iPad game Tengami is centred around the traditional Japanese pop-out arts and crafts. Designed by Nyamyam (an indie studio started by former Rare devs), Tengami utilises the idea of paper popping up and down when turning a page.
In that way, the game could be considered a book (or like a book) as the story progress as you solve puzzles to turn the page. One of the game’s creators, Jennifer Schneidereit, describes Tengami as that of a “mystery-fairytale”. Kotaku had a chance to see the game while at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.
Tengami tries to minimise the number of words it uses, and conveys the story through the washi (Japanese paper) scenery, music, and setting.
Everything in the background; the hills, trees, brushes, clouds, buildings and the characters are all created from washi and converted digitally onto the game. The actual design allows for the page to pop up and down without any paper clipping through each other. It gives off the feeling that you are literally opening a new world in front of you.
The pop-out art provides with a great and seamless transition between every page, or rather puzzle. There are simple puzzles to raise, or pop up, bridges to allow your character to get across, and there are complicated puzzles in which you are left with four other wolves and must figure out how to distract them. It leaves the player to interpret their own story and explore.
The lack of explanation may ramp up the difficulty, but allows the player to further explore and figure out themselves what is interactable and what is not. Taking full advantage of the touch function on the iPad, the pop-out controls are intuitive and easy to understand even without an explanation.
Although the demo only contained two characters (the samurai and the wolves), the developers seem to have no plans of having any conversation or texts explaining the situation. With the full release of the game, players will have a three to four hour game experience.
Tengami is planned for a mid-2013 release, with future planned releases on the iPod Touch, PC and Mac.