Oh my giddy aunt, here’s TOEM: A Photo Adventure. And what a wholesome, adorable, loveable little SOB it truly is.
You can get it on PC, PS5, and the Switch. It’s from indie team Something We Made in Karlshamn, Blekinge of Sweden. Got your camera!? LET’S DO THIS!!
TOEM: A Photo Adventure (is cute)
Some video games are just so adorable and charming you want to punch yourself in the face with glee. TOEM is one such example.
In many respects this is like the brilliant A Short Hike (2019), but with photography. A relaxing video game aimed at being a super charming chillout experience.
In TOEM: A Photo Adventure you guide a small figure though a Scandinavian landscape. The goal?! Climb the highest peak to experience TOEM.
That’s the plot! And under that guise, you’re all set to head off out and snap some photographs. Oh yeah!
As the central aspect of the game, it’s all handled in super charming fashion and you’re encouraged to get snap happy with the characters and landscape you come across.
Characters you meet set you tasks, you go out and solve those (by using your camera, usually), and then you get a stamp in your notepad.
Get enough of those SOBs and you can get a bus to the next area! One step closer… to the mystical… TOEM. Here’s the game in action.
Bloody hell, do we love TOEM. It’s very difficult to get more endearing than this, it’s just swoon-worthy from the get-go.
The monochromatic graphics are sharp and perfect, there’s a great soundtrack (more on that below), and everyone you meet is so characterful.
It’s the little touched that do it. You meet one guy who’s upset as he’s lost his favourite sock. You go off and find him two wet socks—he lets you keep one. You put the wet sock on and it gives your character a speed boost, but as you walk about you can hear a wet squelchy noise.
The adorability factor is off the scales.
You just have a natural eagerness to explain each contained area, digging around for secrets, taking pictures, and solving the tasks. It’s rather blissful.
Like with many indie games, it’s a brief experience. A handful of hours. And solving tasks is have-a-go-hero type experimentation.
But nothing could dim our enthusiasm for TOEM.
Really brilliant. Very relaxing and inspiring—a perfect bit of escapism for these troubled times. Full credit to Something We Made for forcing this excellence on the world.
TOEM’s Fantabulous Soundtrack
There’s an excellent soundtrack to go with proceedings, that’s from two composers: Jamal Green and Launchable Socks. The latter is from Netherlands, whilst the former works at Something We Made.
The pair have pieced together an excellent little work. There aren’t many pieces, but they drift in and out of the TOEM experience like magic.
What’s great is your have a type of vintage setup in TOEM. Your little character has a cassette player, which you can control from the pause menu.
From their you can pick and mix the tracks you have on cassette, which you gather as you enter new areas.
Want to listen to your favourite track? Stick on the cassette! Want some silence? Turn it off! And it’s that attention to detail that makes TOEM such a joy to play.
There’s a lot going on in the soundtrack, too, usually shifting around at a pace. But also relying on moments of quiet, too.
To just play TOEM minus the music is also enjoyable, as you can listen to birds chirping, or if you’re on the city stage the distant sounds of traffic.
It’s a fine piece of work and well worth listening to the whole soundtrack, which you can find on YouTube.