Adventure Corner: Save me Mr Tako: Definitive Edition
Welcome to Adventure Corner, a column where members of the RPGamer staff can give their thoughts, impressions, and pseudo-reviews for various adventure titles that don’t come under our usual coverage. Adventure Corner is aimed at delivering opinions on a wide range of titles including visual novels, point-and-click adventures, investigative mysteries, and so forth.
In this edition of the column we take a look at Save me Mr Tako: Definitive Edition, coming to Nintendo Switch and Steam.
Save me Mr Tako: Definitive Edition
Though previously tangled in an unfortunate publisher deal, Save me Mr Tako is getting a second chance at life with its new publisher, Limited Run Games, alongside multiple tweaks from the original that demarcate the game’s new Definitive Edition. Though marketed as an RPG, the game is more RPG-adjacent, clearly taking its cues from Kirby’s Dream Land and other classic Game Boy games.
Tako, an octopus who has dreamed of exploring the world outside the ocean, is convinced his angry brother must be stopped. Blessed by the octopus fairy, he dashes off after his sibling, intent upon halting a war that threatens to engulf the whole world. The story is cute, and gets surprisingly deep, revolving around a conflict that started long before the current generation of octopuses and humans were ever born. Combined together with numerous side quests to complete for additional lore and numerous extra scenes to discover hidden behind paintings, there’s a pleasant amount of narrative stuffed into a seemingly silly game about a little octopus.
Faithful to its throwback origins, Save me Mr Tako looks and feels just like a classic portable title and can be played original Game Boy’s green tones, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio. However, there’s around a dozen alternatives, including the 16:9 aspect ratio, for those who prefer other looks, though not all are equally appealing. In addition, midway through the game, players will return to several zones which have been placed under a dark magic fog that essentially renders several of the alternative colour schemes unusable. Thankfully, players can flip between the many different palettes by utilising the Switch’s shoulder buttons. The game is also chock-full of truly authentic sounding chiptunes, which feel right at home with the old-school aesthetics.
Gameplay revolves around 2D puzzle-platforming with Tako exploring short stages that are entered via a numbered door, each with a variety of challenges to overcome, with multiple gameplay facets that sets the title apart from many contemporary platformers. Similar to Kirby, Tako can wear hats, which define how he attacks and navigates the landscape around him. Some hats are strictly weapons, such as a bow, sword, or dagger, while others can affect how Tako interacts with each stage, including increased speed, removing obstacles with bombs or flames, and even flying. The game tracks the player’s progress on the main menu, and only by digging through all of the game’s many nooks and crannies will players accomplish the game’s coveted 100% completion. Occasionally, players take on the role of other characters within the story, mostly humans which have banded together in the resistance against octopus tyranny. Without hats, these characters are one dimensional and fairly fragile, but at least the majority of their levels are blessedly short and spaced few and far between.
However, that isn’t to say the game is universally appealing, as despite some new difficulty modes Save me Mr Tako remains a challenging title, one that a newcomer to the genre or those without finely honed reflexes may wish to avoid. Furthermore, the game suffers from some bugs, particularly revolving around auto-scrolling levels or zones with other moving parts, alongside the occasional typo.
Save me Mr Tako: Definitive Edition does an excellent job emulating a Game Boy classic in both form and function, with a simple but cute colour palette with multiple swaps, and a large world replete with numerous hidden secrets and dozens of hats to don. Anyone looking for an old fashioned, challenging title will want to seek this one out on either Switch or PC.
Disclosure: This article is based on a free copy of the game provided by the publisher.