Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a dark adventure through a mysterious Victorian world

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a gorgeous-looking puzzle platform adventure game with a delightfully dark tone, set in a mysterious Victorian-inspired world. And our friends at Funstock have just announced that there’s a physical release for both Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on the way, coming on March 25, 2022. Preorders are open right now.

In Tandem, you take on the role of 10 year old girl Emma, who is determined to track down the missing Thomas Kane, son of a famous illusionist. To that end, Emma has come to the deserted and spooky Kane Mansion with her trusty teddy bear Fenton in the hope of solving the mystery. Said teddy bear, it seems, has his own distinct set of skills that will make solving the mystery a bit easier.

Tandem

Tandem unfolds over the course of 48 different levels, each of which incorporate a variety of different mechanics and puzzle styles. Controlling both Emma and Fenton from both top-down and side-on perspectives, you’ll need to make clever use of light and shadow to solve problems as well as demonstrating your dexterity in challenging platformer sequences.

The 48 levels are split into 5 different worlds that appear within the mansion, each of which has between 9 and 11 themed levels to take on, culminating with a boss encounter. For completionists, each world has several secret rooms to discover, too, so if you want to truly solve the mysteries of Tandem, you’ll want to check every nook and cranny.

Tandem’s big strength — besides its appealing Tim Burton-inspired aesthetic — is its varied gameplay. The mix of top-down and side-on gameplay allows for a diverse array of different mechanics to challenge the player, and there are lots of interesting interactive elements to experiment with in order to solve the various puzzles. Sometimes you’ll be moving objects around to create shadows; at others, you’ll be making use of the mansion’s tricks and traps to your own advantage.

Tandem

Tandem’s adventure will see you not only exploring the mansion itself, but also the gardens and surrounding areas. And, in true “surreal Victorian adventure” tradition, you can’t necessarily expect a jaunt through what initially appears to be a mundane environment to be straightforward. Taking a trip through the kitchens, for example, will see Emma reduced in size and having to contend with gigantic foodstuffs and cooking equipment in a true Alice in Wonderland style.

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows was well-received on its digital release earlier this year, with critics describing it as a “unique twist on the puzzle genre, making incredible use of light and shadow”. Praise has been heaped on its varied, interesting puzzle design, range of challenges and beautifully designed world, and particular attention has been drawn to its use of “chiaroscuro” techniques in its visuals — in other words, strongly contrasting light and shadow to an obviously stylised degree.

If you’re a fan of creative puzzle games with a distinctly atmospheric aesthetic, Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is definitely a game you’ll be wanting to check out — and with the aforementioned physical release, you’ll be able to display this gorgeous-looking game proudly on your game shelves, too.

Tandem Magical Box Edition

The Tandem: A Tale of Shadows “Magical Box Edition” comes in a 217 x 167 x 57mm collector’s box eminently suitable for display, and it includes a 10cm figurine of Emma along with a 52-page landscape-format artbook.

Set for release on March 25, 2022, it’ll set you back a very reasonable £44.99 — or alternatively, you’ll be able to get a physical copy of just the game on PS4 or Switch for £34.99.

Check out all your options and preorder here.

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Pete Davison
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