Tchia is a weird game. It’s like Breath of the Wild, meets Ubisoft in a PlayStation 2 era platformer.

The beginning of the game is cool, and it feels like you are getting a nice big slice of life in New Caledonia. Tchia, the young girl you play as partakes in the cultural dishes at campfires, the traditional clothing, and the music. During the first song you brush two leaves together to the beats of Tchia’s father’s singing. This is all very much in line of the experience I was expecting from the game, considering you are prompted with five pages of “this game is inspired by New Caledonia” before you hit play. The next narrative beat that follows the song is Tchia’s father being kidnapped by alienesque enemies that came in on a flying hybrid ship. Huh? Turns out many people from the Islands are being kidnapped by the reigning king Maevora who is also weirdly a worm like entity.

The main narrative is terribly uninteresting because it hasn’t been fleshed out well. If it’s a cultural story it’s as bizarre as they come. The fact that the townspeople are unresponsive to others on the island being kidnapped takes you out of the game a little. On a positive the relationships between people in the story are endearing and wonderful. Some would be especially heartfelt if the story felt more grounded.

Tchia is a game that is mostly enjoyable. When I’m exploring the world I’m loving the beautiful scenery, and the music. That being said, whenever I was forced to do combat I wanted to switch the game off, it’s terrible. The only way you can kill enemies is with explosives that you constantly have to pick up. Every time I would add them to my bag in quick succession one would fumble to the ground and blow me on my arse. There is Soul-Jumping which allows you to jump into animals and objects. Unfortunately everything requires stamina, which feels unnecessary to me in a game like this, it holds back the game from being more fun.

There were some weird platformers back on PlayStation, and PlayStation 2. Many of them had a lot of nonsensical story beats that came out of nowhere. Sometimes this may have been due to the available space on the compact disc, others perhaps budgetary reasons. The thing with Tchia is it’ is’s clearly made with so much love it feels as if it’s a disservice to itself by not crafting a better story, and better combat. Everything else has been perfected. Tchia herself has a lot of charm and character, she’s a ripe gaming mascot in the making.

As someone who has been to New Caledonia I think the game most impressively shines a light on the culture and captures the beauty of the wilderness it has to offer. From the city to the shores I felt the presence of New Caledonia and it’s cool that more people can experience the wonders of this place. Overall, Tchia is a stunning game with fundamental flaws holding it back from being a gem. It’s available free in the PlayStation Game Catalogue now and is well worth jumping into to experience its stunning world.

Robert Ring


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Robert Ring

Follow me at There I talk about MOVIES, TV, and GAMES!

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