Toem is a cute indie game and the first release from developer Something We Made. The adorable art style and great soundtrack accompany you on your pilgrimage to the top of Kiiruberg Mountain to witness the Toem for yourself. It’s a trip your grandma took years ago, and she’s thrilled to see you go on an adventure.
She even gives you the camera you’ll use to solve puzzles and earn passage to the next Scandinavian-inspired region of the world. Along the way, you’ll meet lots of interesting characters, solve their problems, and generally leave things a little better than when you found them. Wholesome adventure and amateur photography are the order of the day, but it doesn’t always make sense.
Traveling to Toem is simple. You do good deeds, help a charming group of quirky characters solve their problems, and are rewarded with a stamp on your community map. Get enough stamps and travel for free to the next region and any other region you have already unlocked.
While it’s ideal for your protagonist, who only starts out with a camera and a pair of clogs, it might not be ideal for the public transport system. Does everyone get free rides for good deeds? Why don’t citizens benefit more if they do?
6 round and round
The problem of transport in the world of Toem goes beyond the mystery of its financing. The buses themselves defy explanation. Logically, if you are traveling from a forest village to an island community, you can take the bus from town until you come to a water crossing method. It could be a bridge, a ferry, a canoe, anything.
The people of Toem, however, have a bus whose usefulness almost matches the loud horn. It does it all – it rides on country roads, city streets, on water and even smashes its way through snow. Now, it’s likely that the bus rides seen won’t be non-stop and you’ll switch buses off-screen, but that only adds to the mystery of who funds Toem’s transportation department.
The camera is a wonderful device and is everywhere today, on street corners, on our doorbells, on computers, and in the purse or pocket of almost every human over the age of 12. It makes you wonder why more people in the areas you visit don’t have them, especially considering how useful they are.
The only people in the world of Toem who seem to have cameras are in the Photo Challenger Guild. At least two members in every region you visit, and none of them lift a finger to help those around them. No free bus rides for them.
4 The real bad guys
Seagulls don’t have the best reputation, and this game doesn’t help improve it. These coastal birds are famous for their food-stealing shenanigans. They are opportunists and will take any advantage to reach your unprotected chow, but the Stanhamn area gulls take it to the next level.
You see them shortly after arriving at the seaside village, mercilessly attacking the local smuggler. He doesn’t even have food! You will also find them blocking your path further on, preventing you from accessing certain vital areas. Luckily, their reign of minuses doesn’t last long as you get the mighty horn – the only thing these feathered fiends fear!
3 plague carriers
Logcity has a problem. It’s dirty. There are workers everywhere, surrounded by huge piles of dirt and debris. Not a hole to be seen, despite their dubious claim to spend all day digging them. Cans of spray paint litter the walls near the graffiti-tagged walls. The city obviously does not have enough accessible bins and dumpsters to manage the waste. The biggest offender, however, is in the bakery. On your first visit, mice are running around.
Using your trusty horn, you hunt these adorable vermin and, as a reward, the baker rewards you with a cinnamon roll. There are customers in the bakery, if you return, which can only mean that the citizens of Logcity have short memories or are enjoying the only place in town recently cleaned.
2 On the podium
Haute couture, like art, can be subjective. You don’t see a lot of people wearing outfits that come straight off the catwalk. Because, well, because they tend to be weird. In Logcity, however, the track dictates fashion for the masses. You don’t need much either.
Just wear your paper hat at a casual angle, and the show’s fashion designer will love it. Every poor, overworked, underpaid soul in town will be wearing your latest trend minutes later. Which, to be clear, can only be a paper hat. Haute couture is weird.
1 Beep beep
The humble horn. In real life, the horn has few practical uses anymore. Unless you live on a fog-prone coast or visit a big city full of taxis, you probably won’t hear one often. As the protagonist photographer of Toem, you know that limiting such a useful tool to fog horns and traffic jams is a travesty that needs to be corrected.
Given the horn by a lighthouse keeper who will probably never need to use it again, you continue your adventure using this priceless item. Blocked by seagulls? Horn. Sleeping pirate? Horn. A ribbon-wielding man stuck in a snowman? Horn. A huge block of ice the size of a house? You guessed it, horn.
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