Saturday, December 1

Review: Nairi - Tower of Shirin [Nintendo Switch eShop]


With a load of adventure games already on the Switch, and most of them being pretty good, it takes some effort to make a splash in the genre. Nairi: Tower of Shirin has a smart approach to this, employing some great hand drawn art and a cavalcade of pretty cute animal characters you’ll interact with. Of course those only help on the surface, to help draw you in, but the great news is that possibly moreso than your average point-and-click adventure the puzzles are generally both satisfying and challenging without being quite so hung up on obscure solutions as usual.


Coming from the lap of luxury, one night Nairi is forced to flee her home, leaving as her parents are arrested, and then ends up initially in the company of a pack of cat bandits. After using her wits to escape their lair she manages to gain their respect and spends time with them slowly becoming one of the crew. From there she goes on to meet all sorts of anthropomorphic characters who help provide personality and flavor on the way to the game’s abrupt cliffhanger of a conclusion.


There’s something about Nairi that feels great that I can’t quite explain. The art and personality of its characters is consistently endearing, the puzzles feel mostly organic rather than forced or plain weird (at least by genre standards), and it’s simply satisfying to play. While not all aspects are perfect and there are spots where it can drag it still has managed to carve out a legitimate spot for itself among the many titles in this genre on Switch.


Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • Terrific hand-drawn characters and art
  • Puzzles that are generally less confusing and obscure than the genre’s norm
  • A well-defined sense of personality with dialogue that’s often amusing

Cons:
  • Outside of handheld mode the controls can be aggravating at times
  • Some spots where it can get a bit slow
  • The ending isn’t terribly satisfying, though there’s no doubt the intention is to leave you wanting more