Tchia promises to transport players to the archipelago of New Caledonia, with terrain and folklore inspired by local traditions. However, some elements have been changed out of respect for privacy and tradition. This realistic approach to level design and world-building makes the experience feel more grounded than other open-world games.
This also helps Tchia carve an identity despite being heavily inspired by Breath of the Wild. The world feels lived in with various locations to visit that are not only visually distinct from one another but feel possible to be in the same area. The biggest strength is that the map is modestly sized. To elaborate, traveling the entire length of one of the islands can take up to fifteen minutes.
This design choice ensures that there will always be something to find, no matter which direction the player sets off, making travel and exploration an enjoyable diversion as players complete story objectives. This is essentially the soul of Tchia, choosing a path and seeing where the wind takes you, exploring every inch, whether through the glider or raft.
Even the UI is made to encourage exploration. While there is still a compass and map to help players orient themselves as they explore, there aren’t any clear indications about players’ exact location. The compass won’t automatically have every point of interest to guide the player. One will still need to get close enough for the compass to register before it picks up on anything.
This philosophy forces players to walk around areas that seem to be empty only to find a new collectible or activity to do, like shooting ranges and raft races, gliding through the air looking at any nearby locations for anything of interest, or soul jumping into an animal to see things from the sky.
This lattermost mechanic is a breath of fresh air, and even though the meter it uses drains quickly, it can enable high flight and then glider usage after jumping out. Once players have gotten the hang of it, movement in this game is fluid and feels natural to mix between jumping on trees, using the glider, or possessing a bird.
Tchia knows how to let players explore while it guides them through the main attractions of the islands. It’s still on the player to explore and see where the wind and sea will take them. There is a ton of promise hidden away throughout the island, like a kid exploring their hometown for the first time.
Summatively, there is plenty new here to give Tchia an identity all its own as it takes inspiration from other open-world titles. As of now, no release date has been provided, but players will want to keep their eyes on Tchia and see what other surprises it might have.
Tchia is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 in Spring 2023
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.