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Toren Quick Review


Toren is an adventure game that takes place in the confines of a massive tower. Players take on the role of Moonchild, a young girl who is tasked with climbing to the top of the tower to defeat a dragon and save humanity.

Developer: Swordtales
Publisher: Versus Evil
Genre: 3rd person Adventure
Format: Playstation 4
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Copy provided by publisher

The Cycle of Life

When the game begins, you are playing as an adult version of Moonchild battling a dragon. After a short fight, the heroine loses and gets turned to stone. The screen fades to black and after a few seconds players take control of an infant girl as she takes her first steps. As you progress through the game you will watch the young girl grow older, die, and be reborn, picking up where the "last" Moonchild left off. You repeat these cycles, each time getting further and growing a little older than before, until you reach the top of the tower for the final confrontation between you and the dragon. This cycle of life theme plays a key role in the story and it's also what intrigues me the most about the game.

Toren is pretty linear and the story is told in bits and pieces through subtitles and visuals as you progress. Though to get the full story, you will need to do a little searching of each area and a tiny bit of backtracking. Nothing too involved though, a quick scan of each area should be enough.


The Tower 

Even though the game is rough around the edges graphically, the tower stood out to me almost as much as the story. When I think of a tower, I think stones and stairs. The tower in Toren is far from that, which is a good thing being that the entire game takes place within it. The environments are small but detailed, filled with lush plant life and vivid colors. It's not a graphical powerhouse, but it is nice to look at. The audio in the game is also done very well. The soundtrack and ambient sound is some of the best I've heard in a game.


Gameplay

The 3 button gameplay is pretty simplistic. Jump, interact, and swing a sword once in a while pretty much sums it up. The only problem I had with the gameplay is the controls don't seem very responsive, but after a few minutes of playing, it wasn't much of an issue. The puzzle solving isn't very hard and won't cause much, if any, frustration either.


Conclusion

Toren is a game worth experiencing at least once. The story is intriguing enough to keep you interested until the end. The only other drawback besides the controls is the length of the game. It only takes around 4 hours to finish but it's also $9.99 so that's not that big of a deal to me.

Summary:
+ Interesting story & concept
+ Beautiful environments
-  Wonky controls
-  Short length

Score: 7/10 "Good"

What I Played: 4 hours completing the game once and unlocking 12 of 12 trophies
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