Review – Tchia

Legend of Caledonia: Breath of the Tchia

Overview

Developer Awaceb
Publisher Kepler Interactive
Genre action adventure
Platforms PS4 (reviewed), PS5, PC
Release Date Mar 21, 2023

Super Mario Sunshine and its descendant A Hat in Time both sport a tropical, fun-in-the-sun vibe; it’s almost enough to convince a gamer to actually go outside. However, when I first saw the trailers for Tchia, I did not actually want to be there in the sun. The average character design, and seemingly simple gameplay didn’t look fun, even though the landscape looked enticing. However, my thoughts changed once I got my hands on it. Let’s review the experience.

tchia flying in the air with glider

Content

Violence
Players use combustibles to set fabric monsters on fire. Your main weapon is a slingshot, and explosions can occur. The cartoon style lends to softening some story moments like a beheaded chicken running around squirting blood.

Spiritual
Tchia is a New Caledonia based game, which involves some spiritual aspects different from Christianity. Players can use powers (called Soul Jumping) to take control of animate and inanimate objects. The protagonist’s powers, combined with her ukelele, lets players manipulate weather and summon objects very similar to the power Link has with his Ocarina.

Sexual Themes

Two girls share a kiss in the story.

tchia climbing up red rocks

Review

Tchia doesn’t waste time setting the motivation for the game. The titular protagonist is tasked with saving her father from a rich bad dude, and must also reconcile using newly discovered powers. She can Soul Jump to rocks, birds, barrels, lamps, gas cans, sea creatures and more, to get around. The story may not be groundbreaking, but it holds some good moments, and some interesting characters. The game’s humor is also a standout, with plenty of witty dialogue and charm. When Tchia first enters the office of the antagonist, she is met by a disgruntled receptionist. Tchia’s plan to get her out is to produce so much paperwork so fast that it can’t be kept up with, but with hilarious, fast-paced writing, Tchia prevails. The aforementioned beheaded chicken was also an amusing surprise.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Tchia is its flowing mechanics. From gliding through the air with a kite to using musical instruments to manipulate the environment, the game offers a unique and enjoyable gameplay experience. One of the earliest abilities I found was summoning a bouncy mushroom. It was just as effective as Revali’s Gale from Breath of the Wild

tchia swimming underwater

I was not the first person in my house to play Tchia. My wife picked it up and was immediately hooked. This is huge, because she doesn’t do adventure games. But Tchia welcomes players with beautiful scenery and playful tribal music. The ocean is such a delight to fall into and explore for all its colorful plants, and sea life. You can also find chests and pearls below which are essential for collecting. Although the chests contain costumes, the pearls can be used to… find more costumes. There’s only one moment in the story that requires a pearl. The costumes and pearls are only some of the collectibles, which also include raft decorations, wreaths, and stamina fruits. The fruits grant permanent upgrades to allow longer climbing, running, and other athletics. The open world environment in Tchia is limited, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; quality prevails over quantity here.

tchia hanging out with her dad and friend of dad

Players will only have to worry about two bars: Soul, and Stamina. Soul is upgraded by carving faces into woods and finding the correct alcove. These alcoves are spread all over the map. In between looking for them, players may find rock stacking minigames which unlock more songs for the ukulele to play, allowing for more soul powers. Players will also find races, shooting range challenges, and treasure maps to all challenge the player and invite more exploration. 

It’s worth mentioning the New Caledonia influence. Historically, the number of bad games that want to showcase another culture is high. And I’ll be lying if I said I didn’t assume Tchia would do this. But another pleasant surprise was how the game would show, instead of tell. There were parts that would tell, but they cleverly put it in the loading screens. I was drawn to enjoy the different cultures, and I was rewarded. 

tchia using her flashlight to look at a sign in the rain

However, there are some technical issues that need addressing. For example, the game has been known to crash during certain cutscenes, and there are places where the player can fall through the floor. Additionally, the low frame rate in the music and sailing portions can be frustrating.

Despite these technical issues, Tchia’s music, exploring, collecting, and humorous charm more than make up for it. The game’s soundtrack is a highlight, and the collectibles and secrets scattered throughout the world are fun to discover. 

tchia playing her ukulele

Overall, Tchia is a delightful game that just needs a bit more polish. While the technical issues can be frustrating, the game’s positive aspects make it a worthwhile experience. The adventure, music, exploration, and collectibles and great flowing mechanics will instantly hook gamers.

The Bottom Line

 

Tchia is a delightful game that just needs a bit more polish.

 

8.0

Posted in , , , ,

Johnathan Floyd

Writer, Editor, President, and overall complete goofball.

Leave a Comment