If you were born in the mid to late nineties, chances are you grew up playing 3D platformers. They rose to prominence in the generation of the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64, but their heyday was the following generation. Once such game to grace the PlayStation 2 and the Gamecube was Ty The Tasmanian Tiger. Nearly fourteen years later, the uniquely Australia action-platformer collectathon has made its way to PC via Steam and remains as lovable and enjoyable as ever before.
As a massive 3D platformer fan – and an Australian of course – Ty was simply a joy to play. It has been excellently ported to PC, with improved graphics, updated shadows, reflections and support for HD resolutions and 60 frames per second gameplay. I had little fault with the optimisation for PC, although it still plays better with a gamepad and there were some minor frame stutters immediately after loads.What makes Ty special, is what has always made it special. It’s refreshingly humorous, charmingly Australian and has incredible attention to detail in environmental design. The gameplay beats are simple – “collect enough of this to fight this and get this and go there” – but works thanks to increasingly sophisticated and varied level design.
The cast of characters and the familiar sights – down to those reflectors on the white posts that line Australian roads – will undoubtedly spread a smile across the face of any Australian, but to a foreigner, there’s more than enough Crocodile Dundee-esque laughs. Boomeranging and biting your way through the seventeen diverse levels isn’t just fun, it’s funny.
Ty The Tasmanian Tiger, now finally on the PC, is definitely one to play if you missed it more than a decade ago. It holds up well as a 3D platformer, even if it remains somewhat polygonal, not only thanks to its clever levels design and assortment of specially powered boomerangs, but also to its unique, Australian charm.
The PC version of Ty The Tasmanian Tiger was used for the purpose of this review.