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Tembo The Badass Elephant Preview


SEGA are probably best known for Sonic The Hedgehog, although it never quite managed to recreate his glory days, stumbling from one game to the next and all the time denting our little blue friend’s reputation. Perhaps its fitting then that at last it seems to have recaptured the spirit of those first few Sonic games once more, except that this latest release is not a Sonic game and it has not been created internally, but instead by Gamefreak, the creators of the Pokemon.

Tembo The Badass Elephant is the name of the game and from our initial hands on, it’s brilliant. Sure it stars an animal which is slightly heavier than a hedgehog, but that doesn’t make him any less nimble as he works his way around this bright and fun side-scrolling platformer, speeding through walls and floors and leaving plenty of destruction in his wake.



The aim of Tembo is to rescue hostages and take out the enemies along the way, although it doesn’t quite play as you would expect. Tempo is quite fast and nimble, so he can jump over large gaps, while still being able to pound down on an enemy in the way you’d expect an elephant could. He also has an impressive hammer strike which makes use of his trunk to take out the standard enemies and tougher forces such as helicopters and tanks.

Tembo is an elephant of course, which means he can use his trunk to hold and fire water. This mechanic has been cleverly inserted into the game, meaning that you’ll have to put out fires in order to progress. Just as clever is that you’ll also need to water seeds to ‘grow’ platforms, allowing you to progress further. When the water runs out, Tembo has to find the water coolers in order to re-stock.

Given that this is a platformer, collecting is the aim of the game, with ‘the sonic rings,’ being replaced by the game’s main currency, peanuts. As you collect peanuts they fill a jar and once you have a full jar of ‘peanut butter,’ then Tembo will gain an extra life. You’ll also come across boxes filled with apples to replenish his life and of course, checkpoints, the latter of which will allow you to restart at that point should Tembo’s life gauge become empty. If you run out of lives you’ll need to start the level again, so make sure to fill up on those peanuts.



We were only allowed to preview the first two stages, which consists of eight levels, however this was enough to get a sense of what to expect from the game. Throughout these eight levels was plenty of variety and clever mechanics, to suggest that Tembo The Badass Elephant is only going to get better and more surprising as the game goes on.

One of Tembo’s main selling points is how great it looks. It has a colourful and pleasing to the eye presentation which feels almost painted on to your screen. The art style is very impressive and endearing, meaning that straight from the off you are really hooked into the character. The level design is also very impressive, offering a variety of backgrounds and environments and plenty of hidden secrets for you to uncover.

I’ve played all eight of the levels I was allowed to preview and my children as pretty hooked too, thanks to the easy pick up and play nature of this title. In this respect, I can’t wait to see the rest of the game, but already it feels like SEGA and Gamefreak are on to a real winner here. Maybe Sonic should move over, there’s an elephant in the room.

Words by Joe Anderson.
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)


Edited On 03 Jun, 2015

Comments
( 4 )
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 2 years ago
Is that last sentence award winning or what? :D
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
haha, thats awesome! looking forward to this game - what platform was it on? I thought Gamefreak were Nintendo only
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 2 years ago
PS4.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
yeah, just noticed, no Wii U at the end of the video :/ hope they arne't breaking away from Nintendo seeing as Pokemon needs them! Looks loks of fun though and very cartoony - will be a good 'pick up and play when nothing ont he telly or an update is downloading'

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