Do you like to Tango? No? Well, that’s ok who does… actually, it feels like Tango was the main inspiration for this game but that isn’t really what it’s about. Tango: The Adventure Game follows the story of Carlos Gardel, one of the greatest Tango singers of all time, not Tango (the dance) as I had originally assumed. Carlos starts off his story in prison and it’s up to you to help him escape. Not exactly a new idea, in fact, this seems to be how a lot of point-and-click adventures start out.
Whilst locked up in a cell, the game presents you with a tutorial to get acquainted with Tango: The Adventure Game‘s gameplay mechanics. You only have so many items to pick up and only so many places you can interact with so this makes it easier to work out what to do as your choices are minimal. Having said that it still took me a while to work out how to make my great escape so I wouldn’t call Tango: The Adventure Game an easy game. I would rate it as a medium difficulty point-and-click adventure game. I based this on the fact that it took me a while to work out what to do, but I never go so stuck I had to resort to YouTube for help.
Once you escape from prison, Carlos tells his getaway driver, Santos (inspired by Enrique Santos Discépolo), the story of how he found his first Tango lyrics. The story is then told through the means of flashbacks from before Carlos’ incarceration in ’30s Buenos Aires leading right up to how Carlos became locked up. Going into the game with no prior knowledge of who Carlos Gardel is, I was hoping the game would expand on him and the history of Tango, but I felt this wasn’t implemented as well as it could have been.
So, getting back to the whole Tango aspect, in each loading screen you’re shown facts about Tango or someone who wrote Tango music… this is about as far as most of the history goes. Most of these facts are great to read and interesting, but they don’t relate to the gameplay at that moment in time, so they feel disjointed and out of place. Other than the loading screens, the occasional gameplay mechanic, the background music, and the fact Carlos loves talking about Tango, I would go as far as saying this game should have been named Carlos Gardel: The Adventure Game rather than Tango: The Adventure Game.
While you play Tango: The Adventure Game there is music playing, which I assume is Tango (I later realised it’s all music based off Carlos Gardel, so fans of his work will get more enjoyment than I did). Now, I’m not much into ballroom dancing, but I thought Tango was dancing rather than music… I would personally have preferred to have voice acting rather than the music, as there is no voice acting at all within the game. Having to read all the text with no voices, or at least squeaks or mumbling from the characters, left the game feeling too old fashioned for my liking. The music is fine and all but I didn’t notice much change in it throughout my playthrough, this left it feeling a little lacking in personality when you pair it with the lack of voice acting.
I did notice a few translation errors in the English version, which aren’t too bad, but the text is also displayed at the bottom of the screen in the same colour for each person. This makes it a bit confusing as you try and follow who is saying what. On top of that, the text will auto advance if you don’t click – which by itself isn’t a bad thing – but it’s on a set timer! This means short sentences stay around for too long and long paragraphs move on before you’ve had a chance to read them.
The Puzzles are the standard affair of using the right object, combine objects in your inventory to make a new item and a few puzzles that require you to pick up clues to help you solve the problem. None of these caused me too much bother but there was a few where I had to think about what I was doing – no Moon-logic puzzles here! However, other than those, there is really only one other type of ‘puzzle’ for you to overcome, I feel more variety in the puzzles would have helped the game appeal to more people.
There are 20 Steam achievements to aim for if that’s your thing, I got 14 on my first play without looking to see what was required. It took me around 2-3 hours to complete the game, which felt about right or I may have started to lose interest.
One of the things I would praise Tango: The Adventure Game for is its delightful visuals. It looks very cartoony, as we’ve seen in games like Detective Gallo recently, yet it fits the game perfectly. Each character and item has been artistically exaggerated so that they appear life-like yet abstract enough to suit the comedic tone the developers are going for. The animations for each of the characters aren’t anything special, but there’s a lot of charm and you’ll crack a smile as you watch the various interactions you have with the NPCs throughout your adventure.
If you’re a fan of the point-and-click adventure genre then you may enjoy Tango: The Adventure Game. I’m a fan of the genre, always have been. Steam currently shows it as 83% positive by players. However, I’ve personally played a lot better, games that I still think about years after playing them. Tango: The Adventure Game was ok to play for a few hours, but won’t be a game I will be reminiscing about in years to come and just felt dated to me. However, for £6.19 you can’t really complain too much.
If you’re into this genre and are looking for a new adventure to embark on, you should give it a go!