Reviews - Updated on March 29, 2022

There are not so many games about photography, but almost all of them are successful. Not so long ago, New Pokemon Snap was released, where we managed to look at Pokemon in their natural habitat, before that there was a game-meme Bugsnax and the cutest Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. Now TOEM has been added to this list, one of the coziest and kindest adventures this year.

Good luck

The protagonist (or heroine – not specified, but for convenience I will call him a hero) goes on a journey, taking with him a vintage camera with a zoom lens. The grandmother gathering the protagonist on the road says that high in the mountains you can capture a magical phenomenon – the same Toyem. To get there, you have to drive past several cities and make a stop in each. The hero has no money, but you can get free travel – you just need to help the residents with their problems and collect seals on the community map.

TOEM: Review

The city nameplates have also been translated.

Already in the first location, the structure of TOEM becomes clear – we move from one area to another, communicate with everyone in a row and get tasks. Quests are issued by those characters who have an asterisk above them, but other creatures can also say something or give something valuable – it is advisable to communicate with everyone.

Emoticons in dialogues always look very cute.

Most of the assignments are related to photography in one way or another. In each region, for example, representatives of the Guild of Enthusiast Photographers meet – they ask you to bring them the specified pictures. In one of the towns, we will become a trainee journalist – wearing an appropriate hat, we will be able to penetrate hard-to-reach locations and capture some moments. A group of hooligans will not consider the hero as their own until he finds their graffiti and brings photos of them.

Album for memory

Over time, the character improves the camera – with the help of a horn, he scares away the birds (and the characters amusingly react to sharp sounds), a tripod allows him to take pictures from a distance. The tasks are becoming more and more diverse: either we are looking for a lost son from a very strange family, or we help the seller of hot dogs to attract customers, or we point the caretaker to ships that have crashed in the sea. There are even ghosts who either miss the cities or suffer from a lack of attention. Almost everything is done with a camera. In total there are more than fifty tasks, and they do not seem monotonous.

TOEM: Review

You can sit on every stool and bench if you want to play the role of a tired traveler.

There is no map in TOEM, as well as the need for it – although at first it seems that there are too many areas in one location, you quickly remember how to get to a particular place. The matter is not limited to tasks alone: ​​in secret nooks and crannies you find gift boxes with cosmetic items, plus all kinds of living creatures are found everywhere – in the album, pictures with it are listed in a separate category. Cats, dogs, insects, birds – if there are already photos of some fauna representative, a check mark will appear next to him when looking through the lens, so the process of filling out the album was not complicated.

TOEM: Review

How can you not take a picture of this?

The only problem with the game is that some of the tasks are too vague. Everything works great when the tasks are more or less clear or one follows from the other – received a reward for one quest and use it to complete another. But sometimes TOEM does not even try to help, offering to guess for yourself what is required of you. Already in the first location, you are asked to take a picture of the “army of tiny soldiers” – you had to run around for a long time and look for what it was all about. Then the Guild will want a picture of the “air animal” – it’s not about the owl, I tried. And what is the “Great moment”, I did not guess.

We’ll help you later – it’s better to capture the moment first!

Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything to reach the ending – you only need to complete half of the tasks, which is very easy. Then the character will get to that same Toyem – the ending turned out to be very beautiful and logical for this kind of game. After the finale, you can return to your home and visit all locations again to complete the remaining tasks and collect all the “achievements”. If the main story takes a little over two hours, then it will take about five to complete the passage – depending on how often you will get stuck due to lack of clues.

TOEM does not try to bring up non-standard topics, as, for example, Chicory: A Colorful Tale did. This is a very simple story about the protagonist’s first big journey and his encounters with all kinds of creatures: crazy, tired from work or enjoying life. “Do good on the whole Earth,” as the classic sang, and at the end you will find a most beautiful gift, for which it was really worth doing all this.

Pros: nice atmosphere and charming characters; nice visual style; many different puzzles; bonus entertainment like finding hidden collectibles and filling an album with living creatures; beautiful finale.

Cons: some tasks are too vague; nothing significantly new compared to other photo hunting simulators.

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