Point-and-click adventure games were hugely popular in the eighties and nineties but over the years, as more and more narrative-driven adventures are released, this timeless genre has been almost forgotten. Fortunately, there are titles like Nairi: Tower of Shirin that are keeping this genre alive and kicking.

Nairi: Tower of Shirin tells the tale of Nairi after she’s swiftly taken from her home within the Rich District as her parents are mysteriously taken prisoner by the royal guard. From here we’re given a story of friendship, survival, and smuggling as Nairi and her new friend Rex attempt to get her back to her home and get to the bottom of why her parents were taken.

During which, the mysterious tower of Shirin, which is based at the center of the city, becomes a core focus of this story as the history of the tower becomes deeply woven within Nairi’s adventure and we find out that she has a lot more in common than we first thought.

Gameplay-wise Nairi: Tower of Shirin is your typical point-and-click title with some visual novel-style narrative sprinkled in for good measure. Players must interact with the environment to pick up objects and move from scene to scene. Objects can also be combined in order to create new things which can be used to progress the story.

Nairi: Tower of Shirin Screenshot

For the most part, this game feels a lot like a “My First Point-and-Click” with a lot of the game’s solutions being pretty obvious. Though this comes from someone who’d consider themselves as a point-and-click veteran having grown up with various LucasArts and Broken Sword titles. That’s not to say the game is poorly put together, it’s actually a pretty charming game, but it does suffer with some clichés found in other point and click games.

In Nairi: Tower of Shirin a lot of the solutions can be completed within the area that each part of the story is taking place. This means that items you collect will most likely be used before you move onto the next part. It isn’t until later in the game where things become a little more complex, but even then it becomes more of a fetch quest than figuring out why you’ve been carrying a weird rock for the better part of the game.

One of the more stand-out parts of Nairi: Tower of Shirin is the game’s adorable hand-drawn art style which almost takes on a child’s storybook aesthetic. This is something that stood out the most to me when the game’s Kickstarter campaign launched, and it’s had me hooked ever since. Adding to this, the world is made up of both human and animal characters, which made the game an absolute pleasure to play and explore.

It’s not just the same old animals, either. There were some surprises in the form of birds and lizards, among others which are a nice change from cliché humanized cats, dogs, and bears.

Nairi: Tower of Shirin Screenshot

As for the story, I actually found it really enjoyable and easy to get into. Without going into too much detail, there are moments where you really want to press on and discover the outcome of the story, there are twists and turns everywhere, and it fleshes out the story of the Tower of Shirin without too drawn-out. The writers did a fantastic job of building a universe without oversaturating the player with too much fluff.

Having played the game on Nintendo Switch I actually found the game to be more enjoyable using solely the touch-screen rather than the JoyCons. My only negative regarding the controls is the JoyCons felt a little too loose and it was difficult to get the cursor precisely on smaller items or doorways. Another negative comes in the navigation. More often than not I’d overlook certain areas as it wasn’t clearly marked as a direction in which I could go – especially using the touch-screen controls with no changing cursor.

For the most part, Nairi: Tower of Shirin is an excellent little point-and-click adventure game that’s perfect for both new and veteran players of its kind. Given the art style, I’d say the game is marketed at a younger audience, and the game also plays as such, but it’s definitely one that can be enjoyed by anyone into games like this.

If you’re looking for a unique adventure game to kill a good number of hours which features charming art style and a pretty great story, then I’d definitely recommend Nairi: Tower of Shirin.

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