- Unique, vivid art style that accentuates the colorful world and collectible cosmetics.
- Tons of collectibles and landmarks to discover.
- Short but sweet story that encourages players to try out all the different gameplay elements.
- Basic Combat Mechanics
- Lack of player marker on the map might be tricky for some!
Tchia is an action-adventure video game developed by Awaceb and published by Kepler Interactive. Currently, it’s available on PlayStation and Epic Games (PC), with the game also being available to play via PlayStation Plus for those who are subscribed to PS Extra and Premium. It’s currently not available to Xbox players, as it’s a PlayStation exclusive.
The world is inspired by New Caledonia, the home country of the game developers. During this game, the player plays as the titular character Tchia, who has a special ability to soul-jump (take control) of different props and animals. The story sees you explore the fictional archipelago as you work to save Tchia’s father from an evil God. During your travels, you’ll have tons of collectibles and points of interests to discover.
The world is easily one of the main selling points of this game. The art style is simple, crisp and vibrant, really accentuating the colorful world around you and all the cosmetics you can collect to dress up Tchia and her boat. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously either, with the deer and other animals occasionally looking a little goofy and ragdolling around when you run around the world. The art style really adds to the fun and relaxed vibe of the game.
The art style is simple, crisp and vibrant, really accentuating the colorful world around you and all the cosmetics you can collect to dress up Tchia and her boat.
As previously mentioned, the world of Tchia is inspired by New Caledonia, which is a French territory found in the South Pacific. You can really tell that a lot of love and time went into making the world feel as unique and as authentic to the game developers’ home nation as possible. The gorgeous archipelago islands and coral reefs are evidently heavily inspired by the New Caledonian landscape. They even hired local voice actors to speak in the native language Drehu (and French), paying homage to New Caledonia and its residents. Even the atmospheric sounds like the sand beneath your feet and the waves crashing on the shore really add to the ambience of the game.
The story is pretty short and consists of 10 chapters and an epilogue. If you spent all your time zooming through the main story you could probably get through it in about 6-8 hours. The story is really sweet and has some tender moments that get you to really connect with Tchia and the people around her. There are also a few shocking moments in the story that might also catch you by surprise!
But the game’s story is certainly not the main aspect of gameplay. With hundreds of collectibles and a gorgeous open world, the game’s main focus is on exploration. One of the most interesting (and perhaps intimidating) elements of exploration in Tchia is the fact there’s no player marker on the map. The devs explain that this is so that players become really immersed in their surroundings and take the time to properly explore and lose themselves in their expertly crafted and fully fleshed out world. Whilst it was definitely a bit scary to rely on my own spatial awareness and orienteering skills, it was actually a really fun experience, and there are lots of different methods of helping you locate yourself in the world, i.e. navigation posts, points of views and finding landmark residential areas.
With hundreds of collectibles and a gorgeous open world, the game’s main focus is on exploration.
The collectibles are a big part of the game as well, from pearls to braided trinkets to finding every soul-jumpable animal, there’s a ton of things that encourage exploration and adventure in Tchia. The treasure map hunt is also a super enjoyable element of the game that sees you going all over the place in search for hidden treasure chests.The activities also form a sizable part of additional gameplay. The rock balancing challenges, races and cliff diving are all quite entertaining and add another layer of diversity to what the game has to offer.
Another element of the game that has caught quite a bit of attention is the ukulele musical mechanics. They’re surprisingly in depth and require pretty good rhythm and timing – especially for those of you who are looking to 100% a musical sequence and earn the Ukulele trophy. There are lots of different songs to play throughout the story and they really showcase the native music and musical styles of New Caledonia. And if you’re not really into rhythm games or music mechanics, you can opt to autoplay the songs.
The combat system in the game is pretty unique as it requires you soul-jump into flammable or explosive items to set the Maano enemies and their loot on fire. In the early game it feels a little tricky to get the hang of throwing yourself around as a jerrycan or an oil lamp but once you do get the mechanics down it feels quite rewarding and satisfying. Later in the game when you unlock a special soul-jumpable creature that can throw out flaming orbs it definitely makes combat way easier so that could be seen as a positive or a negative depending on if you like the challenge. It would be cool if there were different and more inventive ways to destroy Maano enemies as it can get a little repetitive using explosive and flammable methods all the time – especially in the larger camps that consist of tens of enemies. But that being said, I wouldn’t necessarily say that combat is a big focus of the game so it can be forgiven for not having a super fleshed out and diverse combat system.
Overall, this game has been an absolute joy to play. You can really tell it was made with a lot of love and attention to detail. It ticks all the boxes for an open world cosy game that focuses on exploration and collectibles. A lot of reviewers have compared it to Breath of the Wild, but we think that’s a misleading characterisation of open-world games that happens far too often. Tchia shares some similar traversal mechanics with the game, but it also brings a lot of different and unique gameplay aspects to the table.
The unique soul-jumping mechanic encourages you to take control of different objects and animals to traverse the land and seas in different ways. And the ukulele rhythm game adds another layer of gameplay that you wouldn’t necessarily expect in an RPG open world game. If you’re looking for a relaxing and aesthetically pleasing game to dive into, look no further than Tchia!
A love letter to New Caledonia
A gorgeous open-world game that encourages exploration, discovery and getting lost!