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Tamiku review for PS4, Xbox One, Switch


Platform: PS4
Also on: PC, Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Josyan
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Last time we heard from developers Joysan, they were ripping off Space Invaders. Now they’re back with Tamiku, and they’re ripping off…something.

The thing is, I can’t quite put my finger on what. It’s a little like Bubble Bobble, and a little like Pac-Man, and maybe even a little like Dig Dug, but it’s different enough that it can’t exactly be called a clone. Where Joysan’s last game was so much like Space Invaders it couldn’t be ignored, Tamiku merely feels like a clone without actually being one.

Part of the reason I’m having trouble figuring out what Tamiku reminds me of most is that it’s an incredibly short game, so it’s not around long enough to leave much of an impression. The levels all take place on a single screen, and involve the titular hero jumping up and down from row to row popping balloons and avoiding enemies. On top of that, there are only 16 levels in total, and each of them take only a few minutes each at most (and if you don’t have the attention span for even that, the Platinum pops after only 10 levels).

Admittedly, during the half hour or so it should take you to finish Tamiku, you’ll likely enjoy yourself. It’s a pretty simple concept — which, again, feels like it’s borrowed from somewhere else — and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. As you can tell from the list of influences above, it’s also highly reminiscent of old arcade games, to the point that I would totally have believed it was a port of a game from 35 years ago.

But when a) you can see everything a game has to offer in 30 minutes, and b) you’re left feeling like you’ve played this exact game somewhere before, it’s hard to be too enthused about Tamiku. There’s an interesting idea here, and kudos to Joysan for nailing the retro feel so perfectly, but it’s hard not to feel like there should be something more here.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Tamiku PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B-