LifeisXbox’s Tandem: A Tale of Shadows review | Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a puzzle game with some platforming sections here and there. It is developed by Monochrome Paris and published by Hatinh Interactive. In this game, you take on the role of two characters – Emma and a teddy bear called Fenton. She meets him when he falls out of a carriage that’s headed to the mansion. As it turns out, a missing person called Thomas Kane is inside of it. Without any hesitation, they follow the carriage. Once they reach their destination, the gates close – there is no way out. It is now their goal to find and rescue Thomas while overcoming the many puzzles and bosses they will come across.
ℹ️ | We played Tandem: A Tale of Shadows for 6 hours on PC. This game will also be available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 4|5.
What we liked!
- Unique Gameplay | In Tandem: A Tale of Shadows, you will play as 2 different characters in this game, both have their unique abilities and limitations. As Emma you will be playing in a top-down perspective, in the normal world. You will come across many different obstacles, ranging from creepy spiders, to octopuses in some kind of ink that can be moved around through pipes, you name it… Something that was a little disappointing is that these obstacles weren’t combined enough. In one chapter I would be hiding from spiders, in the next chapters, never again. Now, one of Emma’s abilities is to cast shadows where her companion can walk on, Fenton. As him you’ll be playing in a side-scrolling style of game. He has the ability to walk on walls and shadows, allowing him to press buttons and pull levers that are otherwise unreachable for Emma. Sometimes there are 2 light sources, so you’ll have to cross shadows as Emma every now and then to make them dark enough for Fenton to walk on – he’ll fall right through brighter shadows.
- Breath-taking Graphics & Music | I was surprised by how well the graphics looked for being an indie title. I especially loved the beginning when it came to graphical design. Even bushes and flowers were animated, giving this world a lot more life to it. Though, switching to Fenton did make the world look kinda gray and empty, removing most of the colorful details that were there when playing with Emma. Besides that, the graphics did retain their beautiful design all the way to the end of the game, except from the kitchen area. This area felt very basic when it came to the design and was very easy when it came to the puzzles if you compare it to the rest of the game. Besides the levels themselves there is also a world map, in the form of the mansion, this was very well made in my opinion! The soundtrack of this game was, just as the graphics, amazing! Every single track in this game really fit well with the area they were associated with.
- Small Story | The story sadly felt a little short in Tandem: A Tale of Shadows– The son of the famous illusionist Kane, went missing. A 10-year-old, Emma, is determined to investigate this case since the Scotland Yard is unable to solve it. As she is walking around the streets of London, a carriage drives by with the missing person, Thomas, inside of it. A teddy bear called Fenton falls out, who wants to help Emma out on her journey. That’s basically the rest the story has to offer. It would’ve maybe been fun to have some more backstory on characters, like the famous Kane, Thomas or Emma. Especially Fenton would’ve been an interesting character to tell some backstories about, or perhaps even the mansion where Emma and Fenton are headed, since it’s full of mysteries anyway! Sadly I completed the game with more questions than answers. Hopefully there will be some kind of sequel or DLC that would solve these mysteries.
- Lacking Post-game Content | After completing Tandem: A Tale of Shadows, there isn’t really that much to do anymore, besides finding all the secret rooms in random levels. These secret rooms do unlock some extras like art! If you’re up to play this game even more, you can always try to find some alternative ways to complete puzzles, or complete them as fast as possible – which brings me to this; they could’ve added some kind of timer to the game allowing for some more replayability.
What we disliked
- Disappointing Cutscenes | The cutscenes, despite the nice graphics and lighting, felt rushed in some ways. The animations that Emma and Fenton use during these are the exact same as when you’re playing the actual game. Idle animations are sometimes overused a lot in 1 cutscene, and it gets old, very fast. I do wish the cutscenes had more unique and less repetitive animations. Besides the animations I also wasn’t a huge fan of the voice acting that was performed. Our 10-year-old Emma sometimes felt like a 5-year-old instead. For some reason I also ran into performance issues during the cutscenes. My PC is well above the required specs and was skipping frames every few seconds, this even affected the audio.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 6 – 7 hours.
How long to achieve 1000G | 7 – 8 hours.
Similar with | DARQ
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My name’s Bradley Delaere, and I’m from Belgium! My favorite genre of videogames are Action-Adventure games, such as Batman Arkham, Doom and Hitman! Outside of this genre I also love platformers and shooters: Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, Halo,…
I not only enjoy playing them, I’m also interested in developing them, I’m currently studying Environment Art in UE5!