Game Reviews

Tales of Kenzera: Zau Review

Tales of Kenzera: Zau Review

Originally announced at The Game Awards 2023 last December, a fighting, adventure video game was revealed that would have a very deep and personal meaning/theme behind it. Estimated for early 2024 around a March/April release, 4 months later on April 23rd, 2024, Tales of Kenzera: Zau is here!

Tales of Kenzera: Zau is currently available on PS5, Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X/S and although the game hasn’t been out for very long, it is receiving plenty of positive comments and reactions. So we are here to take a closer look and see if we agree.

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Tales of Kenzera: Zau plot:

To begin with, let’s focus on the plot and themes within the game. Players begin with meeting Zuberi, who is a young man in an afro-futurist city reading a book about the story of Zau that his father left him before his demise. Suddenly, players are transported through the story into Zau's world where we then play as Zau who is demanding that Kalunga, the God of Death, restore his fallen father to life. The player's mission is to then defeat three great spirits to bring their father back to life.
Focussing on the theme, the game generally has an overall topic of surviving through grief and learning how to overcome loss which we think is a great subject to dive into, especially after discovering that the studio founder himself lost his father and used this grief to create the story of Zau. Having this impactful theme within the story is a great way for not only the founder to overcome his loss but also for other gamers playing as it creates that sense of relatability.

Game design in Kenzera:

Moving away from the purpose of the game and taking a look at the way to game is designed, Tales of Kenzera looks gorgeous, with stunning colours that accompany the world of Kenzera which is a large map that has plenty of different locations to explore. The colour palette of the game is beautiful with a bold selection of purples, sandy yellows and oranges that are available through a variety of engaging environments including flourishing jungles, empty hills and more.
Looking at the character design choices, they are very well-thought-out. Our main character Zau is a hot-headed, busy character who once allows himself to comprehend and fully heal from what has happened to him, we see another side of the character which is kind-hearted and good. Besides Zau, we meet many other characters who help develop his growth as a character including Zuberi a grieving son, Liyana a sole surviving Ikakaramban and Bomani, an aged warrior.


But whilst we struggle to find many problems we had with this game; it isn’t a real review if we don’t consider additional improvements that could be added to make the game even better.
A handful of people mentioned that there aren’t many checkpoints within the game, rather than feeling that accomplishment at the end of the game it would be nice to have occasional checkpoints to establish we are heading in the right direction when playing, just to give a sense of direction. There is also a lack of variety when it comes to enemies, whilst we understand the game focuses on the battle of grief and loss it would be great to have a bigger selection of enemies to battle with, just to add an extra layer of excitement. Finally, we felt there were a few issues with controls, sometimes they were a bit sensitive and other times felt overcomplicated which we are sure could be dealt with in a future update.

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 Pros: Cons:
  • Beautiful theming and story
  • Impressive visuals
  • Gorgeous colours
  • Lack of checkpoints


In conclusion, we are really happy with this video game and the reception it has received. The game has been created carefully and precisely to fully explain the feelings of grief which can be very difficult to manage. Knowing that the studio founder went through similar experiences as Zau makes the game feel very authentic and meaningful. As well as this, the game feels different to normal video games that just have a storyline and a goal as Tales Of Kenzera offers a powerful storyline with incredible storytelling and great performance.
Every aspect of the game feels like it’s been well thought through, no quick decisions were made. And on top of all this, the game is very captivating and engaging!

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