Title: Tombi! (Tomba! – North American Title)
Developer: Whoopee Camp
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Several years ago, back when gaming magazines still came with demo discs, I came across a game about a wild, pink-haired boy who must battle evil pigs in order to retrieve his Grandpa’s bracelet. It sounds a bit strange, but this was the nineties.
For a reason I cannot fathom, Tombi was not a huge marketing success despite receiving almost all positive reviews. As a result, hard copies of the game are both rare and expensive, though it was released on PSN a few years ago for any still wishing to enjoy this delightful game.
Visually, Tombi is a colourful feast for the eyes with charming backgrounds, cute characters, and cleverly crafted environments. Each area has challenges to overcome with Tombi’s skills of running, jumping, and climbing, but not all areas can be reached without help. Sometimes you’ll need to utilise a handy piece of equipment, whether that be the Grapple, Dashing Pants, or Parasol. There are also 130 events to complete if you want to get 100% completion, though only some are required to finish the game. Events are essentially missions or quests, each one is different and interesting, whether you’re searching for Charles’ spare pants or trying to breed that special neutral mushroom.
All in all, Tombi is one of the happiest games I have ever played, from the bright and colourful design to the cheerful soundtrack and goofy pig enemies. While it is a shame that the game didn’t receive the recognition it deserved from its era of gamers, it’s nice to know that this little gem can now bring joy to a whole new generation of gamers.