The Touryst is an adventure/platforming game available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Game Pass for Android, in which your Playable Character is an 80s-era tourist, complete with a nice Hawaiian shirt and a big pornstache. In his game, your goal is to explore and complete small missions across a small number of world, which are all declinations of well-known touristic beach locations across the world (Santoryn for the isle of Santorini in Greece, Ybiza for Ibiza in Spain, ecc.). Below are my thoughts on the main aspects of this small indie game developed by the Germans at Shin'en Multimedia.
Right off the bat, let's talk about the nice art style that characterizes this game. While it can be reminiscent of other games like Minecraft due to the blocky characters and environment, the main idea of a "vacation trip" is present throughout the game and thus offers quite spectacular biomes, even though it is of course an indie, stylized game. As a beach lover myself, it was quite nice to feel all these calm vacation spots in the hub worlds.
In The Touryst, your main goal is to complete the dungeons present on every island to get access to the ending, completing side missions whenever you want. That is where I have the most critics to make to the game. While the game is nice and enjoyable nice most of the time, it has several sections which I felt forced or even frustrating at times. My main critic is against levels like the Mine, which really drags on too much, and some sections of the dungeons where you have to jump on orbs to open the next gate. Some of those parts were unfortunately frustrating and really felt like a chore, especially when compared to the nice, chill vibe of the outside beach worlds.
While the Touryst is quite ok to play with a controller, it has some glaring issues that you will see when you are playing, especially the camera (hard to control and makes you miss where you're jumping to half of the time) and some minigame controls like the canoe section. Other than that, I found controls to be responsive on Xbox. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the xCloud touch controls. While it is a nice surprise to have touch controls in this game, they are more frustrating than anything. Really, good luck progressing through the hard sections like the Mine with these controls!
The game can currently be completed in around 5 hours, but most of this time will be spent trying to complete the "To-do List", the game's name for a good old fashioned 100% list. While most of the tasks are simple "Go there, do that" type of tasks, and are honestly kind of enjoyable (for example, the photo collection or all the NPCs you can talk to), I found myself frustrated by the large number of minigames that you have to excel in to get the 100% achievements. While the Guitar Hero-type of play on Soggy Island and the Surf and Football games are not too bad, my real gripe is with the Arcade games. 3 Arcade games which you have to get highscores in, and in which I spent more time than all the rest of the game combined. I'm probably bad at them, of course, but I honestly can't stand spending my time on frustrating 90's arcade games just to get my completion, instead of the rest of the title which is much more interesting.
While not a bad game in any way, the Touryst is an imperfect game due to the filler minigame content and the sometimes hard to control camera. I would have loved for the whole game to be island jumping and vacationing in the (very nice!) locations of the game, but some of the mandatory frustrating gameplay sections mar this otherwise nice little indie game.