What happens when you mix the children’s film The Jungle Beast Hugo and the N64 lyre Jet Force Gemini? The answer is spelled Tamarin, and in this cute action soup we get to steer cute monkeys who, with the help of hard-pounding machine guns, will take their revenge on evil insects. If the premise sounds strange, it is because it is too. Tamarin is a concoction of genres and styles, and the cute appearance cuts quite well against the action-heavy structure that the adventure still possesses.
You control Tamarin, a little monkey who one day sees his monkey family abducted by an army of shitty insects and beetles. Why the insects are stupid to these monkeys does not tell the story, but Tamarin of course does the only thing right and arms himself to the teeth with pistols and machine guns and then embarks on a crusade to save his family and crush every single ant and ladybug in his path .
The control that will help you carry out this mission is unfortunately sloppy and inaccurate to a thousand, and dotting your targets is often a minor hell as the sight flies and travels across the screen. I will not go so far as to say that the control schedule is broken, but that it is not fun to use is one thing that is clear. It is then of course a thing when you only have to fend off weak ants, but when you face tougher resistance such as hardy beetles, it often becomes tough and extremely boring. Having to zig-zag from side to side while trying to pinch an enemy that can withstand far too much damage is not fun, and even if you have an arsenal of different gunpowder sticks, the entertainment shines with its absence.
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However, Tamarin not only offers action, but at certain times you have to do without your weapons to perform simple platforming instead. However, this genre change does nothing to elevate the entertainment value particularly notably, but it is rather a pale copy of Banjo-Kazooie without finesse, challenge or charm. The problem here is again that the control feels imprecise and messy, and there is like no flow in one’s movements. Some more challenging jumps happen automatically as you only need to stand on a box and press a button, and it is of course boring, uninspired and poorly designed for someone looking for challenge and interaction.
The graphics are then approved, but there is absolutely nothing fancy to be offered here, although the design may be reminiscent of some old N64 beads. However, the music is probably the best with the title overall and the biggest entertainment you probably get from just sitting in the start menu and listening to the troll-friendly songs that feel encouraging, happy and cozy. That Tamarin is only a shadow of others, and better, games, on the other hand, is generally quite crystal clear and even if it is not game mechanically broken, you do best to avoid this adventure altogether. Tamarin and his abducted monkey family simply have to fend for themselves.
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