Tchia review — day one PS Plus adventure is full of animals and whimsy

By Sean Lawson,

Tchia is a day one PS Plus Extra and Premium title that is astoundingly beautiful and full of charm. Acaweb's first PS5 game is a solid one.

In 25 hours of collecting Tchia trophies on PS5, the day one PS Plus title revealed breathtaking visuals, addictive exploration, and charm on tap. You could be possessing inanimate objects one second and menacing society with a slingshot the next — there is so much to get up to in Tchia. Has the New Candelonia-inspired dream made a case for a place on the best PS Plus games list?

TchiaTchia is a breath of fresh air!

Let's tell them the story, Tchia

The story of Tchia centres around, well, Tchia, a young girl who must fend for herself after her father gets kidnapped by a madman and some strange entities made of fabric — yes, really. You'll also briefly turn into a machete and slice a dude's face open before being kicked into the sea, so Tchia has the weird island vibes down from the get-go. The game opens by teaching you the gameplay ropes before quickly throwing you into the glistening waters of the vast island-populated open world of New Caledonia which you can freely explore as you see fit. It was a pretty epic (and odd) opening to Tchia and had me hook, line, and sinker — though, I did have some concerns.

During the main story, there were moments that genuinely made my jaw drop to the ground in shock at what I had just witnessed. Tchia, for the most part, is a cute game that is relaxing, chill, and a bundle of fun. Don't misconstrue that as child-like or immature, though. The antagonist of the story does some bewildering stuff that would feel right at home in the weirdest mythological stories.

TchiaTchia is a wonderful and stunning game!

A simply stunning open-world

The main story gives you the chance to discover New Caledonia. The islands are is absolutely stunning and a joy to wander around. I can't even count on both hands how many times I have been running around, sailing the skies on my glider, swimming in the beautiful sea, or exploring the mountains and literally had to stop just to take in my surroundings.

Given that you have total and immediate free reign to explore the world of Tchia, sailing around on the boat is at first quite overwhelming. I was surrounded by sea and I could travel in any direction, free to discover the shipwrecks, collectables, and more. For such an open experience, I strangely felt suffocated at first by this free-form structure and feared I was going to be burnt out on exploration before I had truly begun. The tedious boat controls only amplified my worries. Thankfully, these immediate concerns would pass after a little bit of story progression.

The second major worry was Tchia's zero waypoint navigation system: you get rough estimates for where you are going without an exact map positioning. While I was nervous that I would be disorientated throughout Tchia, I wasn't. The compass works perfectly and landmarks around you help get your bearings together, which just allows you to get immersed in New Caledonia and enjoy the game. Any worries I had after that opening chapter about the open world and navigation were washed away in the tide — it's immersive and relaxing.

TchiaThe open world of Tchia has so much charm!

An engrossing story sidelined for collectables

What is instantly clear from the story content is that Tchia is filled to the brim with charm and charisma, with genuinely funny moments popping up and causing me to either smile or burst out laughing — a recurring headless chicken gag really caught my funny side. It was quite a welcome surprise as I didn't expect that this game would prove so humourous. The game loves to show off its fun and quirky side through sometimes hilarious skits and gags that helped make this already vibrant world shine even brighter.

Tchia is littered with little surprises to uncover as you explore to your heart's content — or for as long as your stamina bar will allow you to. I uncovered secret tunnels in the sea that would lead me to treasure chests or one of the many different collectables that are on offer. These incentives truly kept my attention and made me want to explore every nook and cranny to see what else I could find.

TchiaTchia loves to get you exploring

However, Tchia does not have any side missions for you to complete. The focus of the game is purely on the story and exploration of New Caledonia through collectables. There are minigames to partake in that involve earning high scores in slingshot shootouts, diving board challenges, an ample amount of races, and shrine boss battles — though these only serve as another small thing to do.

Between these collectables and side activities and that main quest line, there is just not enough story. Side quests could have further helped flesh out the game world, though I never really questioned their absence during my playtime as there was so much to be getting on with in terms of collectables. On reflection, something akin to side quests would have been the perfect way to break up all of the different collecting ventures and really double down on the strong location, Tchia, and themes.

It's clear how much love the developers have for their culture and New Caledonia. Tchia brings all of this to life so effortlessly and represents the passion of the developers beautifully. The interactions with different characters and the events that you can uncover are truly marvellous and I found myself invested and wanting to learn more about New Caledonia, but sometimes I just wanted a little bit more guided story content and fewer collectables.

TchiaHopefully you have the patience for all the collecting you need to do in Tchia!

Minor boat mishaps give way to fun animal controls

I wasn't particularly fond of the boat mechanics and I found it quite tedious to operate. It made me worried about progressing the game and exploring the world around me — luckily, very early into the game, you unlock the ability to possess different animals which you then use to traverse the surroundings with ease. I found this was the perfect way for me to find enjoyment in exploring Tchia.

Without a doubt, the absolute best animal to possess was the bird, you can cover great distances, get a brilliant overview of the world, and spot a lot of collectables shining from various locations. The birds also just feel nice to control, move fast, and you can even poop on people's heads — it's literally perfect. Deer were great for traversing the jungle areas as they moved fast and were agile enough to zip between all the trees and fish were great for finding all the different pearls and chests that were laying about on the ocean floor.

TchiaTchia is full of fun gags and shocks

Animals granted me far more control and I could grab collectables with ease, which brought my estimations up when it came to exploration. At first, you think it could feel like a slog trying to snatch everything up, but animal possession helps make this a breeze and far more enjoyable. It also hones a sense of connection to the island itself, a nice touch.

Trophy tactics

When it comes to the Tchia trophies you are in for a pretty straightforward venture, with nothing being missable or that difficult to obtain. However, Tchia demands that you finish everything it has to offer and even rewards you with a trophy for reaching 100% game completion. This means you are going to have to collect all of the collectables on offer, complete all the challenges, level up your stats, and explore everything — I hope you enjoy collectathons.

There are 22 trophies on offer in Tchia, including the platinum trophy. You'll earn 11 trophies for collecting and completing everything in the game, nine trophies for completing miscellaneous tasks, and one trophy for reaching the end of the game.

As of right now, the platinum trophy 'New Caledonia' is unobtainable due to a bug that affects being able to complete a couple of races. This bug in turn stops you from gaining 100% completion and earning the gold trophy 'Ça de Wizz.' I've got my fingers crossed this bug is solved quickly so I can jump back into Tchia and earn my shiny new platinum trophy.
TchiaTchia will dazzle you with its beautiful graphics!

The developers just want you to explore and be consumed (in a good way) by the world of Tchia. Get up to some mischief with your slingshot and terrorise the poor animals — which you can literally pick up and store in your backpack if you are feeling particularly sadistic. Why not have a dabble at fashion design? I found myself invested in piecing together the best out for Tchia — that was apparently a combination of a stylish leather jacket, punk rock trousers, leather boots, and a beanie... I turned Tchia into a hipster it seems. So, just have fun and let the game take you on a whimsical vibrant journey, full of love and charisma.

It's worth pointing out that although the game itself shines bright thanks to its charm, technical issues caused some dim moments within the first hour of play — quite literally. At one point, after a loading screen had finished, I was trapped in a pitch-black screen where I could hear Tchia running around and could even see prompts popping up for items to interact with, I just couldn't see anything other than the prompts. A quick reload of the game helped to rectify this situation and I haven't had the issue since — touch wood.

The game was patched during the review, which should help stop the aforementioned issue; however, the previous bug mentioned in the "trophy tactics" section is still present and the platinum trophy is still unobtainable.

TchiaGet ready for one epic adventure with Tchia!


Summary

Tchia is a warm, beautiful, and lovingly crafted game that brought me joy as I explored the island worlds. Even so, I wish there was more story content to build upon the marvellous mythos of Tchia's world. The overwhelming feeling of those collectables is mitigated by fun animal traversal possibilities at your fingertips, but a few minor issues like boat controls bog down the overall experience. Despite these shortcomings, there is no denying that Tchia is a breathtaking game that oozes charm without even trying. Awaceb has poured their passion and pride for New Caledonian culture into Tchia and it shows in an outstandingly relaxing and chill video game.
8 / 10
* Sean spent around 25 hours exploring the beautiful world of New Caledonia, he scavenged the sea for pearls, scaled buildings for collectables, and earned 20 of the 22 trophies on offer. Sean plans to dive back into this charming PS Plus title and earn the platinum trophy. A PS5 code was provided by Tinsley PR.
Sean Lawson
Written by Sean Lawson
Sean is a Staff Writer who focuses on the geekiest Sony news. He specializes in PlayStation trophies, the best PS Plus games, RPGs, and fighting games. Sean is using this experience to cover Dragon Age The Veilguard, Monster Hunter Wilds, Funko Fusion, and Silent Hill 2 for PS5, all while he still dives into favorite games like Mass Effect, Tomb Raider, and Persona.
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