Review: 'Nairi: Tower of Shirin'

Review: 'Nairi: Tower of Shirin' GEMATSU

It is really hard to get games that appeal to everyone. Look at movies. Superhero movies are managing to get all the demographics from age to gender to race, but it's a rare breed. Same for music. There are few bands everyone will say are ok. Even Baskin Robbins needs a lot of flavors. But Nairi: Tower of Shirin manages to get a kids style game challenging and interesting enough for older players.

You are Nairi, a wealthy girl in a land of talking animal world. As the game kinda hints, you need to figure out the mysteries of the tower of Shirin. You take your mouse pal Rex and set off on a world of puzzles and critical thinking. It's hard not to give spoilers here, but they have a good team dynamic that sets the story in swing. As it is, the plot itself has a few twists and turns outside of the predictable evil cats and such.

Playing on the Switch (actually a borrowed Switch), I found the controls to be pretty easy. This is largely point and click, and the Switch utilizes this in a way that makes what you're doing seem complicated when in reality, again, it's point and click. It's intuitive, but the Switch gives it that little kick.

I really liked the graphics in Nairi. I often don't like to see art blends in games because it's usually more of a distraction, but Nairi pulls this off. Nairi herself looks painted. Backgrounds look like they're out of a childrens book. Other characters have very western designs, while other characters seems to be right out of the good Studio Ghibli film. Other characters have a simple design, some backgrounds are obviously computer generated. Some are stills, others are animated. But, what unite this, is a muted color palette and the world around it, and that's strong enough to tie it all in together. As I played through, I noticed the different styles less and less – it's that powerful.

Gameplay is pretty much puzzle solvers. Lots and lots of puzzle solvers. But, again, it defies expectations. They are puzzles hard enough for adults and easy enough for kids – it meets that middle area few mediums, let alone games, can achieve. It's pure Lego territory. There's also some searches, long blocks of dialogue (which are annoying at times), and most notably, parts based on friendship. I can't explain the last one, it is what it is and it's good.

Music is pretty cutesy with an eastern flair. It can be upbeat when it wants, and never really get's off of what it is. Some games have soundtracks that suddenly incorporate guitars and things at times. Not so here. In Nairi it stays true to it.

Nothing really went haywire during my play. Mechanics kept up, frame rate stayed on track, and there were no glitches. It's really hard to get glitches in graphic games, but still, there were none to be had.

Nairi: Tower of Shirin is supposed to be the first game in a series. From what I saw, it's going to be one hell of a series. I loved it. There were a few down notes, but it really washed away the 'for ages blank to blank' label most games have nowadays. I had fun. Even if you're not super big into eastern-style games or graphic-heavy games, there's still a lot to enjoy in Nairi.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.

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