atmosphere. In that case, the panoramas are not to be outdone, and the open world offers sufficiently varied biomes to make you feel out of place occasionally.

We particularly appreciate the very immersive aspect of exploration: it is as much possible to find your way by following the directional signs as by climbing mountains with your bare hands so that Tchia can get her bearings from the highest peak on the island; a very clever way of updating our compass and adding points of interest to the map.

The only drawbacks to the exploration are the clipping, the occasional framerate drops and the slightly long loading times that detract from the fluidity of the walk.

Suppose the music largely contributes to Tchia’s exceptional atmosphere. In that case, the panoramas are not to be outdone, and the open world offers sufficiently varied biomes to make you feel out of place occasionally.

We particularly appreciate the very immersive aspect of exploration: it is as much possible to find your way by following the directional signs as by climbing mountains with your bare hands so that Tchia can get her bearings from the highest peak on the island; a very clever way of updating our compass and adding points of interest to the map.

The only drawbacks to the exploration are the clipping, the occasional framerate drops and the slightly long loading times that detract from the fluidity of the walk.

Little action, a lot of emotion

The world of Tchia is not the most hostile; if you come across the occasional camp of cloth soldiers created by the game’s villain, who is ready for battle, you can quickly flee from them and continue on your way.

Eliminating them will often allow you to unlock sets of clothes to customise your Tchia, whose wardrobe is generously expanded.

Action is not the main feature of the adventure.

However, there are confrontations to be undertaken during the main quest, the inventiveness of which is appreciated: Tchia must take possession of explosives, lanterns or any flammable object visible in her field of vision to eliminate the fabric enemies.

A system on which the player depends and requires him to be in the right place at all times and be very quick despite being a relatively slow character.

Also, the aesthetics of the fights are not the most fabulous when the sequence of assaults forms a certain heckling.

When you don’t have to fight, your journey will often consist of collecting offerings or bringing a tasty crab to the matriarch of a quiet tribe.

Beyond that, you’ll also get a few surprises regarding the level design we won’t reveal to preserve the experience.

Finally, you can count on a few side activities: photography, stacking stones, running challenges in the skin of a shark, or even sculpting totems, which open the doors to sacred temples where certain benefits are stored.

But all these excellent ideas make for a relatively light package, and it can be pretty tricky to find the interest to linger in the world of Tchia once the main story is over, to our great regret.

There are no side quests in this open world, and many passers-by drop a predefined phrase that includes a hint or a request to leave them alone.

So to fully appreciate Tchia, focus on its story’s beauty and wonderful world, after which you can probably take off.

Myriam

Myriam fervor for gaming extends beyond her personal experiences; she finds true joy in sharing her love and knowledge with others.

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