A Tale of Shadows is a classic point and click adventure that combines elements from horror, suspense, and romance. The game’s use of cinematics to tell its story with just as much attention to detail as the puzzles it contains will leave players entranced by this dark tale.
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows, developed by Monochrome Paris and released by Hatinh Interactive, is a puzzle platformer with a unique gameplay twist. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows combines both 3D and 2D gaming principles to create an experience that is not only beautiful to look at but also demanding and aesthetic. This is our review of Tandem: A Tale of Shadows for the PlayStation 4, in which we cross dimensions and tackle some difficult puzzles.
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows tells the narrative of Emma, a little girl, and Fenton, a bear. Emma is investigating the disappearance of a well-known magician named Thomas Kane and finds herself at his house, which is full of magical traps and terrifying animals. Emma meets Fenton the teddy bear on her route to Thomas Kane’s house, who gets pushed out of a passing carriage. The game’s Tim Burton-inspired graphic design contributes to the spooky and gorgeous nature of the home. The tale is told in levels, which you choose from a menu that displays your current position inside the estate, such as the garden, kitchen, or boiler room.
The gameplay of Tandem: A Tale of Shadows will certainly be the major topic of discussion in this review. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a game that mixes two separate genres: 3D exploration and 2D side-scrolling, and it not only does so, but it also makes moving between them a breeze. With a single button push, you may switch to Emma and play in her top-down 3D world, exploring the many surroundings, or switch back to Fenton and play in his 2D side-scrolling level, exploring the gloomy, shadow realm. Switching between the two is simple, and you’ll need to employ both personas in unison as you go through the game and overcome numerous puzzles and challenging circumstances.
Emma is a top-down game in which you may generally explore the whole level with her as long as you stay away from the barriers and harmful monsters. Emma can use her weight to drag around furniture to solve puzzles and to pull or push levers and punch buttons. Emma has a lantern that can cast shadows, and she can alter the world around her to shift the shadows around so Fenton may walk through them. Fenton, on the other hand, can only be played in a 2D side-scrolling shadow world where you may hop over levels to attain your objective. While Fenton can only hit buttons by standing on platforms, he is the only one who must collect the crystal at the conclusion of the level in order for Emma to go to the next.
As you may know, Emma and Fenton are both required to pass through each level. One pushes ahead, assists the other, and the other continues in this pattern. This keeps both of you going ahead, as Fenton unlocks doors for Emma by hitting buttons, and Emma interacts with shadows to build routes for Fenton, as well as using various levers or pushes around the furniture to modify shadows to create a path for Fenton. The basic aim remains constant. Fenton need shadows to move about, but if he enters one, he will perish and you will be unable to switch back to Emma. In this method, you’ll be able to assist one other while staying in separate dimensions.
Fortunately for you, Tandem: A Tale of Shadows has no death, and if one of your characters suffers an untimely death, they are immediately and instantaneously reborn on safe ground, allowing you the opportunity to correct your error and try again. Aside from the platforming obstacles and trials that Fenton faces, the two of them also encounter a variety of terrifying animals that can kill them both. The puzzles and circumstances get more challenging as you continue through each chapter, and the final level always has a great surprise for you. In order to progress in the game, several of the later puzzles need rapid replies from you switching between Emma and Fenton. Along with the typical platforming and puzzle-solving, this adds a new challenge. I found the timing bits to be a little difficult at times, but they were still workable after a few missteps. While the level selection panel is attractive, it sometimes makes me feel like I’m playing a mobile game, thus I wasn’t very pleased.
The game’s learning curve isn’t too steep either. For Emma, getting about and doing things is simple, but for Fenton, some of the platforming sequences in the game’s latter stages become quite difficult. Even yet, if you’ve played a few platforming games before, you shouldn’t have too much problem with them. The puzzles range in complexity from moderate to tough. While you can usually figure out what you need to do in the game fairly quickly, there are times when the solution is extremely difficult. For example, certain sections require you to play as Emma for a while, pull a lever, then quickly switch to Fenton to complete a platforming section, and then you must switch back to Emma.
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a great puzzle game that may keep you occupied for a long time. It has excellent gameplay, and the levels’ attention to detail is outstanding. You’ll notice minor features in each level that you wouldn’t expect to see in a puzzle game like this, but this simply goes to show that the creators put in a lot of effort into the game’s level design. The game maintains a creepy atmosphere throughout, and several of the game’s monsters are based on the same idea.
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows certainly has a novel premise and accomplishes it well. Although I like Emma’s bright world, the fact that it is united with Fenton’s shadow world is what makes the game whole, and the fact that you can switch between the two to proceed through the levels is what sets this excellent puzzler distinct from the others. In the shape of a puzzle solver, you have both 3D and 2D in the same universe, as well as top-down open-level exploration and 2d side-scrolling platforming. You get a terrific puzzle game when you combine it with a fantastic graphic style and a good music. One of the nicest things about Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is that, because to its hard puzzles and stunning graphic style, it can readily appeal to a wide range of players.
The Bottom Line:
Tandem: A Tale of Shadows caters to a wide audience, including casual gamers as well as puzzle game fans who like challenging challenges. The cartoony graphic style gives the game the appearance of being aimed at children, yet the puzzle-solving is excellent, and some of the platforming sequences are harsh. Each level brings something unique to the table, and I like the game’s graphic style and level design. The enjoyable gameplay and puzzle-solving divert your attention away from the title’s lackluster plot. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows should be exactly up your alley if you’ve been looking for a good puzzle game. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows’ genre-blending gameplay and attractive graphic design will appeal to you even if you aren’t a puzzle game enthusiast. If you like puzzle games, this is a must-have.