Back on the 1st September 2020 I wrote an article about Tamarin and I was genuinely excited about playing this game. After all what is not like about a cute monkey wielding an arsenal of firearms?! So my inner monkey leapt at the chance to review the game when Any Button Gaming where given a pre launch code. The games developer and publisher is Chameleon Games.
The game starts with a short cinematic showing these big badass ants wreaking havoc across the terrain. Amidst this you see Tamarin with his/her family and as their family home is set alight our cute little monkey’s family disperses in all directions.
Alone, Tamarin must fight the enemies and jump across platforms, whilst avoiding various traps. Do not rush your way through the game, as to open up doorways in certain caves you need to have so many firefly’s, or various berries etc to proceed. Take your time to explore the surroundings otherwise you will find yourself back tracking. (Yes, I speak from experience)!
Tamarin is not alone though. On your travels you will meet some animals that are friendly, not foe. Such as a hedgehog who provides you with various firearms and provides advise on how to navigate certain obstacles.
Make sure you free the birds, not forgetting to return them to their nesting boxes which you will find located around the map. Speaking of maps, there isn’t one. So you better have your internal sat nav activated and fully charged because if you are like me, your sense of direction is shocking and you will spend quite some time running around and around in circles.
Tamarin can roll, jump, backflip, and complete scripted long jumps when holding down the trigger in certain areas. I found this a strange inclusion as what is the point of a platform game if you do not have to platform your way across?
Checkpoints exist in the game but they are so far apart, should you die you have to replay so much of the game that it is disheartening.
Graphics and Sound
The first thing that struck me about this game is how colourful it is. It is truly a work of art. Such beautiful, vibrant colours surround you. There is a Scandinavian feel to the terrain. In my original article I mentioned: “picturesque coastlines, fjords, dense forests, as well as underground tunnels and complexes.” I was not disappointed. This game is gorgeous to look at. It could have been copied from a children’s storybook. Sheer joy. That is until you go underground and it is here that it looks like a totally different game. It is very, very grainy and extremely bland!
The sound on the other hand is seriously lacking. There is hardly any spoken dialogue except for the odd cinematic here and there. But then I guess, would it not be weird, as animals do not talk, right? Yet, in today’s video game industry, I have become accustomed to hearing animals, aliens and even inanimate objects talk. So, yes I found it strange that all my Tamarin would emit was an indistinct chatter. Which somehow the others animals in the world could understand and respond to in kind.
The music, oh my goodness where to start with this. It starts with something that sounds like pan pipes to me and then suddenly I am hearing something that does not fit into the game at all. I have no idea how to begin to describe the music. It is like a cross between new wave and synth pop in fusion. Weird!
The in game controls are relatively easy to use. Most will be familiar with R2 to fire button, left joystick to move and right joystick to look around, you get the idea. The shooting feels extremely inaccurate and enemies take variable amounts of damage. Sometimes they die quickly, other times they feel like they won’t go down at all.
What REALLY annoyed me was that if I was looking left and started to move left, the game would auto centre my screen and I was a little disorientated by this. Now, I am a migraine sufferer and this did really weird things to my head after about 40 minutes of gameplay. I therefore found myself having to stop and start again a short time later. Which after a while became tedious and this made the game far more frustrating for me.
There was so very little customisation in the game. I was not able to tweak any settings at all. Sometimes a little tweak here and there with the display settings gets around the issue I mentioned above, but there was nothing that I could change.
I had such high hopes for this game, as some of the developers are ex Rare team members. They have games such as: Banjo-Kazooie, Battletoads, Donkey Kong 64, and GoldenEye 007 under their belts. I am sorry guys but for me this game falls very short of the mark.
Other than the scenery there is so very little else that is positive that I can say about the game, other than the monkey is cute!
The game has taken me about 8 hours to complete and I know I could have completed it much sooner if I had not spent so much time back tracking or just wandering around aimlessly.
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- Overall - 2/102/10
+ Beautiful scenery
+ Very cute protagonist
– So very little spoken word
– Lack of customisation
– Very repetitive