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Preview: NAIRI: Tower of Shirin (PC)By Adam Riley At 04.07.2018 21:14

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Dora the Explorer is the first thing that springs to mind when trying out NAIRA: Tower of Shin, which is not the best first impression. However, perseverance is the key to enjoying this adorable visual novel / point-and-click adventure; it is indeed for all ages, not just kiddiewinkies. The story revolves around a young girl from an upper-class background who is smuggled out of her home to escape being captured, only to then actually end up with a rag-tag group… imprisoned… after they hijack a shipment in which she was hiding!

The initial stages involve trying to break free from her captors via means of collecting key objects, solving simple puzzles, and cracking some brainteasing conundrums, before expanding to a more explorative setting post-escape, mixing in some coin collection of the Professor Layton variety - in other words, clicking around the current setting to discover hidden treats.

Everything is a complete delight to play through, with navigation a breeze - moving through to different areas with a simple mouse click - and interrogation of the places visited being encouraged, in order to uncover plenty of hidden treats. A gorgeous soundtrack also really augments the action, and there are indeed times where leaving the action alone for a while is a delight, just waiting and soaking up the atmospheric music.

The only real bug-bear so far is the noise made when text appears on the screen. Sure, since there is no actual voice acting included, it might seem strange to just have silence while text scrolls onto the screen but, to be honest, the silent approach would be much preferred to the annoying sound effect currently in place. Other than that, however, the first stages of this are a total joy to play through.

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