Backlogged: Tengami and Where is My Heart?

I haven’t done this in a while. July has been a crazy month for me in my non gaming life. Between going on vacation and taking on some more responsibilities at work  there hasn’t been a whole lot of time to work on my backlog. These games I actually finished back in June but haven’t had the chance to write about them. Both were under 2 hours long, I wish Tengami was longer but Where is My Heart? couldn’t end soon enough.

Tengami

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Developer: Nyamnyam

Playtime: 114 minutes

Tengami is a point and click puzzle game in a world that looks like its made out of paper. The game itself  reminds me of an interactive pop-up book complete with tabs to pull and flaps to flip. The goal of the game is to go through each level and find a flower to put back onto the Cherry Blossom tree.

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Each of the four levels reflect the four changing seasons and have a few puzzles to solve on each. The puzzles are difficult but not impossible to solve without hints. The glowing circles on the interactive parts of the world were very helpful. While I tried to use hints sparingly, there were some puzzles I just couldn’t wrap my head around to start until I looked up a walkthrough.

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At the end of each level you are rewarded with a Haiku

While it did feel a like cheating to use a walkthrough for some puzzles, I really wanted to see more of the world. I love the art in this game, it’s simple,unique and very visually pleasing. Couple that with the great soundtrack and you can see why I didn’t want to spend hours figuring out that a few symbols were actually Japanese numbers.

I wish the game was longer. It seemed as soon as I was really getting into it it was over. That’s one of the issues with short games. Overall it plays really well, the character walks a bit slow but other than that it’s a really enjoyable experience that I highly recommend.

Where Is My Heart?

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Where is My Heart? They’re all over the place.

Developer: Schulenburg Software

Playtime: 98 minutes

I picked up this game in a Humble bundle a year or two ago. What started off as a cute platformer with an interesting idea became a headache after about 10 levels. Where is My Heart tells the story of a family of forest spirits whose world has been fractured. You are tasked with guiding them through each level to put their world back together and gather  hearts.

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Hey Ma, I’m in two places at once!

The main feature of the game is the shattered world, the level is broken up into different pieces and shuffled around. This adds a challenge to the platforming. Jumping out of one square could drop you into one across the screen. After a few levels, this becomes more of an annoyance than anything special. It’s not the easiest platforming and when you don’t know exactly where your character is jumping to, it ends in a lot of missed jumps and miserable deaths.I wouldn’t recommend trying to play this in one sitting, I ended up with a headache trying to keep track of how all the shattered pieces were connected together.

Each forest spirit can power up and transform to have different abilities. This adds a few more mechanics to the game. For example the Rainbow spirit, who looks like a fluffy marshmallow, jump and rotate the screens to get to hard to reach places. The Deer spirit can jump higher than the rest and the bat spirit can reveal hidden passages and platforms.

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The spirits are allergic to spikes and water. I must have died 50 times on this levle.

I think I would have liked the game if it was a normal platformer. It’s challenging enough as such but throwing in the confusing, jigsaw, shattered levels makes it frustrating. I understand why they did this, it’s a unique idea and it is fun for the first few levels and if you took this feature away, it’d be just another retro looking platformer.

Backlogged: Back To Bed

How Long To Beat Average Time: 1 Hour

My Time to Beat: 2 Hours

My cat woke me up earlier than I wanted this morning, so I decided to get started on my backlog challenge. There’s something to be said about playing a game about keeping a man asleep while not being able to get back to sleep myself. But I’m not clever enough to find it. So once the cat was fed and watered, I took a journey into some one else’s dreams.

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Back to Bed tells the story of Bob. Bob has narcolepsy and Bob has a tendency to sleep walk on the roofs of buildings.  I didn’t play as Bob, I played some sort of green dog with a persons face. As Bob’s spirit animal, it’s apparently my job to make sure Bob is returned to his bed without him falling to his death or waking him up.

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The foot prints show which way Bob will walk, I would have been so lost without them

The game starts out simple enough, as a puzzle game should. Bob walks in a straight line until he runs into something, then he turns clockwise and walks in a straight line again. You can move apples around for Bob to walk in to. Usually one or two of these can be found in each level. Sometimes there are portals that Bob will walk through and end up on the other side of the map. Other levels have “enemies” like dogs and alarm clocks which must be avoided or Bob will wake up.  In the second chapter, there are fish that can be moved around to act as bridges.

I’m not sure which cam first the PC or the mobile version, but Back to Bed recommends to play with a controller. Luckily the PS4 controller works with the game and the controls are really smooth.

Back to Bed has 2 story chapters each consisting of 15 levels. Once complete, 2 additional “Nightmare” chapters are unlocked which add an extra challenge.

There wasn’t one way to complete each level either. Sometimes puzzle games frustrate me because there is only one answer and if you miss a detail its not solved. This game had as much to do with timing as it did with the positioning of objects to guide Bob across. It lead to some pretty tense moments of shifting apples around frantically to stop Bob from falling off.

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Beware Walking Alarm Clocks

At first the Escher inspired levels, the weird robotic voice, and the subtly strange background music were unsettling. By the time I was five or so levels in I began to enjoy the whole surreal setting.  It adds to the challenge, not everything is as it seems. After the first chapter, I didn’t want to stop until I completed the game.

I forgot how relaxing and fun simple puzzle games can be. A good puzzle game should introduce you to the concepts and then mix them up to give the player a challenge. Back to Bed does a fine job of doing. I felt pretty accomplished when I finally found the solution to a level I’d been stuck on for a while. It was a nice change of pace from what I usually play.

Well it’s still early, and I think I myself will go Back to Bed…Screenshot (100)