Tembo The Badass Elephant Reviews

1,562,000 (853,968)
TA Score for this game: 3,329
Posted on 22 September 15 at 17:26, Edited on 22 September 15 at 17:28
This review has 11 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Game Freak dip their toes in to different water with Tembo moving away from their Pokémon roots. That's right this isn't an indie game as I first expected which I'm sure others of you have been confused with too. But can one elephant's bad ass repertoire take on all the phantom in the world to create a platforming master piece? I am pleased to say that Tembo sure can as this is a delightful fresh game that is an excellent addition to the platforming genre.

With there being 18 stages spread across 4 zones you'll find that the end credits can be seen in just a few hours of play time which is on the shorter side of what you'd hope for. That is however not taking in to consideration all the replay ability which comes from attempting to destroy every enemy and save all 10 civilians found on each level. This does become infuriating at times when a checkpoint is passed when you've missed something as there's often no way to go back and get what you've not gotten resulting in a whole new level playthrough needing to be done. Some levels I repeated numerous times just trying to get 100% because of one tiny mistake made previously which I didn't find fun.

Another negative which needs to be addressed is the grind required to get 99 lives and pop the Peanut Butter Hoard achievement. I spent a good 4 hours grinding out the first level to do this before I even went ahead and fully enjoyed the game. This is of course optional but as an achievement addict you'll find it a nuisance. The silver lining though was that I didn't need to worry about losing lives further on in the game when it gets difficult. I'm not too keen on the checkpoint style with lives system that Tembo the Badass Elephant implements as it puts extra stress on the gamer to be more careful instead of allowing you to discover and explore.

What's unique with Tembo is that due to him being an elephant he has access to moves which are not seen in other platformers. With his trunk he is able to dampen hazards blocking his path such as fire or grow flowers to help reach new areas. Certain levels also require his trunk to grab hold of rotating platforms that help you reach newer heights. My last negative though is that sometimes too much is not always better. I found myself not using half of the attacks that Tembo has available to him. Tembo will do a dive attack as a spinning ball when in mid air if X is pressed which makes him difficult to steer whilst in motion, not stopping until solid ground is reached. Quite often deaths could have been avoided for me if I could have disabled that particular move. Sometimes precision is required to make certain jumps which is unfortunately tricky at points due to the clumsiness that the controls have at times.

I love the artwork though as most levels offer different appreciated scenery and full use of every colour on a palate available. A few of the boss stages required utmost concentration for me to progress through yet I don't complain as it felt rewarding for me to complete. Practise makes perfect though as once you know the patterns they are not too bad to complete and just require you to make few mistakes as 5 hits and Tembo will faint. There's also fun parts to be found throughout such as turning in to a ball in a pinball machine and running away from laser beams on moving escalators. This variety is much appreciated and ensures the game never gets old or repetitive through out.

Finally I know I've mentioned quite a few negatives but they really are relatively petty in the grand scheme of it all. The game is a lot of fun and I definitely recommend you get it!

+ Great artwork (good use of different colours)
+ Variety in levels with different gameplay mechanics
+ Use of trunk is unique
+ Really fun

- 4 hour grind to get Peanut Butter Hoard achievement
- Extra moves that rarely get used and potentially cause controls issues
- Relatively short to reach end credits
- Checkpoint/life system
- No co-op which is often utilised in this genre

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