Tallowmere (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 27.01.2018

Review for Tallowmere on Nintendo Switch

Coming from industry veteran Chris McFarland, Tallowmere is a rogue-like 2D platformer that first appeared in 2015 in various platforms. While a simple indie title created on a limited budget, many who have experience it have fallen in love with its unrelenting, endless dungeon, and its gameplay-above-all approach. As always, indies (or Nindies) fit like a glove on Nintendo Switch; therefore, maybe, this is the perfect moment to take a look at it, if you haven't done so already.

Tallowmere doesn't spend much time with title screens, menus, and all this nonsense. Heck, it doesn't even spend time with the tutorial, which begins right in the… err, beginning, and which explains the simple controls, and concludes in a minute or so. Long story short, this is one of those titles that, in less than two or so minutes from turning on your Switch, you can dive right into the dungeon crawling business.

Now, keep in mind that Tallowmere has a unique charm, but it mostly has to do with its pleasantly silly, and almost meta, humour, rather than its visuals; visuals that feel as if they came straight from a college student's freeware project... in the year 2000. Now, on the whole it is easy to forgive this for having simple audio-visuals, but it's not as easy to do the same with the lack of variety. Simply put: be prepared to gaze upon the same grey tiles, and listening to the same boring tunes.

Screenshot for Tallowmere on Nintendo Switch

In conclusion, it's all about the gameplay, which, thankfully, is quite entertaining. This is basically a rogue-like dungeon crawler, where the purpose is go as "deep" into the dungeon as possible, collecting loot along the way to help you survive it all, as well as level up your character, thus strengthening him even more so. Read again, though: this is a rogue-like, not lite, meaning that death will come swift and deprive you of everything gathered.

You have found this quest to be a little bit harder than usual? Then, you oh-so-sensitive butterfly, you can simply sacrifice a couple of kittens to your god, and raise the odds of staying alive a little bit longer - a mechanic that should become the industry's standard, this reviewer humbly thinks. Yes, Tallomere doesn't take itself too seriously, and, to be honest, neither should you, as this actually offers a weird balance between slow and methodical, to fast and stupefyingly chaotic.

Screenshot for Tallowmere on Nintendo Switch

On the one hand, the action feels as if it's all about carefully moving on, paying attention to level design and enemy placement, and choosing the right tool for the occasion, as all weapons behave in a completely unique way, whether it's an insta-teleporting katana, or a medieval… rocket launcher. On the other hand, however, battles can soon turn into crazy blitzkriegs when the player is unable to see what's going on on-screen, and, more often than not, turns into a pixely bloodbath.

Unfortunately, while this inconsistency can actually provide lots of fun in the first play-through, once a player decides to "get serious," the challenge will turn into aggravation. The perfect example of how this can get insanely annoying is the jump mechanic. The hero can infinite-jump, meaning that, in theory, it's possible to clear out a room without ever touching the ground. Sadly, not only are most walls filled with dangerous spikes, but the level generator usually crafts stages that are almost impossible to traverse without getting hurt.

Screenshot for Tallowmere on Nintendo Switch

Even worse, enemy behaviour, as well as placement, is such that, combined with the aforementioned occasionally "unfair" level structure, leads to frequently getting overwhelmed by a team of enemies that keep on bouncing you all around a claustrophobic corridor. Strangely enough, this keeps on providing some fun times, as long as you don't expect something more from a simplistic indie product such as this.

It won't be long before boredom kicks in, though. Sure, it's possible to alter the experience by making it more challenging in various ways (if you feel like it), and getting deeper into the dungeon, and, thus, beating your personal score, can be quite addictive for a week or so, but, for most people, Tallowmere won't last more than that. On the bright side, once again the Switch turns out to be the best possible platform for games of this kind.

Screenshot for Tallowmere on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Tallowmere can be fun, challenging, addictive, silly, irritating, and boring at the same time, but, thankfully, it's neither a bad, nor a mediocre game amongst rogue-likes. Just don't go in expecting one of the best either.

Developer

Chris McFarland

Publisher

Teyon

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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