The new 3D action-adventure platformer Tamarin showed a lot of promise. Developer studio Chameleon Games has an arsenal of ex Rare members who create the game, raising the expectations. These members have worked on titles like Donkey Kon 64 and Battletoads, so I got excited real fast. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t at all what I expected it to be…
What we liked!
- Sound: There is music, and there are sound effects. The soundtrack is just perfect. You are accompanied by music that gives you adrenaline when fighting enemies, and some soothing tracks when exploring the map. The game even has a level where the ants are all dancing and the music there was just my favourite! The soundtrack is even for sale on Steam seperately, if you really love it! The second type of sound that Tamarin offers, is the sound effects. When you jump, your hero makes a monkey noise, shooting makes the right noise, everytime you grab an item, you hear something, and so on.
- Saving birds: I’d like to say it was one of the things I truly enjoyed, but I didn’t, I just liked it. Your enemies, the ants, have captured some birds and of course, you have to save them! After saving these blue little creatures, you can release them in pairs of three every time you encounter a birdhouse. This sounds easy enough, but the birds are often located right in the middle of the ants, placing them in the combat zone. This is what made saving them fun because you couldn’t just shoot around at the ants. Yes, I shot a few birds, but I freed most of them, yay!
- The hero: Your hero is a tamarin monkey, obviously. Even though he is supposed to be really cute (and this is what caught my attention in the first place), he disappointed in multiple ways. Our little monkey is supposed to look all furry and adorable, but he mostly seemed quite blurry. I didn’t really enjoy looking at him, unfortunately. I also don’t feel like he had any other potential besides ‘being the cute hero of the game’. He simply isn’t a strong character and doesn’t have anything going for him.
- The hedgehog: Now, the hero’s best pal is a cute looking hedgehog who likes to hide in piles of leaves. He adores the berries that are all over the map, so in return for some delicious treats, he’ll help make your journey easier by giving you better guns, or for example by activating jump boards. Now, this all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, it is, but damn, that little bastard was hard to find sometimes. He is supposed to be a help but by making him difficult to find, the helping part moves to the background, and I don’t think that is its intention.
- Killing ants: Killing your enemies was sort of fun because they would ‘fall apart’ into pieces and I enjoyed that just fine. However, there was no blood, which I understand because it’s mostly a ‘cute game’. If only this was the only thing that bugged me about the combat part, but, as you can already guess, it wasn’t. Shooting felt inaccurate most of the time. There is a gun that shoots more inaccurate on purpose, so I’m not talking about that one, obviously. And of course, there was a difference between the inaccurate gun and the other ones, but still, I didn’t enjoy working with any guns most of the time.
- Controls: You have a few moves in our arsenal including jumping and rolling. These did not feel smooth at all. When I needed to make specific jumps, I would often have to try like 10 times, and maybe it’s just me, but the jumping just felt off. Rolling was just average. I mean, you can use it to knock down some enemies if you want to switch it up from your guns, but other than that, I didn’t really care for it. Swimming is also possible, but I barely did that, unless I saw a really small shore to climb back to land because otherwise you’ll be stuck in the water and lose a life.
- Map: Just like our little monkey, the map wasn’t quite looking as I expected. I seemed a bit dull and unoriginal, honestly. There is no actual map, so you might just wander around a lot because you’re lost or simply stuck. Even though this didn’t annoy me a lot, it still got me cursing a few times because everything looked the same and I couldn’t find where I was supposed to go. I did like the number of gates and spaces you could go to though. A gate to open here, one there, there’s always new places to discover and this was fun. Too bad the places themselves looked alike and got me confused sometimes.
What we disliked
- The price tag: This game costs you 40 Euros people, and it’s not worth it. Sure, it’s a fun game but it has some shortcomings making Tamarin way overpriced, simple as that.
I expected a lot of this game. I did not read any reviews beforehand, as I normally would when actually purchasing a game for myself, so I strongly recommend you read this before buying this game. Tamarin falls short in multiple ways: the hero is blurry and isn’t a strong character, the shooting feels inaccurate, the controls aren’t smooth to operate, and the overall map is unoriginal. I enjoyed playing this game a little still and I’m positive that people might enjoy Tamarin a lot, so I’m not failing it, but as a reviewer I cannot recommend this game.
Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂