NAIRI: Tower of Shirin
Top Critic Average
Nairi: Tower of Shirin is a witty, cute, and quirky point-and-click adventure. Silly and slightly morbid, Nairi shines with unique characters, hand-drawn artwork, and challenging but fair puzzles. It is held back slightly by some confusing navigation, a few bugs, and the inability to save your progress, but this charming little gem is a must-play for fans of the genre.
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin is a delightful and cozy point-and-click adventure you can feel good about letting your kids play.
Nairi: Tower of Shirin contributes to the growing number of point and click games on the Nintendo Switch catalogue and does it with an experience that is very accessible, with an interesting and eye-catching art style, a very involving plot and a fluid control system. Its difficulty level and overall lifespan put this work on the simpler side of the spectrum making this opus more recommended to broader segments of the audience.
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There's a good chance you've probably never heard of NAIRI: Tower of Shirin, but that doesn't mean this hidden gem should pass you buy. Sure, it doesn't have the pedigree of a Double Fine game or the licence exposure of something from TellTale's back catalogue, but it still offers up a safe and engaging world full of quirky characters, challenging puzzles and all the screen-tapping backgrounds you could ask for. It's no great reimagining of the genre, but it's still a curio worth playing nonetheless.
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin is a gorgeous and entertaining puzzle adventure with charming characters. It lasted me, a puzzle novice, 8-10 hours, but mileage will vary. If you can forgive the awful cliffhanger ending, this is a game worth buying. But wait a couple weeks so the developer can fix the serious game-stopping bugs!
My time with Nairi: Tower of Shirin was both a real test of brain power with tough puzzles but also a charming retreat in which I lost myself within a story that captivated me.
NAIRI: Tower of Shirin is solid, but it lacks that certain something that dialogue-heavy games need. That said there is a charm with the characters and presentation, music especially. Fans of visual novels with puzzles might want to look into it further. Just beware of certain things – backtracking, the duration, pacing issues, potential puzzle frustration, and an unsatisfying story arc – when deciding if it's worth the reasonable ten dollar cost.
While the journey is more important than the destination, the fact NAIRI lacks a traditional conclusion - leaving many arcs and themes in a resolution limbo - hurts the narrative considerably. Considering just how much the story focuses on Nairi as a character, a cliff-hanger ending that places emphasis on plot comes off structurally inappropriate at best. That said, the script, atmosphere, and puzzles all warrant at least one playthrough. Tower of Shirin might fall much flatter than it needed to thanks to a poorly realised ending, but NAIRI, as a whole, is a charming point-and-click with plenty of heart.
Despite this, Nairi: Tower of Shirin remains a charming and engaging point-and-click adventure game. The story is conveyed well via good writing, with enough twists and revelations that make it feel like a children's show due to the subject matter and higher stakes involved. The puzzles are great brain teasers but also have the good sense to not fall into the trap of being difficult for the sake of it. Most of all, that art style is too attractive to pass up, with every character being extremely likeable. Provided you don't mind the cliffhanger ending, Nairi is a worthy pickup for adventure fans.
One last thing I should mention: this game is Part 1 of a series, something I wish the game had disclosed upfront to set proper expectations. Tower of Shirin felt like just the right length to me and didn't leave me feeling like I had played half of a game, but the cliffhanger ending leaves Nairi way short of fulfilling her quest. I don't see this as a strike against the game, but being forewarned may save some people from being disappointed.