Tamiku Review

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There are plenty of weird plots in games, but Tamiku maybe one of weirdest in recent times. In Tamiku you are an alien from a distant galaxy far away. Your obsession is surprisingly balloons, inflating and popping them. Unfortunately, you’ve popped every last balloon on your homeworld and now must make your way across the galaxy looking for balloons on other worlds. Yes, you read that correctly, you must venture to other worlds looking for balloons, you would be right in thinking that Tamiku is not the deepest of titles.

Tamiku is inspired by classic arcade games in both design and execution. You start each level at the bottom of the screen and have to make your way round popping balloons that are located on the level. Tamiku is very much 80s in its look as everything takes place on one screen. Blue balloons are popped by simply walking into them whilst the red balloons need to be inflated for them to pop. There are a number of enemies you have to navigate past, you have no weapons so it’s a case of timing your movements wisely. Tamiku is effectively a platform game that takes place on one scene, you complete the level by popping all the balloons in no particular order.

There are eight different worlds following the usual ice, industrial etc. landscapes in Tamiku. In total there are 16 levels to get through that include very simple bonus levels where you simply fly across the screen and try to burst as many balloons as you can. You have three lives to begin with, each time you get hit, you lose a life, these lives do not regenerate so when you lose all three you die. Luckily, you don’t have to restart from the beginning or even from an earlier checkpoint in Tamiku, all that happens is that you lose your score, you just pick up where you left off.

Each level in Tamiku tends to play out in the same way. You start at the bottom and move up and down popping balloons whilst you try to stay away from the gluttony of enemies and projectiles that fill the screen. A clever little mechanic is that some of the platforms don’t have walls on the side, so you can move off one side of the screen and appear on the other. This tactic can be used in abundance to get away from enemies. As you progress through each level the enemies get more plentiful and the screen does get lit up by a fair few projectiles. Unfortunately for Tamiku, every level is basically the same and just like classic 80s games each enemy has a set path they follow so it’s quite easy to know where they are going and you can plan appropriately. Once you’ve completed Tamiku which won’t take long there no reason to go back beyond beating your high score but Tamiku doesn’t have that pull to bring you back for one more play.

Graphically Tamiku stays close to it’s 80’s retro roots with it’s pixelated  homage to years gone by. Tamiku does resemble an arcade game in its presentation, but like many of these games, it just lacks a bit of polish and features that would make it stand out from the ever increasing crowd of indie retro titles. Tamiku goes with the classic chiptune music, it’s the standard fare and suits the Tamiku experience. There is no multiplayer which is a big shame because a title like Tamiku would benefit greatly from playing locally or online.

Tamiku is a decent 80s retro platform title, but like most of these kind of games, Tamiku is quite short, quite easy and lacks any noticeable features so playing Tamiku is a limiting and one off experience. If you like retro platform titles that don’t ask much of you then Tamiku is something you’ll get an hour out of, for the rest Tamiku is something you won’t want to invest your time into even if popping hundreds of balloons sounds like it could be fun.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to press@4gn.co.uk.

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Tamiku Review
  • Gameplay - 6/10
  • Graphics - 6/10
  • Sound - 6/10
  • Replay Value - 6/10
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Pop all the balloons before you get caught in Tamiku!

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