This is Portabliss, a column about downloadable games that can be played on the go.Tengami for the first time, and it was the perfect set up to blow me away. Nyamyam's point-and-click (or point-and-tap) adventure draws inspiration from Japanese fairy tales, and when you see it in action for the first time it certainly feels magical. Its papercraft world, glossed in subtle, flowing shades of red, green, and blue, folds in and out frame-by-frame through some meticulous 3D wizardry. Sliding to turn and fold the paper of its pop-up landscape is an elegant pleasure, and walking in its world and visiting its lovingly detailed shrines makes me wish I'd really taken the time to explore Tokyo's rich history, rather than spending all my hours and yen in Akihabara arcades – that was great too, but still.
Tengami is the creation of a three-man team, which explains why it took more than three years to create. As Nyamyam's Jennifer Schneidereit told me in September, a good year or so was spent on the 3D digital editor that makes the game's pop-ups mirror the physics of paper. The technical aspects run even deeper, like how the book's look and feel is based on a natural Japanese paper that has watercolor-like gradients, or how its puzzling temples have their roots in the schematics of real Japanese shrines.