Ty The Tasmanian Time Machine
For my first post on Medium I’d like to share with you a tale which was largely re-ignited by the imminent arrival of Yooka Laylee this year.
Back in 2004, when I was 11, we took a trip to the American PX, a large US style shop full of the best US goods you could buy. From Pepsi Twist to Lays crisps, it was like having a mini America within Germany.
While there, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger on the Gamecube caught my eye. It looked fun, graphically beautiful (back in 2004) and generally a bright colourful game that a kid would enjoy. My parents were convinced, and bought it alongside Super Mario Sunshine.
When I got back home, I discovered the downsides of US Stores…region locking. Sadly the game didn’t work in my Gamecube, and all the excitement went to waste. We managed to find a working version of Super Mario Sunshine (another late bloomer, I didn’t complete it until 2013!) by Ty was nowhere to be seen…
When reading a preview on Yooka Laylee, which looks excellent by the way and you should all buy when it comes out, I started to reminisce of childhood platformers. I didn’t have an N64, so Rare’s Banjo Kazooie sadly passed me by. However I did have Spyro, Rayman and even Gex: Enter The Gecko (what an experience that was).
I began to Google Ty The Tasmanian Tiger again, just to see what was out there. And to my amazement, there it was. On PC!
The guys at Krome Studios are currently working on an Steam Early Access version of Ty The Tasmanian Tiger on Steam, available for a very reasonable £8.99. I managed to discover it by chance a month after it launched, and immediately set to work on buying and installing it.
Firstly, it’s THE most Australian game I’ve ever played, knocking Borderlands The Pre-Sequel off it’s perch.
For those unaware of what the game involves, I’ll try to summarise. Ty is on a mission to save his parents from the DREAMING, and to do so needs to open up a portal for them to return. To do this he needs to reclaim the 5 Talismans, all while “Boss Cass” is trying to stop him. 5 talismans, 5 main areas, you get the idea. Each main area consists of 3 levels, followed by a token “Boss Battle”. 20 levels, lots of collectibles and very funny dialogue along the way.
There are worlds based around Rainforests, Desert Plains, Snowy Mountains and everyone’s favourite Sea levels. It’s not quite Yooka Laylee, but graphically the team did a really good job of making it look visually appealing.
It does bring out the Kleptomaniac in you. To fully complete a level, you need to collect all 300 opals (your equivalent to gems, coins and the like) to get a Thunder Egg. You need to find and rescue all the Bilbies (hey, it’s an Australian game) to get a Thunder Egg. There are also Golden Cogs to unlock new boomerangs, allowing you to throw Fire, Ice and more. It adds a new dimension of puzzle to the game — Fire melts ice, accesses new areas and means you can progress in the game.
It’s not a perfect game by any means. The game can be a bit repetitive, and offer a lot of back and forth through the levels to find items and return for rewards. The controls can be a tad frustrating at times and can flicker from extremely easy battles (yes, it’s for kids primarily, I know) to extremely hard (I’ve had to look at forums from 2003 for item collecting advice). As it stands though I’m around 7 hours and 75% through the game, and I’ve really enjoyed losing myself in it.
While researching this I just discovered Ty 2 & 3 exist and are next in line to get a HD makeover as well as Ty 4, a 2D platformer available on Steam.
So here I am, waiting excitedly for games to be released…a decade after being released. In a weird sort of way, the past has never looked so bright!