Chameleon Games PS4 Review Tamarin Tamarin PS4 Review

Tamarin Review (PS4)


Tamarin PS4 Review Tamarin is quite possibly the strangest amalgamation of ideas and features in a 3D platformer I have ever seen. One moment you play as an adorable tamarin monkey trying to save your family and hopping around the landscape and the very next you are playing as the same tamarin monkey killing insects and beetles with a toy Uzi. Yep, that is right. Let’s get into why Tamarin in some places works and in others doesn’t.

Tamarin PS4 Review

Monkey Gets Hurt, Monkey Grabs A Gun

Tamarin starts with an abrupt opening. With practically no buildup, an insect invasion has come into your forest and devastated the land, polluting and ravaging it. You then set off into the land to find your family and expel the insect army. Tamarin is as simple as it seems and the narrative never goes beyond this premise, although there are underlying themes of deforestation and urbanisation.

But, what is truly barmy about Tamarin is in order to fight off the insect army, you don’t use your paws or attack normally, instead, a local hedgehog grants you a pistol to take out the insects with. Yep, you, the Tamarin monkey go around blasting bugs and critters to death. What starts off as just a dangerous monkey turns into a monkey able to fire rocket launches and blast large insects in just a few seconds.

Yep, you do get to kill insects with a weapon, whilst jumping around as a Tamarin Monkey.

But, whilst that concept is a bit odd and off-the-wall the actual game and shooting don’t feel too bad. You can automatically lock-on to enemies that are above you and are flying. Meanwhile, traditional ground insects and bugs have to be shot by aiming manually, which is less fun, as the reticle is a bit floaty and not particularly accurate. You will also kill enemies without a weapon, during the open hub areas of the game and there are enough attacks to create a fine combat experience, with your Tamarin mostly being able to ground pound and roll into enemies.

Monkey Meets Poor 3D Platforming

When it comes to the other core feature of Tamarin, the 3D Platforming, the game, unfortunately, falls a bit flat and doesn’t quite manage to nail some important features which are needed for this type of gaming. Exploration and hunting down the dozens of types of collectibles are great and comparable to any other game in the genre. However, Tamarin suffers from a lack of informing the player about the next main mission objective or where to go.

Beyond simply “trying to save your family” there is no objective marker or even text telling you what to do and where to go, which left me wandering aimlessly around locations for what felt like hours collecting one dragonfly at a time and trying to find out where the next main mission objective is. Most of these moments come during the open hub areas, which are, as a result, the most frustrating parts, despite hunting for collectible actually being enjoyable. In-between these sections you have gauntlets which focus on combat and are easy to breeze through but enjoyable.

Exploring the open world areas are frustrating due to the dead ends and lack of objective markers.

The lack of any kind of objective marker was the most frustrating part of Tamarin for me and I actively disliked most of the exploration in the game because of this. Areas are not clearly marked, it isn’t easy to find where goodies are to grab, and the lack of a map exacerbates these problems to an almost turning the game off frustration.

This Monkey Is A Tad Unfinished

The final key downside for Tamarin is that the game feels like a book sticky-taped together at times. The menus and UI look bland and dull along with textures, whilst ok, don’t look particularly amazing, especially for a game that is so focused on its environments. On the same note, I also suffered from a few bugs such as being able to jump out of the map and fall endlessly, forcing me to restart. And enemies shooting through bits of the environment. These problems don’t make Tamarin unplayable, but given the fact that the rest of the package isn’t anything fantastic, they stand out more.

Whilst, the indoor environments and gauntlets are the best parts of the game, bugs still make it frustrating.

A Small Monkey That Doesn’t Grow Up To Be Anything

Tamarin is a perfectly fine game and it is playable. But, there isn’t really any reason to play it. Whilst, the concept of a monkey with a gun is unique and quirky, the platforming, combat, and exploration are all done better in other 3D platformers and the classic Rare-era that the game is trying to evoke doesn’t come close to what was offered back then or today with titles like Yooka-Laylee.

Combine the inferior mechanics with bugs, a dated gameplay loop, and a general sense and lack of polish and Tamarin isn’t worth anyone’s time, especially with far better offerings available on PS4 right now.

Tamarin is available now on PS4.

Review copy provided by publisher.



The Final Word

Tamarin has a quirky and fun concept (a monkey with a gun), but its poor 3D platforming, inability to inform the player properly about objectives and where to go, and dated look with bugs make it a title that few people have any good reason to play, especially when there are much better games of the genre out there right now on PS4.