youíll be a woman soon...
Very soon, for Toren can
be completed in a handful of hours. But as we always preach, quality
trumps quantity. Weíre happy to play a three-hour game if itís
engaging, fun and competent.
Which makes Toren an
But first, exposition! Toren is a tower.
Moonchild is the girl to whom we referred in our opening
plunderisation of Neil Diamond (or Urge Overkill for the more
ignorant). She starts life a curious infant, and we experience her
growth as she searches for her place in the world. This place is,
apparently, climbing the tower while sharpening her horticultural
abilities and playing cat and mouse with something altogether more
burny than feline or rodent Ė a sizeable red and black dragon.
Toren is a platformer, but it isnít. Itís a
hacky/slasher, but it isnít. Itís an adventure, but it isnít. But it
OK, that was as clear as custard. Toren is as
much an experience as it is any combination of gaming mechanisms,
much like the lovely Never Alone
Unlike Never Alone, however, thereís a distinct
lack of slickness to Toren. The visuals can be stunning,
then they can stutter, go wibbly-wobbly and poor Moonchild will
partially disappear into backgrounds. They have a naÔve, PS2ish look
Ė akin to the likes of Ico,
which was likely an inspiration. With more love they couldíve blown
every sock on every foot the world over offwards.
thereís the wandering camera and imprecise controls Ė notably with
jumping. You will die (and a monument will be erected to remind you.
These glitchies can really kill the vibe, which is
otherwise beautifully created by fascinating, almost spiritual
storytelling (although it can rabbit on) and a stunning cinematic
Toren is frustrating, as thereís much
good and much bad. Forgiving types will be rewarded, but itís hard
not to rue the lack of polish, for this couldíve been an absolute