TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT out now, made by Pokemon creators

From the makers of Pokemon and Sonic the Hedgehog comes... this?

When I first saw the Game Freak logo in the launch trailer, I have to admit, my eyes lit up. I didn’t even know Game Freak made anything outside of the Pokémon series. I had to check their Wikipedia page. Sure enough, with the exception of a few obscure one-offs in the early nineties, the list goes: Pokémon,  Pokémon,  Pokémon,  Pokémon, Pokémon, TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT.

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So, let’s cut to the chase:

What the hell is TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT?

[Jump to our review of Tembo the Badass Elephant]

Well, it isn’t Pokémon. It isn’t Pokémon at all. Instead, it appears to be a cartoony action-platformer revolving around some sort of Rambo-inspired anti-terrorist mercenary elephant. Joining the ranks of elephants with names that end in -bo and badasses with names that end in -bo is TEMBO, whose name is always formatted in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Shell City is under attack by the evil PHANTOM, and the only one that can stop them is a BADASS ELEPHANT. Because VIDEO GAMES.

While it doesn’t resemble Pokémon much, TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT does look a little bit like a bizarre Sonic The Hedgehog game, right down to the obligatory pinball stage. Besides that, TEMBO also borrows heavily from the Donkey Kong franchise, right down to the familiar plinking sound that occurs after the elephant is fired from a cannon through a string of collectibles (in this case, peanuts).

According to an interview with Game Freak director and character designer James Turner, TEMBO also draws inspiration from games like Yoshi’s Island and Metal Slug.

Your guess is as good as mine!

It’s new, it’s weird, and somehow it’s something that I actually really want to play. To check out TEMBO THE BADASS ELEPHANT for yourself, find it on Steam, the PlayStation 4 Store, or Xbox One Marketplace.


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