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Submitted by Derek dela Fuente on March 25 2004 - 00:00

A kiddies title with a surprising amount of fun and enjoyment for older gamers...

Deep in the jungle it appears there are problems afoot. The drum may well beat but the rhythm of life just isnâ??t going to plan. A tribe of big headed but cute and endearing folk need some help and it's you, the gamer, they want but do you want to help?

Tak and the Power of Juju is a tale of good and evil set in an ancient, tribal world where Juju magic really works. Players assume the role of Tak, a young and playful shaman's apprentice, who desperately needs to recover moonstones stolen by an evil Jujuman to save the Moon Juju and restore her powers.

The introduction by a Shaman of the village will tell about some recent events and that the Juju and PooPoo has caused problems for his people and that they are being turned into sheep! Once the long tale of woe ends strangely you find you are in good spirits and you want to come to his assistance and assume the role of Tak. You are pretty much up for it. Finding and recovering moonstones stolen by an evil Jujuman to save the Moon Juju and restore her powers is a challenge worth taking on!

What the first few minutes of the game manages, with its humour, is to make you smile almost instantly. As the story is told with the use of silly words, that have been so cleverly presented with various mannerisms, you just canâ??t help but have an instant affinity with the game from the start which many games cannot do!

The first segment of gameplay introduces gamers to what kind of moves Tak can execute and with clubs in hand and a variety of actions the experience, as they say, begins.

His challenge is to return the five moonstones to the Temple of the Moon Juju and reinstate peace in his mystical world. A colourful and interactive world, junglesque, awaits and using the right combination of animals, plants, weapons and water will see you progress, Tak can summon Jujus throughout each level and go forth throughout this non-linear adventure land. Furthermore, special Juju powers and power-ups are granted when Tak accomplishes tasks to appease the Gods.

Essentially this is a platform romp that focuses on your skills to find the right paths, spot the appropriate objects, you might need to chuck or use with precise manipulation. You can run, jump and cavort your way around the picturesque land of lush vegetation and interactive creations with consummate ease but every so often a real teaser of a puzzle will present itself to tax your grey matter and challenge you fingersâ?? dexterity!

Tak and the Power of Jujuâ??s distinct look, it has been done in co-operation with Nickelodeon, could well have you believing that this is a kiddiesâ?? game and although this will certainly appeal to a younger user, the actual game mechanics, learning curve and requirements will have plenty of gamers fascinated. It would be foolish to compare it with Rayman - it does have comparable qualities but perhaps less style and complexities, however, based on the same kind of gameplan, find, jump, and move.

As you move forwards, the wealth of ideas change, subtly from mere jumping to complexities such as climbing ropes, whacking and even riding enemies and trying out some pole-vaulting to aid Tak to get a little higher! The bit on the rhinos where you ride it and use it as a battering ram is cool!

Chucking coconuts at targets andâ?? sussing out the environmental puzzles, will have you scratching your head, but not for too long as most are pretty logical.

The inhabitants offer the usual cartoon capers, like monkeys throwing the coconuts back! Some really funny quips by Tak throughout keep the smile factor going and with some pretty diverse sub games thrown in the focus and incident rewards all veer on the positive side.

Controls are simplicity themselves, with each button assigned to a task and double pushing to give more of the same. Two presses for a higher jump, one to chuck, one to whack â?“ could not be easier. Even the camera can be rotated more by the controller arm if you want a better view or wish to look around. There do appear to be some basic weaknesses however in the camera positioning and a number of blind spots do add frustration!

Tak manages to mix and match many well-trusted ideas by having its own style and personality. Although there are a number of issues you could target in on, like very average sound, not enough imaginative effects and there could have been loads, which is possibly one big gripe, as well as the tedious collecting of items â?“ once again not enough.

Tak borders on the safe and good, whilst you can see it has all the components to being so much better, although to be positive it still presents a better than average challenge.

Problematically, and the one area of a platformer that is its core, the level design could possibly have been slightly more devious for too often it takes the obvious path but this could be more to do with the age the game is target towards than anything else which in turn may turn off a lot of older gamers.

As mentioned before, the characterisation and humour is great and this will give it instant appeal.

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  • Graphics: 76%
     
  • Sound: 64%
     
  • Gameplay: 67%
     
  • Originality: 53%
     
  • Longevity: 68%
     
Overall Score: 6/10
A good game, one that could be the basis of an excellent brand if the development team Avalanche want to go that extra mile then the rewards could be well worth the effort. It’s to the younger end of the market this could well be best served!

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By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 29th Dec 2007 10:27, Post No: 1

Tak just isn't worth the time--while the visuals are nice, the gameplay leaves much to be desired.