TOEM: A Photo Adventure is a fairly short game. I managed to finish most of its challenges and see the end credits in about five hours. But what an utterly idyllic five hours they were.
This game is perhaps the very emobidiment of charm, warmth and cosiness. Sent off by your mum with a camera and a wave, you set out to photograph the mystical TOEM high in the mountains. But how to get there? Luckily, the local bus drivers will let you ride for free as long as you can collect stamps on your community card by helping out folks in the area. Yes, that’s right, THE BUS RUNS ON KINDNESS.
The tasks you’re given all involve taking pictures in some way, whether that means snapping a particular vista from a certain angle, or tracking down and photographing a rare creature. And the way the game switches from a fixed isometric perspective to a first-person one when you whip out your camera means there are plenty of surprises in store, as you spot things hidden behind scenery, or zoom in for a close up. It really makes you study your surroundings carefully, and there are charming sights to discover everywhere. What a lark.
You can read my full review of TOEM in issue 57 of Wireframe – click on the link to download a free PDF. Or, you know, subscribe to the magazine, because it’s great, and print is great, and I would subscribe to every single games magazine if I could afford it. Buy more magazines, everyone!
UPDATE: And now you can read my TOEM review online right here.