Anyone even remotely familiar with fantasy RPGs will find a lot of Tanzia weirdly familiar. It is a single player game that allows you to explore a colourful, magical world pretty much at your own pace.
You play as a young alien boy in a small village on the cusp of his coming of age story. The game begins with a video that briefly introduces the world of the game and your character’s mysterious back story, including a puzzle stretching back through the generations that it will be your responsibility to solve.
You start off by wandering around your home town, learning bits and pieces of information about the community and your heritage. You are quickly taught about the world’s economy and are given a staff that you can use as both a melee weapon and a conduit for your magical ability.
Some of the tutorial elements in this section could be clearer, especially given the complexity of the controls. The game makes use of every button on the Switch and takes a little while to get used to, especially given the instructions disappear quickly. There are some tasks that require you to use a bit of creativity to understand yourself. This is a good way to establish that you will be given a lot of freedom throughout your game, but it can be a bit confusing while you’re still getting used to everything.
You are given a handful of errands to run around the village, which eventually develop into a full blown adventure as your tasks take you further and further from home.
The world you explore is really quite nice to behold. It has a cute, almost cartoonish art style that is bursting with colour and interesting creatures. Your spells look quite impressive and there are lots of quirky details to stumble across that give the game just enough uniqueness to make it fairly interesting.
You can collect various quests effectively at your own discretion and choose to disregard most of them if you change your mind about finishing them, unless they’re pivotal to progressing to the next section of the story.
Some aspects of the game are a little bit clunky. It’s not uncommon to see a wild animal walk though a giant boulder instead of going around it. There isn’t an option to flee battles, so if you run out of moves to use you can’t run away, you have to die and hope that you remembered to save recently enough that you won’t lose too much progress.
Overall, Tanzia is a decent enough game. It doesn’t cost a lot of money and it is very pretty to wander through at whatever pace suits you.