Adorable, cozy adventure game emphasizes grand exploration.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tchia is a downloadable single-player adventure game for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows-based PCs. Players will assume the role of Tchia, a girl who's on a mission to save her father from the evil Meavora and the Maano, enemies made of fabric by way of dark magic. With the game's main inspiration being the real-life New Caledonia archipelago (residing in the Pacific Ocean), Tchia boasts plenty of cultural nuance, style, and authenticity to spare – from the in-game language the characters speak to the food and traditions of the fantastical, fictional region. Music also plays a consistent role within the game, leading to scenes where people proudly bond and unify while building meaningful bonds with Tchia. A fantastic role model from beginning to end, Tchia always seeks to help people and do what's best for her family and friends. Traversal becomes the player's best friend, with many options available to get around the archipelago that all feel purposeful and fun. Finally, while there are some scenes with blood scattered throughout the game, there's an in-game filter that will eliminate these scenes and lead to a cleaner experience.
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What’s It About?
In TCHIA, the titular protagonist seeks to further bond with Joxu, her father, as he teaches her ways to traverse the wide, wild archipelago around her. One day, a flying ship arrives and upends everything Tchia has ever known. Joxu is taken by a shaman representing the God of the Depths, Maevora, who has horrific plans for the people he captures. Tchia's powers are then given life by the shock of the situation, and she embarks on a quest first to save her father, then to rid the archipelago of the scourge that is Maevora. But Tchia has only just discovered her powers, and she's going up against not a man, but a deity. With friends, family, and benevolent spirits at her side, can Tchia liberate the region from Maevora for good?
Is It Any Good?
This game is reminiscent of Breath of the Wild with all the exploration and added sense of serenity and comfort. Tchia is easily the coziest of "cozy games," as there's warmth and detail in everything from top to bottom. A few islands serve as a playground for players to explore to their heart's content. It's easy to forget there's a main quest as every square inch of land contains so many satisfying minor quirks. When it comes to getting around, there's many movement options available, including the old-fashioned on-foot trek, a customizable raft to take to the seas, leaping among the trees, and a unique skill Tchia can utilize called "soul jumping," where Tchia can temporarily inhabit not only many random objects, but also any surrounding animals. Certain animals have specific functions that can be used to solve puzzles – or otherwise will undeniably make players laugh or go "Awww" with genuine delight.
Tchia can also bust out her ukelele, either casually or during crucial story moments when her compassion is needed most. The ukelele is a fully realized instrument, complete with individual notes (that have sharp and flat variations). Players can jam on the ukelele, or they can use it to play "soul melodies." Soul melodies can change the weather and attract certain animals, alongside other substantial surprises and advantages. If all that wasn't enough, the islands themselves have many hidden nooks and crannies containing either mission-critical items or simple, adorable attire changes for Tchia. Players can play the game any way they choose with a sea of boundless choices before them. There are more than enough colorful characters, fun activities, creative puzzles, and breathtaking locations to keep players enthralled for hours on end. Tchia might not be the loudest, most aggressive voice in the gaming landscape, but its soothing tones are here to give you an easygoing, personable experience that exudes personality in a way few other games accomplish.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how specific regions can add their cultural touches to video games, as Tchia does with all its New Caledonia-inspired nuances. What differences to the culture depicted in Tchia can you identify compared to your own? If you had a game focused on your specific cultural background, what would you want to show off? What could people of other cultures learn about where you come from?
What other games can you identify with rich cultural backgrounds? Why do you think there aren't more games willing to celebrate the nuances of culture to this extent, and what could be done to further ensure different walks of life are properly represented in the video game industry?
- Platforms: PlayStation 5, Windows, PlayStation 4
- Pricing structure: Paid ($29.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Kepler Interactive
- Release date: March 21, 2023
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Communication, Compassion, Courage, Curiosity, Perseverance, Teamwork
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: March 20, 2023
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