During the wild west of gaming, Gameboy games were absolutely crushing it. From that time period, we had amazing platformers like Super Mario Land, Metroid 2, and Kirbys Dreamland that made up for its lack of color and capabilities with memorable chip tune music and iconic color palettes. Here we are 2 decades later and it seems the past lives again with Nicalis’ recent title Save Me Mr. Tako.
Save Me Mr. Tako is a very large mix of aspects from memorable games rolled into one cute package. Whether it’s the short and simple level designs of Mario, backtracking and verticality of Metroidvania titles, puzzle like dungeons similar to the Zelda series, or the hub like level selection of Kirby, Mr. Tako delivers a memorable story that makes it unique. The game follows Mr. Tako as he tries to stop a long lasting war between Octopuses and humans while obtaining new abilities including an ability to traverse both land and sea in the process.
The game very much reminds of me Legend of Zelda in scope and lore as Mr. Tako seems like the true legend making a unique character out of someone that looks identical to everyone else. Characters in the game are also very fun and interesting to talk to. A lot of the villagers and side characters have great dialogue and some interactions make for some enjoyable reading.
The gameplay itself is your simple and fun platformer. Most levels are made to get to the end while dodging several enemies inhabiting each area. Each area is selected in a room similar to the Kirby Adventure series as there are multiple doors per area to explore. Throughout the game you will find hats that will give you abilites such as spreading love, growing flowers, unleashing arrows, and a lot more. The controls feel very normal with no real hiccups other than jumping.
The game is somewhat floaty and that’s where one of my biggest complaints arises from. The jumping seems like an odd in-between of precisely floaty and unavoidable floaty in which sometimes I can predict the trajectory of Mr. Tako while in other situations I’m at the mercy of whatever enemy is waiting for me.
The aesthetics and presentation for the game nail the early Gameboy era to a T with this being one of the most accurate representations. The color scheme is accented green but what I personally gushed about was the ability to change the color scheme similar to older titles. I remember always using the photo negative mode when I owned a Gameboy so that extra touch hit me right in the nostalgia feels.
The music for the game is top notch and I think does the same service to Gameboy era chip tunes that Shovel Knight did for NES chip tunes.
Save Me Mr. Tako is a cute and enjoyable platformer that makes you reminisce about the early days of portable gaming with all features attached wrapped up in a unique and nicely done story. Other than a few imprecise controls and a few dull levels here and there, this game is well worth the $14.99 on the Nintendo Switch eShop.