It has become popular lately to mention that you employ people who have previously worked at a large and / or well-known game studio. Chameleon Games is one such company that has several people on board who have worked at Rare. The English developer we know from titles like Donkey Kong Country, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Banjo-Kazooie in Jet Force Gemini. Especially the latter game has been a huge model for Tamarin and we checked for you whether that worked out well.
Tamarin is first and foremost a 3D platformer. You play as a little monkey and can run, jump and roll. You collect the necessary items along the way that you can exchange with animals you encounter. This allows you, for example, to unlock more skills (such as jumping on a kind of trampoline), but you can also get other weapons. Weapons? Yes weapons, because Tamarin is not all sweet and cute. You spend half the time shooting pests over. These animals do everything they can to make life miserable for you and also that of various birds. In addition to killing your opponents, the goal during the fights is to save the small birds and bring them to their houses. For this you will receive the necessary rewards that you can use to open new areas.
The platforming generally works fine, but it often happens that the camera gets in the way. This makes it sometimes extremely difficult to successfully perform a seemingly simple jump. You don’t always see how far you have to jump or sometimes you don’t even see where you have to jump. So the platforming is sometimes difficult, but not in a fun way. That is a real shame, because when the camera does not work against it, it works fine. When you are working with a weapon, you are also less able to jump high. Add to this the problems of the camera and you regularly have quite frustrating gameplay.
There are also some complaints about the shooting. You will notice that the makers have looked at this Jet Force Gemini and that is not immediately positive. They tried to apply the same shooting mechanism from a game from 1999. The ants are generally still quite easy to take out, but it mainly concerns the groups with flying insects. Aiming your gun is very difficult and requires a lot of precision, which is difficult with a controller. Now there are also several weapons, some of which are even more difficult to control than your default weapon. It is a part that can be learned and after a few hours you will notice that it is also improving. It will never be really easy, but you will get to a point where it is no longer frustrating. Here too the camera gets in the way from time to time and that of course doesn’t really help.
Nevertheless Tamarin not bad and knows how to create a special atmosphere. The world looks very beautiful and colorful, especially in the beginning. Later in the game it gets a bit grayer, but it still looks good. The level design is also fine and you don’t always have the feeling that you are playing the same kind of levels. It is sometimes difficult to determine your route and you sometimes walk unnecessarily many laps. This is because there is no map where you can see where to go. Maybe it was also done deliberately, because otherwise you will go through the levels too quickly and you will discover secret pieces much too easily. The music is also quite fine. Don’t expect a legendary soundtrack like Ori and the Will of the Wisps, but it suits the world of the cute monkey.
Tamarin could have been a great game, but unfortunately it has some issues that we can’t ignore. It is certainly not a bad game, but more one that you have to get used to. If more attention had been paid to the bad camera, it would have been a whole different game. Shooting is also not very good, but that requires a lot of practice. For the rest, it also does a lot of good, because in the end it looks very successful. The world is full of beautiful colored environments and the music, although that is a matter of taste, fits in with the wonderful world of Tamarin. The suggested retail price of € 40, however, is a bit on the high side and half of the money would have been more appropriate.