Ao Dai review: A perfect ‘palate cleaning’ game in a huge release year

Have you ever unboxed a game in the backseat of your parents’ car on your way home from the supermarket, scrutinized the manual, and started reading it right away? Have you ever had your nose spilled with cheap ink and plastic from a game box while flipping through a pamphlet, hoping to gather clues about the game or learn something about the game’s characters? Have you ever felt empowered by this – like you’ve learned something profound and secret, which the other kids playing may not know?

Well, that feeling – exactly the plot that rushes when you uncover a little hidden secret that maybe only you know – is Dress. The whole game is filled with these moments, these discreet nods and hints that you, the player, have outdone something and taken the lead in the game because of it.

You’re a little fox on an adventure, plunging straight into the world with minimal context and a brief hint as to why you’re trying to collect something that’s definitely not a Triforce. No instructions to talk about. No, instead you will find small pages of manuals scattered around the world that you put together out of order. And that’s holding hands as much as you get. Good.

This means that – even though you have access to most of the game’s curious mechanics – you’ll either skip over how to do a lot of things or just ignore them altogether. Defeat an enemy atop an ancient tower, grab a manual page from its inventory and realize ‘oh, I could have unlocked this since the beginning of the game if it were just me [redacted]’so upset. But it’s not. It’s charming and smart, and it makes you feel like the game beats you (which is only fair, because if you spot the great hidden passages and shortcuts in the beautiful isometric world Its, you’ll feel like you’re passing on the game, too).

This constant back-and-forth is a mind game between you and Tunic that feels playful and playful – and that may have been intentional on the part of the developers. The entire tone of the game (like skewers and wordless) revolves around piqued your curiosity and made you try things out. Got some money you don’t know what to do with? A page in the book suggests, maybe, that you should throw them down a well – see what happens! That rudimentary gear system? Why not wear different things in different areas, and see if something changes?

Where last year’s remarkable Death’s Door took the modern Zelda-like game in a more aggressive direction, Tunic feels like it’s heading to the same destination on a much nicer route: it’s gorgeous, quite cool compared to its genre buddies, and it requires less than you, to boot. All you need to know in Tunic is how to manage your stamina, how to dodge, and how to lock onto your target. It can be hard, but it’s not hard. So perfect for early kids of any age.

The real fun in Tunic doesn’t come from its wonderfully animated enemies (the crabs are the highlight), but from its map design. It’s inspired by isometric games, but doesn’t mind pulling the camera out, panning it around, collapsing it into an angle, or anything else to give you a sense of location. Even the fixed camera angles feel like they were placed by a gently smiling cinematographer; Never be content with using a simple option, you’ll find the camera zooms, rotates or rolls at will, highlighting any part of the brightly lit toy box world that works well most at this time.


One standout was – eventually – finding my way into the library, which I saw mentioned in a random page of the manual earlier in the game. Climbing up a wall and ducking through a hole, the camera recedes to reveal my intrusion that landed me on a bookshelf – which I didn’t realize until I darted away a bit to see the vulgar avatar where was his and knocked down some books. finish.

Ao Dai is filled with fun little moments like this, and it really saddens me when it realizes that I could have combed every inch of the game and seen everything there is to see on the island. Our gorgeous (and sinisterly sophisticated) friend calls home. It’s fun to learn the intricacies of iframes in dodge scrolls or see how different magic items interact with different types of enemies, Tunic works best when you sniff around and try trying to find its moments of genius – the small pieces of roads hidden in plain sight, or the cunning treasure chests that tease you, unopened, on distant overhangs.


The Ao Dai arrived at a perfect time; In the midst of a dense release schedule dripping with titles that keep you entertained, it’s a calmer, more laid-back adventure game that wants to engage in a friendly dialogue. It doesn’t want to scold you – it wants to encourage you. To explore, join and experiment. It’s the perfect palate cleanser, lasts between six and 20 hours, and is a must-have if you’re into extreme games with potions in your pocket, capes around your neck, and sparkling eyes.

Ao Dai has been evaluated on PC (Steam) with code provided by PR. Ao Dai review: A perfect ‘palate cleaning’ game in a huge release year

Fry Electronics Team

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