It was at EGX Rezzed where I first had a look at Tembo The Badass Elephant and I was initially impressed. But some pesky appointments stopped me playing the game myself, which made this old school SEGA fan a little sad. Seeing this week’s launch trailer had me excited again and after a few hours with the game, I’m feeling that old school fun you can only get with old-school 2D platformers.
The game takes you right back to playing some Mega Drive/Genesis classics but also has a modern take on the genre too which blends together expertly by developers Game Freak.
For those who don’t know about this slightly off the wall game, you take control of a Rambo like elephant on a quest to save the city from the Phantom Army. Explained with some clever comic strip, with no text or voice overs, you see a villain bombing people in the city. You are called in by the military to take on the Rogue army and save the city.
Given this is a game about a commando trained elephant, the story is not ever going to make much sense, but it sets up a fun premise. And soon your in control of Tembo, smashing everything around the city in a blur… If you can keep that combo going that is.
It’s classic left to right action as you dash, stomp and bum-smash Tembo through the level, collecting peanuts to build up lives (remember those…? ). You have both primary and secondary objectives to perform too. The primaries are impossible to miss so far, you simply can’t get past unless you do them, but secondary missions which involve taking down all the purple enemies (Phantom Soldiers) and rescuing trapped civilians, are missable, but highly addictive.
As you race through the levels, smashing walls, boxes and of course enemies your totally sucked into trying to get everything right and trying to get the stage 100% before moving on. Blasting around as you go is also bags of fun as you try to avoid enemy bombs, swords and flame throwers not to mention the traps like bomb crates dotted near what you need to collect or enemies you need to kill.
The main challenge is keeping momentum up as you go and you’ll find yourself needing to think too as mindlessly dashing everywhere will see you get a the “Elephant Down” screen a lot. It’s a lot of fun and I simply can’t wait to get going on more stages.
While I don’t expect to have the review completed until tomorrow, off my first impressions this is a really fun game for anyone who’s longing to play something Sonic the Hedgehog like again. It’s fast, fun and funny and while it may seem like it’s not going to be over long, I’m already addicted to trying to complete all those stages perfectly.
More on Tembo this week on MGL.