Games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are very tightly woven visions, carefully crafted into a distinct experience. Zeno Clash and Papo & Yo are Brazilian made games with a very unique aesthetic to each of them. Karma Flow was a unique rock opera game that was never quite sure what it was, aside from musical. If each one of those games were distilled down and then stored, whatever remained in the crucible for each of those could be mixed together and turned into a game. The art is wonderfully designed, but the execution isn’t quite there. The gameplay is good, but like Karma Flow often leaves you wanting more. The atmosphere and vision for the game are tangible, but border on ephemeral. Toren is a game that’s not quite the sum of those parts but it tries very hard.
The game is a third person adventure puzzle game. In a little over two hours, you’ll climb a giant tower while falling into philosophical dreams. Your character literally grows before you, starting as a babe and ending as an adult. The metaphor isn’t lost, but it does feel a little heavy handed. Aside from being a little short and the details of the world being a little too sparse, there isn’t much I can say about Toren. It’s competent, if falling short of what it could have been but given that it’s a small team that’s entirely understandable. I can’t say I recommend the game, but there are worse ways to spend 2 hours.