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Tales of Kenzera: ZAU — Everything We Know



Tales of Kenzera: TAU Promotional Art

Developer Surgent Studios and Electronic Arts have formally announced Tales of Kenzera: ZAU, a magic-like Metroidvania in which players assume control of a fledgling shaman in a desperate quest to reclaim their father's spirit from the God of Death. As an EA Original—a product that Electronic Arts endorses, along with a series of other independent projects—the upcoming title will look to mesh the natural talents of Surgent Studios' workforce with EA's marketing expertise. In other words, EA will be giving Tales of Kenzera: ZAU the same treatment it handed the likes of It Takes Two, Wild Hearts, and Unravel.

It isn't due out for a fair while yet, but if you are interested in learning all there is to know about the latest IP, then be sure to read on. Here's everything we can tell you about Tales of Kenzera: ZAU.

What Is Tales of Kenzera: ZAU?

Neon landscape in Tales of Kenzera: TAU

To put you in the picture, Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is a side-scrolling platformer inspired by the “rich myths of Bantu cultures.” The game, which will predominantly take place across the vibrant landscapes of Africa, will put you in the shoes of Zau, a budding shaman warrior who takes it upon himself to challenge the God of Death to bring his late father back from the “darkness.” In a similar vein as Ori and the Will of the Wisps, the adventure will feature a mixture of side-scrolling, puzzle-solving, and platforming elements. What's more, Surgent Studios also tout a “Metroidvania-like” experience, which means there'll be plenty of combat and exploration on top of the core ingredients.

Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is the debut IP in Surgent Studios' portfolio, as well as a fitting tribute to Surgent Studios founder's (Abubakar Salim) father, who inspired Salim to explore the gaming medium several years prior to the studio's formal opening in 2021.


Tau exploring desert in Tales of Kenzera: TAU

From what we've gathered from the patch notes to date, Tales of Kenzera: ZAU will cast its focus on a young shaman's journey to retrieve his late father's soul from “the darkness”—a mystical world in which the God of Death operates the strings and reigns supreme over its inhabitants. A warrior at heart, the tenacious shaman will travel to the great beyond and tackle the obstacles left in the God of Death's wake. Surprise surprise — this is where you'll pick up the slack, bound for the darkness, and with only one objective in mind: save your father from his ill fate.

“A grieving boy begins to read a Bantu tale written by his late father,” the blurb reads in part. “Adventure into the beautiful and treacherous lands of Kenzera as Zau, a young shaman who bargains with the God of death to bring his Baba back from darkness.”

“With your cosmic powers and untried courage, you advance into unknown mythological lands,” the blurb continues. “Once bursting with life, Kenzera is now rife with lost ancestral spirits. As Zau advances toward his goal, 3 mighty beings lie in wait, fearsome in their strength yet somehow strangely familiar. Will you embrace the dance of the shaman?”


Boss encounter in Tales of Kenzera: TAU

Tales of Kenzera: TAU is a side-scrolling platformer at heart, which means the lion's share of the gameplay will revolve around numerous environmental puzzles, traditional platforming, and Metroidvania-like combat. From the looks of the footage that was revealed during The Game Awards, there'll be a generous mixture of combat scenarios to sift through, skills to master, and new elemental powers to unlock, too. And so, with that, we can definitely expect a bit more than an A-to-B side-scrolling adventure with a litter of clichés.


Combat in Tales of Kenzera: TAU

In a rather emotional speech during The Game Awards, Surgent Studios' Abubakar Salim announced that the project would be something of a tribute to his late father, a key figure in Salim's life who, during his younger years, introduced him to the medium.

“For a long time, I've struggled to find a way of communicating my journey with grief,” Salim said. “To now be able to do that through Zau's story of loss, growth, and healing in Tales of Kenzera: Zau feels so right.”

“Games, to me, are the most powerful medium to share stories,” Salim added. “My late father introduced me to the medium, and what better way of honoring him, our relationship, and love than through this experience?”

Aside from his work at Surgent Games, Salim is also known for his voiceover work as Basim in Assassin's Creed: Origins, and for the part of Father in the sci-fi drama Raised by Wolves. Salim decided to enter the gaming industry and establish Surgent Studios (originally known as Silver Rain Games) in 2021, after which the studio partnered up with Electronic Arts under the EA Originals publishing deal.


Tales of Kenzera ZAU Official Reveal Trailer | The Game Awards 2023

Thanks to The Game Awards, we do have a good amount of footage to share from the upcoming title. Interested in taking a closer look at Salim's original adventure? You can check out the announcement trailer in the video embedded above.

Release Date, Platforms & Editions

Platforming in Tales of Kenzera: TAU

Tales of Kenzera: TAU will be launching on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store on April 23, 2024. For those looking to save an extra 10%, the game will also be available to pre-order ahead of its 2024 release. You can get ahold of a copy, as well as a selection of in-game goodies, by pre-ordering Tales of Kenzera: ZAU via the respective store handles.

Surgent Studios' debut side-scroller caught your eye? If so, then be sure to check in with the team over on their official social handle here. If anything changes ahead of its 2024 debut, then we'll be sure to fill you in on all the key details right here on


So, what's your take? Will you be picking up a copy of Tales of Kenzera: ZAU when it arrives on consoles and PC? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.