Tembo the Badass Elephant

Tembo the Badass Elephant

Pokemon creators try their hand at a classically styled adventure that packed with peanuts.

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Tempo The Badass Elephant is a classic side-scrolling adventure from Pokemon developers Game Freak, with the aforementioned animal donning a red headband ala Rambo and enter the war zone. One that sees alien Phantoms using their advanced tech to cause chaos and destruction across the world. There's the whiff of 90s platform zeitgeist here.

Tembo's able to use his natural abilities - ramming junk with his tusks, crushing enemies under his weight of putting out fires with a spurt of water from his trunk - as well as limited flight akin to Yoshi's struggles to remain airborne with the jump button held down, though here it's not as artfully designed. That said, Tembo can pull of slide kicks and ramming attacks, so his arsenal's robust.

Tembo's journey takes us through multi-part levels - through the roads and factory complexes of Shell City to the Greenville mountains and Zappoland Amusement Park - that all end in spectacular boss fights. Hidden in each are challenges that'll better our score, such as clearing the area of all enemies or saving civilians. These'll leap to Tembo's back for a ride to the level's end. There are also collectable peanuts that'll steadily fill a peanut butter jar that we can use to restart at the last checkpoint if we die in combat.

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The game's cartoonish visuals really pop out of the screen. Game Freak manage to imbue Tembo with a macho charm, while the level effects make for a unique experience. But it's a game that'll challenge even hardcore platforming fans. Because despite the cute looks Tembo the Elephant Badass Elephant is quite difficult at times. Correct timing and a perfect command of the controls are required.

Tembo the Badass ElephantTembo the Badass Elephant

In addition to all the action and the destruction you can wander off the main path and try out some smaller riddles. These contain objects that must be destroyed in a certain order. Not incredibly complicated in itself, but the rooms cannot be reset, meaning you can be manoeuvred into a dead end, requiring you to restart if you want to try and succeed. A lot of Tembo's under five hour play time was spent trying to solve these puzzles.

Game Freak's clearly put a lot of love into the smaller details of the game, and the character design really catches the imagination, much like the best of the 90s explosion of adventure titles. It offers the clean if not wholly spectacular fun you'd fully expect from this type of skill-based game. It's an easy recommendation for fans of the genre, even if there's nothing here that'd really capture the imagination of anyone else.

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Tembo the Badass Elephant
Tembo the Badass Elephant
06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
Demanding learning curve, precise controls needed, charming graphical style
Little replayability, ouzzle rooms can cause frustration.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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Tembo the Badass ElephantScore

Tembo the Badass Elephant

REVIEW. Written by Stefan Briesenick

"It offers the clean if not wholly spectacular fun you'd fully expect from this type of skill-based game. It's an easy recommendation for fans of the genre."

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