What you should play this weekend: Tengami

Occasionally you'll find a game that's so beautiful you want to play it slowly and intentionally, savoring the developers' work. Tengami (US$4.99, universal for iOS) is one of those games.

It's an adventure puzzler that has your character exploring his world, one scene at a time, unlocking secrets and moving ever forward. There's no clear objective other than discovery itself, and that's a big part of Tengami's appeal. Walk, look, and see what's next. Here's our look at Tengami.


To call this game pretty is a laughable understatement. The premise is that you're in a Japanese pop-up book come to life. Each "page" unfolds to reveal charming cut-outs and intricate folds. Paper petals flutter from tree tops. Water "shimmers," a paper moon glows faintly in the sky and hidden bridges, staircases and more unfold before you...if you figure out how to trigger them.

The music completes the theme with a calming melody that encourages quiet inspection. Wear headphones for this one.

Game play

The game begins with a scene of a large book on a table. Tap it to open the cover, and you're taken to a page of a gorgeous tree in full bloom. Flip to the next page and the petals fall. The scene darkens. Flip one last time and the branches are nearly bare. Everything is grey save for the few pink petals, and the clothing of a lone figure sitting beneath the tree. Tap him and your adventure begins.

I almost want to say Tengami is more of a toy than a game. There are no clear rules or even a goal. As you walk, flipping from page to page, simple puzzles reveal themselves. You'll meet wolves who growl and bay at the moon, only to be subdued if you discover the action you must take (no spoilers here!).

Tengami is not a game you whip out while standing in line at the bank. It's a treat to enjoy at the end of the day when you want to unwind and disappear into a lovely, quiet world. Make a cup of tea and have fun exploring Tengami. It's definitely what you should play this weekend.