It seems as though THQ has been very busy this year publishing a lot of children’s games leading up to the holiday season. One of the games in this list is actually one that may not be one of the more popular children’s cartoons out on the networks, but it is one that in my opinion translates easily into a video game. The game is Tak: The Great Juju Challenge for the Xbox, which tries to come back in another iteration with its "cute" platforming style that worked pretty well in the previous game. Can Avalanche Software manage to create another great Tak game? Read our full review to find out!
Well I remember playing Tak 2 a year ago, not expecting a whole lot out of it. After playing the game, I must say that it had a lot of solid platforming elements that worked extremely well. It may not have been a Sly Cooper or Jak and Daxter, but for what it aimed to do it was extremely impressive. So when I heard the guys over at Avalanche Software were coming out with another game, I was pretty excited to see how it would do. So is Tak: The Great Juju Challenge another solid children’s title?
Now some may be a little confused in that the game is not called Tak 3, which to me still seems like it would have been an appropriate title. Basically the reasoning of the developers not calling this game #3 is because it really doesn’t follow the same sort of storyline. Here you actually end up going into this event craftily titled the Great Juju Challenge, which takes place every sixty years. What makes it more interesting is that you partner up with another character, something which is quite different compared to other platformers.
Basically the ability to use both characters is really the strongest feature that Tak: The Great Juju Challenge has to offer. You really get to jump in as two different characters that have different abilities, which are used quite often. The game is obviously still the same styled platforming style game that I found to be pretty enjoyable, but was skillfully created for a kid in mind. The developers made this game very accessible, so you won’t see an overly hard computer AI, but one that does pose some challenges.
Now one of the neat things also about having this two character system is that it allows you to have a nice co-op split screen feature that fits the whole game very nicely. I think this was a prime focus of the developers to create a game that uses both Tak and Lok makes it both entertaining to play by yourself and to play with a friend. I think in this aspect the development team succeeded.
The biggest problem I have with The Great Juju Challenge is nothing really against the actual quality of the gameplay as everything in the game plays very smooth. What I would have liked more from this game however was innovation. The team never tried to do more interesting puzzles or more interesting platforming elements, but instead went with what works. I must say that even though Tak: The Great Juju Challenge may not offer anything spectacularly new to the game, it still gives the younger gamer a lot to enjoy both by themselves and with a friend.
Visually I have to say that Tak 2 was a solid looking game and Tak: The Great Juju Challenge continues this tradition. In the presentation aspects I must say that the only big complaint I could have was the lack of variety in the games environments, which could have been improved further. It seems like throughout the whole game you stay in one place, and this becomes tiresome after some time. On the positive side, the character models have plenty of detail and the animation works nicely as well. Overall the presentation of Tak is very good, but would have been better, had the game varied up and improved its environments.
Now I will admit I am not in the age group that this game is aimed at, but at the same token I am still a kid at heart and I can see a lot of kids really enjoying this game. Like I said in Tak 2 this is one of those games that shies away from the typical children’s game, which usually turns out to be a cheap way for companies to make a buck. The Great Juju Challenge is a very capable children’s title that could have been better with some more innovation in the gameplay, but still remains a great fun playing game nonetheless.
I have to say if I had a young child that was interested in getting a video game this holiday season, I would definitely think about getting them Tak: The Great Juju Challenge. I have to say that it has very smooth gameplay mechanics that work great, whether playing by yourself or with another person. Parents who are looking for a perfect game this holiday for the kids, then look no further than Tak: The Great Juju Challenge.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.