Tembo the Badass Elephant review: it's glorious

Tembo the Badass Elephant is an extremely fun 2.5D action sidescroller from Game Freak, the developers of Pokemon.

At first Tembo the Badass Elephant looked like an awkward flash game that you would expect to find online. However, after getting hands-on with this title, I found out that there was so much, much more.

What a wonderful concept by... Game Freak?

Tembo the Badass Elephant was developed by Game Freak and published by Sega. And, yes, it's the same Game Freak behind the Pokemon series. This game took quite a few notes from other platformers out there to create something new and exciting. In

Tembo the Badass Elephant, you play as Tembo the elephant in a fast paced, 2.5D side scroller, where you crash through walls, collect peanuts, and destroy every enemy in your path to get the job done.

Tembo feels unstoppable

The controls are tight and Tembo does everything you would expect him to do and you feel unstoppable. You spend a majority of the game dashing forwards, crashing through walls, houses, trees, and other scenery. You also have to do a ground pound to break through even more destructible areas.

On top of that you also can shoot water, which will help shield you from fire and also put it out, which will become very useful as the game goes on. Everything feels very responsive, and you have a good control over the character without having to worry about any animation lag to begin any maneuver you are trying to perform.

Screenshots of Tembo the Badass Elephant do not do the game justice

This game is very well animated with its hybrid of 2D characters running through 3D environments. The backgrounds have multiple layers to them to give a solid depth to the world and the destructible objects pop out on the screen. Another great touch is the comic book style art in the game where random words that will pop out from Tembo throughout the game. For example when charging forward you will see "BADA BADA BADA" coming out of Tembo and "WHAM!" when slamming into the ground.

If you were looking at Tembo the Badass Elephant for story, you need to look elsewhere

You are a retired elephant commando who gets the call to come back to fight off the soldiers of a military power called Phantom who are invading the world. And that, all by its charming self, is all the story we get.

This game, like many other action sidescrollers, is more about the gameplay than story. However, this doesn't mean there is no story to speak of. Everything happens in the  beginning intro to get you set up for the rest of the game.


If you are looking for a satisfying and whacky 2.5D platformer, this is a great game to pick up. Tembo is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It combines great mechanics similar to what you would experience in Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong Country. My only drawback from the game was that it leaves you wanting more. The problem is that this could just be a testament for how good the game plays.

The game may only be a few hours long, but for $14.99, it's hard not to recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of the genre.

Our Rating
Tembo the Badass Elephant is an extremely fun 2.5D action sidescroller from Game Freak, the developers of Pokemon.
Reviewed On: Playstation 4

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Published Jul. 21st 2015

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