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Review #041: Save me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed By: Frank W.

Developed By: Christophe Galati

Published By: Nicalis, Inc.

Category: Platformer

Release Date: 10.30.2018

Download Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San from the Nintendo eShop here.

I Love the 90s

Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San is an absolute joy to play, and one of the first times since starting to write reviews where I found myself unable to put the game down and just WRITE! Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San, which I’m just calling Mr. Tako henceforth, is an ode to the days of four audio channels—technically there are five in Mr. Tako, but one is used exclusively for sound effects—and the ole’ green background that we all know and love from our big, grey, battery-eating brick of a handheld, the Game Boy! There is something to be said about designing games under the restrictions present during those days, but Mr. Tako has taken that challenge, and passed with flying colors!

Open Mouth, Exit Ink

Mr. Tako is an action platformer that has the DNA of a few games very obviously pulsing at its core. It features a Kirby-style overworld with secrets abound that is fully explorable, as well as a variety of abilities that are granted to you via hats! Tako’s most basic of abilities are his high, floaty jump, and his ability to rapid-fire ink out of his mouth. The ink, and most of his other attacks, are capable of “inking” a target. This freezes most enemies in their place, and allows him to jump on them. Most secrets are hidden by requiring you to do crazy jumps involving properly placing enemies in advantageous positions, allowing you to get higher or farther in your platforming exploits.

When you direct him towards a ledge, Tako can help himself over. He just kind of pops over without any special animation, but it does make for some impressive jumps! With the abilities granted to him by hats, he is able to do everything from taking more hits, to shooting out arrows, to bouncing orbs, wearing an umbrella on his head, sowing seeds that grow into flowers and even more! There are a ton of abilities, and some even interact with the environment, giving you a Metroid-like experience of recalling spots you couldn’t figure out earlier, and revisiting them later on.

Juuust Enough Story…

Mr. Tako doesn’t have the heaviest story, but it is present. There is currently a war between the Octopi and the Humans for control over the world. The game starts out with armored Octopi storming a Human ship, then straight up killing them by impaling them with spears. It threw me off at first, because it felt a lot more serious than anything else I was expecting. Tako's brother, Bako, had the ability to communicate with humans, and it is quickly revealed to be a family trait. Tako is great friends with the Princess of the Octopi, and they often run off together. All in all, it mostly feels like an excuse to build a way to move us around the stages, but it isn’t distracting or unwelcome.

The Hat Makes the Man

This game starts you off nice and easy, but quickly falls into a higher tier of difficulty. Tako, without augmentation by a hat’s effects, can only take one hit before he dies. You start out with three lives. When you die, you lose a life and restart from a checkpoint. Run out of lives, and it’s back to the start of the level with you. Now, I love Platformers—and I’m pretty good at them, so I didn’t have a lot of consistent trouble—but the game always had me being as precise as possible, paying attention to enemy positions and spawns, and making liberal use of moving the screen to see what was below me.

Mr Tako also has a ton of really fun little mini-games that seem like they come at the perfect time—right when you haven't gotten a new hat in a few levels! They aren’t going to take hours of your time, but I certainly played each of them a few times when I first encountered them.

Wrapping Up

Mr Tako takes great care in order to let you properly emulate your Game Boy experience, with the ability to change the color pallet at will like you were playing a Super Gameboy, as well as adding borders or the old grid-screen effect. The whole options area is almost devoted to tweaking all the aspects of the display. This game is clearly a love letter to an earlier time, but it holds up nowadays, because the developer took such great notice of what made the simplicity great and endearing. I fully intend on fully beating this game, and tracking down all the secrets in it! Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San gets all 8 tentacles in the air… out of 10!

Final Score: 8/10

Download Save me Mr Tako: Tasukete Tako-San from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided By Nicalis

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