It’s taken me a while to write this review, because even after finishing Toren, I was still unsure what I felt. I couldn’t make up my mind if I enjoyed my time with it, or if I felt like I was just going through the motions.
There was lots I will take from it, but I still found it a bit forgettable. It looked lovely, but also didn’t leave an impression. Had an interesting story, but one I didn’t feel overly invested in. I am so torn on what I want to score this game.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have played some bad games that are bad and this is far from bad, it isn’t even average, it is more than that, but then it isn’t great, but it is better than good. I want to tell everyone to play it, but I don’t know if I can.
Let me back up for a second…what is Toren?
Well, it is an adventure game with an initially lovely art style which tells the story of a young girl as she grows, with a story told through some lovely poems. The game doesn’t give you any real context at the start but it does grow as she grows and the poems do standout.
There are some wondrous moments as the game progresses with something that feels really special near the start, which is where I think I find myself torn. The opening was so breathtaking, so fresh feeling it almost set the rest of the game up for a fall.
Despite the puzzle, battle and exploring mechanics working really well together, they go from being fun and engaging to just a bit meh, but with teases of greatness mixed in too. I say battles, but these are actually pretty rare, contentrating on the exploration and puzzles more than anything else.
If you have played any 3D adventure platformer you’ll be very at home with the puzzles and rarely do they push you, but neither are they mind-numbingly easy, they are simply competent, which is fine, but there are times you want to feel challenged and this simply cannot deliver that.
Whilst the art style is lovely, it just feels rough, even running on a good PC, they want to leave an impression, but the impression you get is that the extra polish this game probably needed was abandoned for whatever reason.
It is also a short game, I finished it in an afternoon. Now again, I don’t know if I see this as a good or bad thing, I have no desire to go back, but neither do I feel like I wasted an afternoon. It was like sticking a film on Netflix sitting there, watching, having a decent time but not taking much in.
At the end of the day Toren is a game that you won’t hate, but you won’t love. It is one that you will play, move on and forget for the most part. If you have a gap in your gaming time, you’ll do a lot worse than Toren, it just won’t blow you away.