Toem is an extremely refreshing experience. The game’s scope is on the small side, but that has allowed developer Something We Made to double its novel premise. The end result is a relaxing, joyful adventure of taking photos and meeting lovable characters at every turn.
You go on a pilgrimage to find the title phenomenon on a mountain. To get there, you’ll explore a number of charming locations, solve little puzzles, and objectives to earn stamps and a bus ride to the next stop. Presented in black and white, it’s an interesting choice for a game about photography, but it is full of charm and unforgettable moments despite the lack of color. With your camera – which receives some handy upgrades as you progress – you’ll need to help dozens of characters with a variety of tasks. You’ll spot scouts hiding in the woods, help fix a generator, and take a ghost out on a date. These goals are wonderfully creative and never repeat themselves; The entire trip offers you new things to see and do.
When you take photos, you switch from an isometric view to a first-person view, which gives you a different perspective of the world and see things that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. You can record anything you want and the only limitation is the capacity of your photo album. Every setting is full of cute and fun things to take photos of, and there are plenty of secrets to discover while you are at it. Even better, there’s no pressure at all – in fact, with the game’s relaxed music and the game’s ability to backtrack, you’ll likely take your sweet time to soak it all up.
It’s a very simple game that you can easily finish over a weekend, but it’s a satisfying, imaginative, and endlessly enjoyable adventure while it lasts.