How do you spell “success?” If you ask Polish developer OhNoo Studio, they’d probably answer T-S-I-O-Q-U-E, as that's the name of their upcoming comic fantasy adventure which recently completed its Kickstarter funding campaign, garnering just over $39,000 in support. Tsioque originally began in 2011 as a personal project by veteran animator Alek Wasilewski for his daughter, before OhNoo (the studio behind last year’s Tormentum: Dark Sorrow) was brought on board to help finish the title as a commercial production.
The game follows the story of Princess Tsioque, a rough-and-tumble damsel who is left by her mother at the castle one day while she goes off to fight a monstrous phoenix threatening their kingdom. While the Good Queen is away, however, the royal wizard, corrupted by dark magic, casts a spell over the castle and summons creatures called Imps to help him secure his hold on power. Soon Tsioque finds herself imprisoned in the castle dungeon, and it will be her job to escape and fight back against the evil wizard and his dark minions.
Though it might seem like another typical fantasy adventure, there is clearly more to Tsioque than initially meets the eye, as hinted at the end of the playable demo, which shows an airplane flying in the sky – an obviously anachronistic element in a seemingly medieval setting. In addition, comic elements will pepper the experience, differentiating this title from its more serious-minded fantasy contemporaries. The main genre subversion, of course, is the empowerment of Princess Tsioque herself. Though trapped in a castle, she is by no means in need of a knight to rescue her, as she has more than enough ability and determination to get herself out of her own predicament.
One obvious selling point of Tsioque is its graphical style, which is entirely hand-animated and inspired by the adventures Wasilewski grew up playing, such as Day of the Tentacle and the Indiana Jones games, inspirations that the developers promise will feed into other aspects as well, like the plot and characters. The cartoon-like visuals feature crisp lines and bright colors that would not be out of place in a Disney production, a comparison that extends to the motion animations, as well.
Controls will be mouse-driven, and players can expect a fairly traditional point-and-click adventure experience as they help Tsioque in her quest. The game will be played from a 2.5D perspective, but much like OhNoo’s previous game, moving the mouse around the screen will shift the camera’s position slightly, allowing for parts of the scene obscured by the edge of the viewport to become visible. Puzzles promise to be varied, ranging from inventory obstacles to logic challenges, though there will also be some timed sequences in which the player can die at certain points.
Players can expect to get their hands on Tsioque in October 2016 on PC and Mac platforms. In the meantime, to download the demo or even snag a last-minute digital copy as a "Slacker Backer" for a limited time, head over to the game’s official website. For those who wish even deeper insight into the the game, a spoiler-laden Kickstarter update features Wasilewski revealing the “secret” behind the world of Tsioque.