Save me Mr. Tako! (Review) Nintendo Switch

Save me Mr. Tako! (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Growing up in the 1980s had its advantages. People alive then witnessed the revival (and reshaping) of video games with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Sega also introduced the Master System, which arguably had better graphics than Nintendo’s 8-bit powerhouse. The 80s was a decade of many ‘firsts’, whether it involved console gaming or improvements in home computer technology. The Gameboy, as many already know, was among the technological advancements that changed the gaming landscape forever; it reshaped the way many people played their games. The nostalgia is so strong surrounding these old consoles that many people are getting their retro fix using ROMs and emulators (like those on FileProto) to relive some of the glory days of gaming.

So it’s fitting that Save me Mr. Tako! – a 2D platformer by developer Nicalis – pays homage to classic Gameboy games of  yesteryear with graphics that mimic the hardware’s 4 shades of grey. As Mr Tako!, the player must explore 50 Super Mario Land inspired levels; solve platform-based puzzles; and defeat a series of bosses to end a war between the undersea Octopus Kingdom and the land-dwelling human world. Along the way, the player will encounter extensive character dialogue and side-quests that deviate from the main story.

Before starting the game, the player can visit the ‘Options’ menu to customize their experience. From here, the player can change the in-game colors by choosing from one of sixteen color palettes (think of the Super Gameboy and its color palette options). While the game is set to widescreen by default, the player can switch between 4 different aspect ratios (4:3 is included) to customize the experience. The game also includes nine colorful screen borders and a ‘grid’ function to mimic a CRT display.

Gameplay is based on classic, 2D platforming. The action feels very reminiscent of old Gameboy games, as the player collects diamonds, jumps between platforms, and avoid the game’s many obstacles (i.e. pits, etc). Mr. Tako! can fire a projectile from his snout (achieved by pressingly X button) to ‘freeze’ enemies temporarily, and then use them as platforms. As the game progresses, the player will find themselves freezing enemies more often to complete the available 6 worlds.

Mr. Tako! can use 50 different ‘hats’ to gain special abilities. These hats are the game’s focus and mainstay, and they truly enhance the overall experience. For example: there’s a Santa hat that allows Mr Tako! to shoot bombs; a soldier cap that includes a spike-ball projectile; and a Witch hat that fires ‘cats’, to name just a few. These hats can be changed by visiting Mr. Tako!’s house, which is accessible at the start of the game (even if the player continues a game in progress). The game’s 2-button scheme compliments the action. Despite being simple, pressing B button to jump and Y button to fire is really all the experience needs. Anything else would ruin the game’s simplistic approach to classic, 2D platformers.

Save me Mr. Tako!’s graphics are basic in appearance, yet effective at the same time. The blocks, pillars and rocks that comprise each level seem to stand out regardless of the color palette chosen. The sprites – especially Mr. Tako! – are cute and likable, and they fit the game’s theme perfectly. There really isn’t anything to dislike about this incredibly cute game.

Save me Mr. Tako! is a nudge (and a wink) to the more innocent days of gaming, when platformers were the genre of choice for most gamers. In fact, Nicalis did such a great job of replicating the experience, that it could easily pass for a late 1980s Gameboy release. That in itself is a feat worth recognizing – and even experiencing – on the Nintendo Switch, especially for those who feel nostalgic about the early days of gaming.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nicalis
Publisher: Nicalis
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Price: $14.99

Save me Mr. Tako! Official Website:

Review Score
Classic Gameboy Graphics.
An inspiring soundtrack.
Old-school platforming at its finest.
Save Me Mr Tako! is a great addition to the Nintendo Switch's library of games.
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