Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- Review – Colorful Tedium

    The dungeons aren't very mysterious.

    What would happen if you combined the Touhou Project series with a Mystery Dungeon game? The result already exists in the form of the fan-made Touhou Genso Wanderer games. –FORESIGHT- is the latest entry in the series and the first Genso Wanderer game I’ve had the chance to experience. So, does this fan effort manage to leave a solid impression?

    Unfortunately, Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- fails to deliver an experience that I would describe as satisfactory. That’s not to say it’s an outright bad game, but I also have a hard time considering it a worthwhile use of your precious time and money. However, if you are still somehow on the fence about making a purchase, let me elaborate on why you may want to hold off. 

    The Redeeming Qualities of Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-

    Reimu and Marisa have a conversation

    While there are plenty of not-so-nice things I have to say about Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-, why don’t we begin with some of the positives? For starters, the game’s character artwork is generally appealing to look at with its bright colors and cute, expressive faces. This makes the inhabitants of Gensokyo feel about as lively as one could hope for. 

    Additionally, the game contains a fair amount of Japanese voice acting, and the majority of the performances sound quite decent. There are perhaps a couple of voices that seem a little out of place, but they aren’t too distracting. It really is fun to see all these characters interact with each other. 

    Moreover, on the topic of sound, the music is a delight to listen to. However, this is usually a given for Touhou games, as the series is known for its incredible soundtracks. That being said, there’s a bit of comfort in knowing that even this game knew not to fix what isn’t broken when it comes to music. It made some of the tedious dungeon crawls just a little more tolerable. 

    A Somewhat Familiar Journey

    Reimu and Marisa face Cirno

    Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- has players take on the role of Reimu Hakurei, the main protagonist of the Touhou series and the sole playable character of this game. It’s her job to travel around Gensokyo and solve various incidents, which will have players meeting iconic Touhou characters. Obviously, this premise isn’t anything new and that’s because the story largely retreads the events of the sixth, seventh, and eighth mainline Touhou games. 

    Despite this, the narrative does eventually take a more dramatic turn, which is hinted at during the game’s introduction sequence. While this does make Reimu’s adventure a bit more interesting to follow, the story isn’t anything that’s going to linger in your head for months after completing the game. It all builds up to what is ultimately an underwhelming conclusion. 

    I’m not sure if the story is meant to be the main draw of Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-. However, it is one of the more entertaining aspects of the game. Sadly, it ends up coming across as slightly disjointed and confused with its tone. Touhou fans may find the game to be too much of a callback to previous titles, and newcomers will likely feel a bit alienated. 

    Returning to Gensokyo

    Reimu and other characters in front of the Hakurei Shrine

    Last year, I had the chance to review Touhou: New World, another fan-made game with an official English translation. My primary issue with that game was its bloated content that didn’t add anything particularly meaningful. This led to the title overstaying its welcome, but not enough to overly sour my experience. Anyway, what does this have to do with Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-?

    Well, if New World was stretched a little thin, you can practically hear -FORESIGHT-‘s cries of pain as it almost snaps from how much it is being stretched. For a game that one can potentially spend dozens of hours playing, there is really not a lot to do here. Even after approximately 20 hours, the gameplay barely evolves. 

    Making matters worse, -FORESIGHT- isn’t a particularly challenging game at all. In fact, it is insultingly easy a majority of the time, requiring very little brain power. There are some exceptions to this, but most things resembling a challenge can simply be overcome with more grinding or by stockpiling recovery items. 

    A Touhou Experience With Little Variety

    An optional dungeon in Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-

    I will admit that there’s a basic psychological satisfaction in seeing numbers get bigger. Even though I am aware of this simple game design trick, my brain can’t completely escape its effects. Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- manages to capture the addictive nature of powering up a character to some degree, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a fun time. 

    A big part of that is the noticeable lack of enemy variety. Throughout the entirety of the game, players will face an abundance of generic opponents that don’t require thoughtful tactics. Enemies that are visually distinct don’t even seem all that different in function. That being said, there are some attempts to toss some unique attacks into the mix, but they aren’t particularly imaginative either. 

    Fortunately, I have some good news if you somehow enjoy smacking the same fairies for hours and hours. There are post-game dungeons where you get to smack those fairies again, but they tank more hits now! Sarcasm aside, I’m not exaggerating very much here. You will spend hours facing against the same enemies as they gradually gain bigger health bars.

    Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- Is Full of Skill Trees

    A completed Link in Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-

    The stars of the game’s progression mechanics are the two “Izanagi” systems. As the player completes dungeons, they will unlock new “Izanagi Links”. These are skill trees that allow players to choose the stats they wish to prioritize. Individually, they aren’t very big, but they certainly add up. By the end of the game, you will have an overwhelming amount of links to sort through, which can make looking for specific stats to upgrade a bit of a hassle. 

    The other Izanagi system is “Izanagi Fusion.” With this, you can combine various weapons, armor, and charms to make them stronger. Izanagi Fusion is a bit more fun to play around with than the Izanagi Link system, but it gets old pretty quickly. With a larger diversity of equipment, this system could be a bit more interesting, but that isn’t really the case here. 

    On an additional note, it appears there are serious errors regarding item descriptions. Every single weapon description I read seemed to be incorrect. I’m not certain if this is a bug or a simple accident, but it’s something that needs fixing as soon as possible. I was still able to figure out what weapons do thanks to their ability and seal descriptions, but this does affect the functionality of the game to a minor extent. 

    A Very Forgiving Roguelike Experience

    Reimu finds various items in a dungeon

    There are essentially no consequences for failing in Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT-. The main story dungeons generally contain several checkpoints, allowing the player to attempt them again while skipping earlier segments. These checkpoints are placed before each boss fight, including the final boss of every dungeon. 

    Upon death, players retain any items and levels they gained from the most recently completed floor of the dungeon. In fact, you don’t need to worry about any items you may have used on the same floor of your demise. If you attempt a boss fight and use several healing items, only to fail, they will still be in your inventory afterward. There is no need to build up your collection again. 

    While all of this does minimize any frustration, it does make the dungeon crawling a lot less tense. Items and enemies are often very predictable, presenting the player with a distinct lack of interesting decision-making scenarios. Outside of randomized dungeon layouts and top-down, turn-based gameplay, the game fails to capture the appeal of classic roguelikes. This doesn’t have to inherently be a bad thing, but -FORESIGHT- doesn’t have much to offer in return. 

    A Single Playthrough Is More Than Enough

    Reimu fights fairies in a post-game dungeon

    It shouldn’t come as any surprise by now to hear that this title lacks any real replay value. By the time you start getting into the post-game content, it will feel as though you have played the same game several times over already. There is simply not enough to keep the turn-based, roguelike experience fresh and engaging. 

    Playstyles are severely limited by only having a single character to play as. You have the choice to bring along a partner who you can technically control with four basic commands. However, there are merely four characters to choose from and many dungeons will force the player to bring along a specific companion. 

    One might hope that interesting equipment and items could help mitigate this issue, but this is sadly not the case. Weapons and armor with abilities other than being able to deal more damage to specific enemy types are somewhat rare until much later. Even then, the more unique abilities aren’t anything that fundamentally changes the way the game is played or adds any depth. 

    Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- Is Underwhelming

    Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- Marisa art

    Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- is a title that mostly functions as intended. It has colorful, cute art and endearing character interactions. The soundtrack is likely the best part and even the gameplay can be a little addicting. However, make no mistake, as this title isn’t a very worthwhile time. 

    If you are looking for a roguelike/roguelite to play, there are almost certainly better options out there. On the other hand, if you are a Touhou fan, there are definitely far superior fan projects to play, unless you are desperate for something new. It is far from the worst video game I have experienced, but it’s not something I would usually bother with. 

    I could see the game eventually becoming decent with substantial content additions over time, but I’m not from the future. The price tag is just too steep for what you’re currently getting. For those who are still interested in this title, I strongly recommend waiting for a sale or until the game receives several updates.

    Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- is currently available on PC via Steam. For more reviews, be sure to keep an eye on Final Weapon!

    Disclaimer: Phoenixx Inc. provided Final Weapon with a Steam copy of Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- for review purposes. 


    Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- is a dungeon crawler with very few tricks to reveal. It can be addictive at points, but the game is ultimately a barebones experience that quickly becomes tiring to play. There is potential for something better here, but the current product probably isn't worth your time.
    Itch has a strong passion for PC gaming and retro consoles (especially the Dreamcast). From Melty Blood: Actress Again to Forza Horizon, he will play just about anything that catches his eye. Ever since playing Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit as a young child, he has been in love with the medium of video games and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

    Latest articles

    Latest Articles

    Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- is a dungeon crawler with very few tricks to reveal. It can be addictive at points, but the game is ultimately a barebones experience that quickly becomes tiring to play. There is potential for something better here, but the current product probably isn't worth your time. Touhou Genso Wanderer -FORESIGHT- Review - Colorful Tedium