Tchia is a New Caledonia-inspired soul-jumping game

The game Tchia appears to be a perfectly modest game about a young girl exploring an island, petting crabs, and conversing with elderly fishermen at first glance. Then she sneaks up on a seagull and takes over its body, pretending to be the ghost from Geist. However, as you can see in the game’s new trailer above, Tchia appears to be in good health regardless of his appearance.

Tchia is inspired by life on the island of New Caledonia

Tchia is inspired by life on the island of New Caledonia, where Phil Crifo and Thierry Boura, co-founders of developer Awaceb, grew up together. With this project, the team hopes to create something that even those who are unfamiliar with the culture will find enjoyable.

Tchia

Even though New Caledonia is a territory of France, it is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean near Australia. It has been a French territory since 1850. The Lapita people, who some archaeologists believe are the ancestors of Polynesian and Melanesian people, were the first people to live in the area, which dates back thousands of years. British navigator James Cook named the region New Caledonia because it reminded him of his home country of Scotland. Europeans first discovered New Caledonia in 1774, when British navigator James Cook “discovered” the region. Forward to modern times, New Caledonia is primarily made up of Kanaks (a subgroup of the Melanesian people), but it also has cultural influences from other countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and other places.

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Tchia Gameplay

So, what do you do when you’re in Tchia? You take on the role of a young girl who has been given the ability to “soul jump” into any physical object or animal anywhere in the world. Want to see the islands from a bird’s eye perspective? Soul takes flight in a seagull. Do you want to find hidden treasure? The paws of a dog, or the pincers of a crab, might be able to unlock the chain. Tchia can even jump into a turtle and swim beneath the surface of the ocean. The powers you gain will be put to use to solve puzzles, deal with bad guys, and explore both natural and artificial environments.

Tchia

It appears that Tchia’s overarching quest will require her to deal with a threat known as “Meavora,” and based on a couple of shots of smoke-belching factories, I’m willing to bet it has something to do with mankind’s encroachment upon nature and general mess-making throughout the world. As Crifo points out, Awaceb takes a lot of inspiration from Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli films, which fits in nicely with the theory.

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Is there a trailer for Tchia?

Tchia also has a ukulele, which she’ll use at various points in the game, where you’ll be able to play a rhythm game and select notes from a radial menu, similar to that found in The Last of Us Part 2. In the traditional regional languages, Tchia’s cast will be voiced by local actors who will contribute to the overall experience. A Kanak choir will provide musical support for the film’s soundtrack.

You might remember Awaceb from their first game, the cartoon-like puzzle-platformer Fossil Echo, which came out in 2016. There is no doubt that they have spent the last several years expanding their operations in preparation for this much larger game.

Tchia will be available as an Epic Games Store exclusive when it launches sometime in 2022. As 9to5 Google points out, it was previously planned as a Stadia-only game, but the deal fell through.

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