TSIOQUE is an interesting Point and Click adventure that puts you into the shoes of a Princess performing jailbreak after getting imprisoned by the Royal Wizard who decided to usurp her mother’s kingdom. Designed by a smaller studio that goes by the name of OhNoo, you’ll be saying that a lot as you figure out what you can and cannot do as there are plenty of decisions that will have you regretting your choices as you are once again captured by the evil guards.
One of the first things that really stood out is that there is little to no dialog as you break out of your cell and start to explore the castle. Instead of actual voices or written dialog, you instead get to experience the events as you would an old black and white movie where body language and facial expressions tell you everything that you need for a situation. Angry at the whole thing our Princess will often be glaring but every now and then a steel look of determination or her softer side as she interacts with beings that are on her side. This approach really showcased the effort that OhNoo put into this and it made TSIOQUE all the better for it.
Visually, the graphics are in that classic style that makes me think of the 90s greats like Grim Fandango and Monkey Island. It’s a timeless look that just looks great and because of the slightly cartoonish looks, it’s a lot easier to get away with the designs of the environments and of the characters. The Princess herself isn’t very tall and there are things that will be out of reach and in certain cases, comedically so which is only supported by the artstyle. While figuring out what to do, there’ll be plenty of poking and prodding things and unfortunately for our Princess, that doesn’t always go over well.
There’s no real “game over” in TSIOQUE but there are plenty of ways in which you don’t succeed. Most of these with our Princess at the tip of a sword or of a spear as the castle’s mutated guardsmen catch up to her most likely to throw her back in a cell. These animations are over quickly and then you are reloaded to right before these events happened.
Now TSIOQUE is not easy, there’s no real helping hand either as there’s zero way in order to highlight elements in an environment that can be manipulated. Adding to that is that the hitboxes for these elements can sometimes be fairly small so it’s easy to either miss what you are aiming to pick up or mixing up what you mean do to and you either try to duck under or jump over incoming objects in a staircase.