Review by Jack Bankhead
Game provided by publisher
As a kid, I remember playing games like Wizard 101 and FreeRealms. Immersive games with distinct charm is something that I love after playing these. As I’ve gotten older, I prefer playing single player games. Tanzia is incredible. However, even a game like Tanzia that is a perfect mix has its flaws. The battle system isn’t perfect, and the alchemy system could use improvements.
I love the graphics of Tanzia. Inspired by the graphics of early 2000’s games, Tanzia doesn’t just look stylized, it has a clear idea of what it wants to be. The game does not feature amazing graphics, but that’s intentional. It’s meant to evoke feelings of nostalgia, which it does for me!
The music also really gets to me and my nostalgia. With short little orchestrated “jingles”, the game music then fades into ambient noise. It reminded me heavily of Wizard 101, and that’s a good thing.
The gameplay is great in Tanzia. There’s an open world to explore only blocked by powerful enemies that you will not be able to take down, yet. There are plenty of enemies to fight and blow up with magic. There are dungeons to plunder and die in. Game is in third person view, and involves a lot of running.
Tanzia’s open world is full of towns and enemies. Sometimes, both at the same time! Hitting things with your stick (staff) isn’t the best option so you gotta blow them up! Or freeze them, or shock them. Something. Here’s one of the drawbacks- items. You need items a lot. The alchemy mechanic is definitely a well baked mechanic, however, it becomes annoying at times. Speed potions not lasting long enough, not enough mana potions to refill your mana. There’s no mana regen except in villages outside of battles. Relying on items should be a secondary option, not first.
The typical RPG mechanics are here, HP for health, mana for magic, and leveling up to increase abilities and stats. There are spells to unlock and use, with varying effects. Potions are essential. Aside from the open world, story, and battle mechanics, you might think this is an atypical RPG. Fortunately, Tanzia did not end up that way.
The story follows the young protagonist (who you get to name!) setting off on a journey. Strangely, he remembers much of the events before they happen! With a looming evil, will the young protagonist save the island? (yes) I found the story to be rather interesting, with a comic book style story telling gimmick. The art for the comic segments are incredible, and I’d definitely buy a physical comic book detailing the world of Tanzia!
For a big open world game on the Switch, I was expecting the file size to be 1 gigabyte or bigger. Interestingly, it is just over half of one gigabyte, for those of you with dwindling space on your Switch. Impressive too, these developers know what they are doing!
Tanzia is a gem of a game. I’m afraid it will be overlooked with Octopath Traveler! Tanzia is very much worth the price of admission. With 20 USD you’ll get a long story, with plenty of style. While the drawbacks are occasionally glaring, there’s plenty of pros to the game. I enjoyed Tanzia, so I hope you do too.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by Arcanity, Inc