The Touryst Switch Review: A Shangri-la Of Pixelated Bliss

Stuck in a quandary at home? Travel without the red tape in this The Touryst Switch Review.

How about something new for your Nintendo Switch collection? If you haven’t already heard about this little indie gem, here’s a The Touryst Switch review for your reading pleasure.

Do you remember the days where you could explore the world we live in rather than watch it through Netflix? Travel is on lockdown, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still go on holiday. On the Nintendo Switch, that is.

The Touryst, from Shin’en, has to be the greatest protagonist of all-time sporting a Hawaiian (or Okinawan) shirt since… Kiryu, in this delicious Shangri-la of pixelated bliss. 

The Touryst Switch Review

It’s been some time since I first played The Touryst, but every once in a while, I like to revisit it as a form of escapism. Not blessed with an open world on par with The Witcher 3, it makes up for it when it comes to doing your own thing. The activities in the game are simple, occasionally ball-busting, but mostly therapeutic.

You play the tourist of the title, correct spelling, but have no name. I called mine Thomas Sullivan, after another alumni member of the Hawaiian shirt brigade. He’s a bit of a silent hero, flying the flag for dapper tourist gentlemen everywhere.

The Touryst Switch Review - Balls
Oh, balls. Source: Screen capture

Upon your arrival, there’s not much to do other than relax. The Touryst doesn’t judge, so you can happily enter other holidaymaker’s rooms and mess with their stuff, or pick a sunbed and swaddle up next to an unsuspecting holidaymaker to soak up some rays.

After a minute or so’s worth of an island round trip, you find that the shopkeeper will give you a free brochure that enables you to learn a new skill. When you jump, because that’s what holidaymakers like to do, you can hang on to ledges and pull yourself off – up. 

Avoiding The Touryst Traps

With your new skill, why now scale the local monument? Once you reach the summit, you’ll notice some floor switches that have an uncanny resemblance to a nearby garden. Mimic the pattern, and you enter a new world for The Touryst.

Inside is a fellow tourist/adventurer who informs you of a plethora of local monuments. Like a geologist-type Pokémon hunter, you gotta catch/find ’em all and reveal the secrets. Each monument features tile-based puzzles, the triggering of switches, and perhaps outwitting its resident guardian.

These encounters can be challenging enough, but it’s the platforming that’s the killer. The tourist is carefree with regards to health, probably eating battered Mars bars for brekkie. Sure, he’ll die if falling into an abyss, but you have unlimited attempts. Not that the puzzles reset if you leave, which may or may not have had me cursing in ancient tongues.

The Touryst Switch Review - Pants
Pants. Source: Screen capture

Every Touryst Needs A Good Camera

Throughout The Touryst, you can manually adjust the camera. Still, in some of the monuments, it’s fixed and quite easy to underestimate your position when jumping, inducing some full-on raging. If you’ve had enough, you can head back to the beach for some sun or perhaps go exploring.

It’s hard to remember everything that happens on holiday, not just the drunken romances and soiling of pants, but the overall memories. To capture these moments, Thomas Sullivan can equip a camera in first-person view and stack up the pics, even selling them to a merchant.

But you may be wondering where all the stuff is if the opening island is so barren. In this case, you pick up travel brochures on the local islands, essentially unlocking them, with the option of fast travel via the local ferryman, who uses a motorised dinghy to take you there.

Extracurricular Activities

In The Touryst, there’s no health gauge, or urgency to finish it. Sure, you can finish it in one sitting, but aside from the slight hiccups with challenging gameplay in the shrines, why rush?

On some of the islands, you can go to the cinema, a bit like Stone, or play a Mighty Bomb Jack-like arcade game to beat your hi-score. Besides the temptation of being on the leaderboards, there’s also a reward involved.

The Touryst Switch Review - Jack
Jack of all trades. Source: Screen capture

Alternatively, you can go snorkelling, fly a drone or enter a surfing competition à la California Games for a change of scenery. It’s these little nuances that make The Touryst so moreish. Sure, you’ve done it before and explored everything on the island, but surely there’s time for another rave? 

It may be a short game, but perhaps I’ll do a The Touryst guide at some point.

The Touryst Switch Review Summary

If you fancy something new with a cheeky exploration/chill vibe, then The Touryst might be the game for you. The puzzles and side quests aren’t particularly taxing, but some of the jumping sections may tipple your transcendental state. You’ve been warned.

The score totals a 8 out of 10