Tandem: A Tale of Shadows REVIEW – In Fenton’s Shadow


Tandem: A Tale of Shadows REVIEW – In Fenton’s Shadow

If Tandem: A Tale of Shadows had seduced us during our preview, we had nevertheless expressed some reservations about its ability to renew itself over time. We were therefore curious to see the final result of the small Parisian studio Monochrome (Singularity 5) composed of only 5 people and specialized in 3D creation. Published by Hatinh Interactive and supported by the Ile-de-France Region and the CNCThis adventure puzzle game is available at €24.99 since October 21, 2021 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch. In a victorian universeit offers us a gameplay based on two characters evolving in different dimensions and based on play of shadows and light which reminds us of the very good Shady Part of Me by Douze Dixième (cocorico). The whole question now is whether he manages to do as well as his compatriot.

It Tale Two

London, late 19th century. Thomas Kane, the son of a couple of famous illusionists, has disappeared. Scotland Yard has been tasked with solving this case, but the mystery remains. Emma, ​​a 10 year old girl intrigued by all this, decides to take matters into her own hands and go at the Kane mansion to find out for herself what happened. But she will not be alone in pursuing this goal. Indeed, as she walks towards the Victorian mansion, a teddy bearHe is thrown out of the window of a horse-drawn carriage. But it’s not just any bear. Fenton, since that is his name, is that of Thomas and he is not only alive, but also in possession of powers allowing him to move horizontally on the walls and to use the shadows as a support for movement.

A close collaboration will be necessary between the two new friends.

And that’s good since doors and other mechanisms can only be unlocked in this dimension. His help will therefore be indispensable to Emma. Likewise, the shadows that it can create or drive away will help Fenton move forward. It is thus thanks to a close collaboration that the two new friends will first of all be able to cross the gardens of the Kane mansion then, after passing through basementsreach the kitchen before crossing the clock in the ballroom in order to rally the winter gardens in search of young Thomas. It is therefore through 5 chapters what your adventure will unfold, each divided into several fairly short episodesespecially the first ones which serve to introduce the mechanics of the game. As we suspected, the title is therefore rather brief and you should discover the end of the story after about 7 hours.

It’s dark in this mansion

The universe in which Tandem immerses you is not neglected, quite the contrary. With Emma seen from above and Fenton in horizontal with side scrollingthe software asks you to constantly alternate between the two protagonists in an efficient way, going fromvery colorful images for the young lady to a successful black and white world for the bear. The atmosphere officially draws its inspiration from Tim Burtonas is a bit obvious, but also in Jules Verne or Conan Doyle, references which are not the least. And indeed, there is. German Expressionism and the Golden Age of Dutch Art have also been put to use and the result is there, with an artistic direction that leaves no one indifferent. Even if it’s not the graphics pixel fair, these are really lovely and the cinematics serving as a link between the chapters do not denote either.

The software asks you to constantly alternate between the two protagonists.

A gallery of 18 artworks can also be fulfilled by discovering hidden areas of the game. Collecting them also allows you to learn more about the Kane family. And each chapter has its own dream world, including sound. If we had previously criticized a soundtrack and sound effects quite unremarkable, it is no longer the case. Signed Guillaume Nicolletthe compositions alternate between music directly from childhood and those supporting the atmosphere full of strangeness of the place. As for the dubbing of the storyteller, entirely in English subtitled in French, it is simply excellent. with a beautiful accent in keeping with the Victorian era of the title.

Gelly Part of Me

If Emma opens doors with keys once she gets her hands on them and activates mechanisms, it is especially with her lamp that she makes herself useful. She can indeed thanks to her erase some shadows blocking Fenton or on the contrary create others on which he can lean to reach a given point. Unfortunately, she will be repeatedly deprived of her lantern and will then have to use other light sources by moving various objects on the ground that she can pull or push, sometimes on rails limiting their positioning. The objective of each episode is to bring Fenton to a crystal which he then sends to Emma to move on to the next table. For his part, he must clear Emma’s way by pressing buttons or by also activating mechanisms. He is able to jump and so his part of the gameplay looks a bit like a platformer where platforms come and go as the play of shadows and light. But pay attention to don’t put Fenton in the shade, then he would be stuck and you could no longer call on him. Likewise, he must be on a stable surface, not a shadow, in order to pass back to Emma. A concept more or less already crossed in Shady Part of Me but that works very well.

The objective of each episode is to bring Fenton to a crystal.

It is therefore a question of search for the solution to reach the coveted crystal. It is above all a jigsaw puzzlelet’s not forget, and it will sometimes be necessary to zap very quickly between each character by synchronizing the actions of each one well. Some enemies will be able to exterminate Emma, like spiders with their laser vision, but she is quite unable to return the favor. It should therefore rather cut off their field of vision, circumvent them or, at the very least, avoid them. Note that the latter are either immobile or follow a pre-established path that they repeat constantly, which simplifies the task. Fenton doesn’t have to face anyone, but beware of falls on thorns or blades. Don’t worry, if you pass away, it wasn’t the right solution and you then reappear just before to try your luck again. And if we had noted that the developers did not lack imagination to create new situations for us, we wondered about their ability to proceed in this way until the end of the game. Well! good news, they haven’t run out of ideas. Each chapter brings its own universe and the gameplay, even if it is always based on the same principle, is constantly being renewed. with, each time, various interactive elements identified by a small scintillating point put to use.

It will sometimes be necessary to zap very quickly between each character by synchronizing the actions of each one well.

After garden spidersyou will have to learn to play with basement piping to circulate a viscous liquid capable of creating points of support for Fenton like blocking barriers. In the kitchen, it’s gelly cubes, typical of English pastry, which you can grab by your tongue to move them, make them grow on the outlets, have them devour each other or even have them cut up as needed. There clock ballroom, along with her ghosts, will deprive Emma of her lantern and instruct her to avoid toy soldiers by hiding in the shadows and staying away from motion sensors. Finally, in the winter gardenscomparable to the natural history museum with its skeletons, it will be necessary to manage lush vegetation containing strange animals. And each chapter has its end boss to recover a key to move on to the next one. We will also do a special ola for the one in the kitchen which offers a very nice sequence, even if it deviates from the gameplay specific to the game. Ah, and don’t forget to observe the decor carefully so as not to miss any hidden pieces and recover all the secrets, these are sometimes well concealed.

Most :

  • The artistic direction
  • The soundtrack
  • Varied gameplay

The lessers :

  • A bit short
  • A bit of deja vu
  • Graphics that lack finesse

THE REVIEW OF THE TEST OF Tandem: A Tale of Shadows – In the shadow of Fenton


Endowed with an inspired artistic direction and a neat soundtrack, Tandem: A Tale of Shadows was able to seduce us despite a game concept already crossed recently in Shady Part of Me, which we cannot avoid thinking about. Even if it suffers from a fairly short lifespan and its graphics could have been more detailed, it offers varied universes with gameplay that does not lack ideas and is constantly renewed. If solving puzzles and playing with shadows and light inspires you, you should give it a try.

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Henry Alexander

an accomplished IT professional with a wealth of experience in the high-tech industry. As the IT Team Lead for Validation and Embedded Software at Qualcomm, he leverages his expertise to drive innovation and ensure optimal performance. With a career spanning over 40 years in Silicon Valley startups and consulting, Henry has been at the forefront of technological advancements. From software engineering to management positions, his diverse skill set has enabled him to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technology. Currently, as an IT Manager and Web Administrator, Henry continues to contribute his knowledge and expertise to shape the digital future.