So all I knew about Tamarin, the PS4 game, before playing it, was that the creature I was about to control was based on a cute looking monkey, the Golden Lion Tamarin, made even more cute by the artistic folk at Chameleon Games Limited.
This third person action adventure (to begin with I thought it was just an adventure) starts off with this happy-go-lucky little Monkey bouncing merrily around a beautiful world with Bluebirds, wonderful flowers and deep green grass, aka 'paradise'.
My first thoughts were that I had to run this little ball of orange fluff around looking for gems or seeds or something that had either been lost in the grass or was needed to help feed the birds and other creatures; a pretty, delightful game that youngsters would enjoy playing. Wrong!
Tamarin is cute and fluffy, the world he/she lives in is beautifully colourful ... for now! Nasty insects are taking over and it is up to Tamarin to save the day, and, of course, the world. But how? An adorable little fluffball without claws of note whose main ability is to bounce, how can this be the hero?
The answer comes in the form of a Hedgehog. This spiky spined rooter suddenly pops up in front of you - literally pops up out of the ground - shoves an automatic gun in your hands and disappears back undergound. So now you are a delightfully charming monkey with wide, bright eyes, and a big gun. Bad insects watch out!
TAMARIN (the game) is a bit of an enigma. It uses the power of the PS4 to create a smooth scrolling game and draw the player towards the hero character. Ever since Bambi. characters like E.T. Critters. Gremlins. and Johnny 5. going forward, movies and games have given us doe-eyed creatures to fall for and take into our hearts. The TAMARIN game plays on this with a fairly basic game using a retro-style adventure.
It tugs at our heartstrings so that we feel guilted into helping the pretty, brightly coloured, birds and animals, instead of allowing nature to take its course and the strong (insects) defeat the weak. Let's face it, how can we, the poor innocent gamer, leave the fluffy Tamarin to accept the 'real' world?
I found Tamarin to be a fun frolic. The idea of a fluffy squirrel-like monkey bouncing around with a laser-like gun appeals to my warped sense of humour. It isn't an intense adventure and I never once found myself squeaky-bummed on the edge of my seat, but I did note that time passed quickly as it usually does when you are enjoying yourself.
It also is not just a by-the-numbers shooter. There are things to collect and use, as well as keys and other useful items to find. Tamarin creates a nice playing atmosphere in a world of light and dark.
It would work better in today's universe of online gaming if it had a two-player option, maybe Tamarin could have a friend (like the Hedgehog) and at its current online price of $39.99 makes it, in my book, quite expensive for what it is, especially when you can get numerous 'new' games that are similar or better from GAME priced from £19.99. Before anyone gets up in arms that I may be comparing an 'indie' game against large franchised games, being Indie doesn't give companies the right to hike up their prices. I thoroughly enjoy playing TAMARIN but I was privileged to have been given a review sample code.