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PS4 Game Review



Format: PS4
Publisher: Chameleon Games
Developer: Chameleon Games
RRP: £32.99
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Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 10 September 2020

Leap into action and discover nature in Tamarin, a third-person action-adventure game set in beautiful Nordic scenery, starring the world's cutest monkey. Pollution and destruction from ever-expanding insects sets the agile monkey into a fight for his family’s survival. Explore an interconnected 3D world, brimming with primate platforming and bug-splattering shooter action. Leap with the agility of a tamarin as you journey into the Northern wilderness on scenic routes through forests, fjords and mountains. Along the way you will chase mysterious electrical fireflies, discover a secret underground world of dancing ants, rescue innocent birds, and restore the tamarins’ once idyllic natural habitat...

Review imageWhen this title landed in my intray I thought: "Ah! That's refreshing. A cutesy game for very young players." It ticked all the right boxes: Cute, colourful, bold and loveable characters; upbeat music; a simple 3rd person adventure game...

Okay, the tamarin you play as looks more like a cross between a duck, a monkey and a fox rather than an actual tamarin... but that's fine. This is a kid's game after all... The first hint that things weren't going to go well was when I happened across a hedgehog who, while helpful, happened to be an underground arms dealer. This creature offered to give me an uzi in order to gun down the ants and other insects in the environment...

Errr... okay, that's the child friendly element gone immediately... Oh, right, that probably explains the 12 rating too. When you gun down the poor ants in the cave, they curl up and flies start swarming around them - nice touch... if this were a dark adult game.

Both of these issues could have been avoided, as well as gaining the developers a lower age rating, by simply switching out the gun for a water pistol. Ants don't like water, right. and having them permanently dazed would also have gotten around the fact that if you return to a level the ants are back in their original position (until you complete a certain goal, at which point they stay dead).

Review imageSo maybe not as child friendly as I'd first suspected. The ability to now take up arms and fire indiscriminately in the quiet woodland glades also brought up the first issue with the game's mechanics.

Brought up on a diet of flight games, I prefer to change the Y-axis on my camera options. This means that when I press "up" the camera moves down (or, if I'm aiming, the gun sights should move down)... Sadly there was no ability to change this. So, I struggled for ages trying to fire at the beasties in the environment. And I almost immediately came face to face with the next issue. The aim function was too sensitive. Again, this was something that couldn't be altered at all. Now that's not too much of an issue, a simple patch shouldn't be hard to implement in the near future, especially considering how expensive this game is.

There was also a few too many instances of the camera angle acting weirdly, usually in the middle of a fight. This is an old issue that I used to experience a lot on PS2/3 games, but I've hardly run into it in recent years.

There wasn't really any real explanation of what I was supposed to do, so I spent an age running around the first level (trying to free the trapped bird in the cage) before I resorted to looking online for a solution. It seemed I needed to open the next level by shooting the red light on its gate. I had tried this but apparently I need to shoot for a little longer. When I reached the next level I ran around for ages trying to work out what to do. It was only when I accidentally jumped up to a ledge that the arms dealing hedgehog reappeared and explained how I could now jump up to higher levels in the environment.

Review imageTo be honest, by this point I was completely bored of the whole experience. The targetting nightmare wasn't getting any easier and I was starting to just get fed up with how fiddly the controls were.

While the game has promise, unfortunately is has a few too many issues that need ironing out. It's almost as though this didn't go through the proper play testing stage. It could be that Covid-19 messed with the development schedule and fixes will be forthcoming, but as it stands this is a pretty poor game considering the price tag.


Nick Smithson

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