This new open world game has even better treasure map quest than Red Dead Redemption.

This new open world game has even better treasure map quest than Red Dead Redemption.

This new open world game has even better treasure map quest than Red Dead Redemption.

There are nearly two dozen hand-drawn treasure maps in Tchia that take you on a hunt in a beautiful archipelago.

Give my hands a hand-drawn treasure map and immerse me in a big, beautiful open world, I'll never be happier. Was I in the middle of an important investigation? Am I trying to spark a revolution and overthrow a dictator? Do I need to save a family member from a vicious warlord?

Sorry family. All this can wait. I have a treasure to find.

The last few truly great treasure map side missions I can remember were in Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2, where I eagerly set off for the Wild West to squint at the rough-drawn landmarks and wavy arrows on pale parchment, all other worries forgotten. Are my wife and child in the hands of the feds? Who cares, I think I know this cactus! Dutch has a plan? Me too: For the next two hours I will wander the plains, examining the rocks.

That's why I was so happy to discover an even better and longer treasure map side quest in the open world adventure Tchia (opens in new tab). There are more treasure maps to follow than RDR 1 and 2 combined (technically just one more, but that's still more), and the lush tropical islands of Tchia are a beautiful place to seek out. It doesn't hurt that Tchia is a great game even without the maps. I didn't seriously start searching for treasure maps until I finished the main story, and it took me hours to hunt down each chest. What a great post-game bonus.

The setup is similar to treasure map quests in other games: you get an old map and a rusty key from someone, and then see if you can find anything that looks like a real-world drawing. Landmarks, mountains, rivers, rocks, bridges, islands, trees, and buildings are scribbled on parchment, and it's a matter of recognizing something you've seen on your previous travels or going out specifically to look for it. Once you've done that, orient the drawing to share the same perspective on the world, then follow the arrows or other clues to find the hidden chest. You get the next map in the series with the treasure.

This new open world game has even better treasure map quest than Red Dead Redemption.

But Tchia puts much more into the search besides finding out where the treasure is. In Tchia you can spirit animals and control them, so if you want a bird's eye view of the scenery, you can literally be a bird, flap your wings and fly into the air. Do you want to dive deep into the ocean looking for a sunken chest without worrying about running out of air? Jump on a fish or turtle and take your time searching. The entrance to a cave may be too small to pass through, but there is a rock lying on the ground nearby. Just squeeze your soul inside and go through the small entrance and then jump out of the rock as yourself and open the chest. A fun and creative way to add some environmental puzzle solving to your treasure hunt.

Soul-jumping is not only useful during the mission, it is sometimes necessary. Some maps have a symbol on them that lets you know what you'll need during your search, so you can pre-collect animals or objects, put them in your backpack, and take them out when you need to use them. If the treasure chest is buried, you can spirit a dog and dig it up. If it's locked with chains, you can become a crab and cut it open with your claws.

Um, just don't confuse these two things. At one point, I may have pulled out a dog, rather than a crab, from my backpack while swimming deep in an underwater cave. Sorry, dummy! Honest mistake.

This new open world game has even better treasure map quest than Red Dead Redemption.

Each chest in Tchia contains a new cosmetic item: a new look for your ukulele, a cool design for your glider, a mask you can wear, a new costume or hat. There's also the story, a slowly evolving story about Tchia's background written in a small diary piece that fills you in, so you learn more about her as you travel the world.

But to be honest, it doesn't even matter what the treasure actually is. For me it's all about the search, not the payoff. The only real reason to open a treasure chest is to pick up the next map and squint at the drawing and start searching again. Tchia is now on the Epic Games Store(opens in new tab). And if you get stuck, we have a handy guide to Tchia's treasure maps (opens in new tab) to help you out.

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