Taimumari is a great side-scrolling, retro-style action platformer that uses a variety of magic, maneuvers and a sword as you collect things across a selection of five different levels. There’s an equal amount of fun and challenge. The game is no pushover, but even the rough patches are no reason for frustration.
Its a game that oozes that retro style with great chip tunes and sound effects from that Nintendo era. The graphics fit for the most part, but they can be an bit immersion breaking with some of the ugly looking giant dragon heads and the giant boss pictures that kick off each level. The backgrounds and terrain look a lot better and have more detail than the moving sprites in the game.
Right off the bat, this is a game about great controls and an abundance of them. You have a double jump, a dash that rockets you forward whether you’re in the air or on the ground, short range sword, wall clinging, long range spells that use mana and you can even charge your spells. The only downside is sometimes its tough to get away from a wall. You can drop, but trying to leap off to a different area is tough. Its best to play it safe and stay on the wall.
The story is simple, but I’m never one to read a story. The town is in danger, now you must go through four levels to defeat their boss before unlocking the fifth level to stop the true evil at the end. Its a formula that has been done before, but that’s no reason to turn away.
Each of the five or so levels has a different theme and spell to find. A haunted castle, an aerial castle, a post apocalyptic wasteland, a frozen cavern, and so on. The levels keep track of your best times and how many items from that level you’ve collected so there’s a reason to go back and speed run.
These levels are a healthy length and do offer a variety of different platforming action to make each stage feel more unique. One stage has a shooter section and after that you keep the wings to let you jump as many times as you want in the air. Another stage halts the action in two different rooms for you to dodge an array of arrows and another to avoid smashers. The ice cavern lets you ride ropes down to the bottom. It shows that effort was put into the game to make it more than just another platformer.
The brief tutorial level that spoon feeds you with text as you run through the level such as how to jump over a pit. Then the game opens into a town where you can purchase upgrades and head off to the next level. its a hub world and with every game over, you respawn here with everything but your score in tact. Its a forgiving game. Every item, star, ability and spell you’ve collected stays with you.
Continues are infinite and each one grants you three lives, but you can purchase more for forty stars. You can also find or earn lives as you play. Each enemy drops one or two stars and you’ll need at least one hundred for any upgrade.
The merchant in town will sell you upgrades for your attack strength, health increase, spell strength and mana recharge rate. There is one passive ability to purchase that will let you attract items toward you like extra lives, hearts and stars. While none of these is a game changer, its more of a reward for your hard work.
Because you have attack strength and spell strength, that means the enemies take a while to defeat. You need to put a little effort into slashing a slime a half a dozen times. By effort I mean the sword will slash as fast as you can mash that button.
As for the spells, there are four of them. A simple shot that can charge into a bright blue beam. A triple shot spark that can charge into a shield of eight shots which then throw out in different directions. A bomb that charges into four bombs. Its a skill that feels lackluster. The last spell is the ice spell, which does… lava? No it is just a simple ice spell. The charged variant of it throws out three blades of ice forward and one behind you.
There is only a small variety of enemies. Knights will charge forward. Slimes just hang out and jump every so often. Ghosts fly in. Birds dive toward you. Flowers spit projectiles in three directions. Oh and spikes they are instant death traps, but this game goes easy on the amount of spikes, but it uses them well.
Then the bosses tend to be the ones with diversity. Each boss has a few different simple patterns and can throw a lot of projectiles. A lot of them will force you to jump to hit them and scurry away to avoid projectiles. They are a good challenge after a long level when you’ve run out of lives and health.
Taimumari makes you earn some of the collectible items and even hearts that give you full health. The items are found near pits or hard-to-reach places like just over a cliff. While its nothing too difficult, it makes you challenge yourself to get them. Once you have them, you never have to get them again so you can even cheat by just dropping into a pit after collecting the item. People looking for a challenge will avoid the pit.
I did find some minor issues, such as projectiles shooting backward. When new areas of a level would load, the screen would shift around. Its nothing that broke the game and they did seem quite consistent.
For the price, this is a great game even if the game can be considered short with five deep and diverse levels. Its still well worth the price for any issues that I have with the game.