The Touryst: An intriguing new indie title could be the highlight of November

Nintendo /

Escape from the stress the holiday season with The Touryst, an intriguing new indie title releasing during a month filled with blockbuster games.

In a month filled with blockbuster releases like Death Stranding, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokemon Sword & Shield, and Garfield Kart: Furious Racing one might let some of the promising smaller titles to slip through the cracks. The Touryst, from Shinen Games, is one of those titles — and perhaps the most promising one.

First shown off during Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase back in August, The Touryst is a new action-adventure puzzle game set to release for the Switch. You might not be familiar with the developer, but their latest release looks like one of the most interesting titles released in the waning moments of 2019.

Boasting a Minecraft-inspired (with, may I say, a dash of Crossy Road?) art style, The Touryst is exactly what the title hints at: A vacation adventure. And who couldn’t use a vacation these days?

The game looks to be, based on the little bits of gameplay we’ve seen, of the open-world variant, with plenty of side quests to complete and environments to explore. You can go scuba diving, venture into caves, and hang out on a boardwalk that’s even got an arcade (and you can even play the games)!

While the former most of those three activities aren’t exactly what I’d consider my dream vacation, they do speak to the variety that the game is potentially offering. What exactly the end goal of this vacation adventure is, though, is unclear — but the openness of it seems to suggest there’s going to be plenty of different avenues for you to achieve your goals.

And that’s what makes me so outrageously excited for The Touryst. The game, as a whole, looks to be a pure display of people just, you know, vibing.

There are even teases that you can dance at a sunset party, which is perhaps the epitome of vibing! It showcases a feel-good, fish-out-of-water kind of aesthetic that similar to those reality shows about famous celebrities traveling around the world like The World According to Jeff Goldblum (a bit of stretch here? Probably).

Of course, while The Touryst may succeed on the fundamentals of its premise and art style, time will tell as to whether or not its puzzles and missions are actually engaging enough to play. I’m all for open-ended, more relaxing experiences, but the potential upside is surely mitigated if you’re relegated to simply enjoying the views, per se.

There isn’t much known about exactly what kind of missions you’ll be given, or what kinds of side-activities you can partake in besides the aforementioned arcade. I also want to see what kind of potential unlockables there are, and just how many islands you can explore.

The Touryst Shinen Games
The Touryst Shinen Games /

Will it feel like the kind of exploration similar to what you get in a Zelda game and the customization versatility of, say, The Sims? I sincerely doubt that, but the key is that it doesn’t have to.

I’ve always been a sucker for acquiring different costumes (and hate when games fail at providing them), so if there are those kinds of rewards available then I’d be over the moon. I’m giddy at the possibilities here.

Based on the surface, The Touryst is easily my most anticipated game of the month. Perhaps that says a lot about my, lately, far more hipster taste in games. But it might be simply because the game objectively has tons of potential.

I just want an enjoyable experience that allows me to escape the hellhole that is life, even for just a brief moment. Is that too much to ask for? Well, I certainly hope not, and we’ll be finding out soon when the game launches on November 21.