Monday, November 26, 2018

"Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San" Review

Many modern games draw heavy inspiration from the 8 and 16-bit eras, but few turn to the often forgotten visual wasteland of the Game Boy era. "Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San" happily subvers that paradigm and dives into the realm of pea soup-colored screens.

The story is vintage early-90s wackiness: An octopus rescues a drowning woman, impressing a fairy who grants him the ability to move about on land. You hop and bop your way through the tightly-costructed platforming levels, blasting enemies with ink, and doing the typical "Link's Awakening" thing of discovering the needs of townsfolk, fetching items that will help them help you help others, and so on.

In an era drenched with throwback offerings, it's not enough just to throw back for the sake of throwing back. The developers at Nicalis understand this, and strive to give their game a reason to exist in the here and now.

"Save Me Mr. Tako" is a sendup of not only 1980s and 90s gaming tropes, but the absurdity of game design cliches and pop culture as a whole. And even without all the references, it's easy to appreciate the disarming innocence and charming sense of humor that run throughout.

While the difficulty ramp-up makes it tough on newcomers, "Save Me Mr. Tako" is worth the dip in its nostalgia-dripped waters. You'll find yourself rubbing your eyes to confirm that your Switch isn't actually a Game Boy.
Publisher provided review code.

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