Tandem: A Tales of Shadows is an original platform and puzzle game featuring around 45 levels where players will have to alternate between two characters: Emma (top view) and Fenton (side view). Players will have to solve puzzles using the unique abilities and perspectives of Emma and Fenton. Together they will face a variety of obstacles and enemies such as bosses that will stand in their way.
The peculiarity of our game is a characteristic of two controllable protagonists. We thought that controlling two characters, each with their own unique personality and characteristics, is a fun and creative exercise for the player. It’s satisfying, especially as players move into the later stages. We designed the game with Sherlock Holmes and Watson in mind. They rely on each other to resolve inquiries.
We were fascinated by the end of the 19th century, which was one of the most creative and innovative periods in history. We thought the Victorian period was appropriate for our game, but we didn’t want to include any steampunk elements. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows isn’t a historical game, but we’ve tried to faithfully recreate every detail. We also fully assume the casual side of the game which often provokes the wonder of childhood but with a strong Burtonian influence! As the name suggests, the art direction of the game plays a lot on chiaroscuro (the importance of lights and shadows), so we also took inspiration from the golden age of Dutch painting.
The strategy between the two characters is two-dimensional.
The player controls Emma from a top view – and with his lantern, he lights up the scene and predicts shadows. As far as Fenton is concerned, the player controls him on a side-scrolling view and has the power to step on the shadows cast by his friend’s Emma lantern.
In the first universe, the shadows that Fenton can walk on are mostly generated by scene elements and simple objects that Emma can move. As the player discovers the different universes, new shadow mechanics will be offered. Emma operates a system of transparent pipes with valves and branches to cast shadows.
Emma lures enemies with bait to eat each other and grow taller to cast shadows large enough for Fenton to walk.
Controlling two characters who each have their own personalities and characteristics is very enjoyable and creative for the player. The more we advance in the game, the more the collaborative aspect between the two characters is accentuated and contributes to the progressive enrichment of the experience. It is also a reference to Sherlock Holmes and Watson: one needs the other to resolve their cases.
We hope you enjoy checking out our work on Tandem: A Tale of Shadows which will be available this fall on October 21 for PlayStation 4.