Love of Rare N64 Titles and Nature Inspires Tamarin

Published: April 25, 2019 9:00 AM /


tamarin - main concept art

Imagine playing a 3D platformer made by Rare veterans that channels parts of Banjo-Kazooie and Jet Force Gemini. Additionally imagine that you play as a super-cute monkey who can wield an Uzi, and do what the Tribals only wished they could have done against Gemini's evil giant ants.

You are imagining, then, Tamarin a throwback 3D action-adventure title with former Rare staff working on it.

You play as a titular tamarin and bop around a landscape based on Nordic scenery. Evil ants almost identical to Jet Force Gemini’s drones are expanding their empire at the expense of your little tamarin’s natural habitat, so you have to protect your idyllic world and all your friends and family.


tamarin screenshot with some bug creatures
This landscape is begging for you to go bopping along in it.


Tamarin’s inspiration is both 3D platformers and Metroidvanias. Thus, expect a bright, colorful world to bounce around in that weaves inward and outward of itself with backtracking. There’ll also be shooting, so this may not be a straight E for Everyone title. You’ll be splattering bug guts in addition to engaging in the cute platforming.

For these kinds of games, the collectible items are important. What’s been revealed for this one are electrical fireflies and birds that you rescue – living collectibles, then. Otherwise, you’ll apparently be journeying through “forests, fjords and mountains” and even discovering “a secret underground world of dancing ants.” Do you shoot them, too?

Tamarin is being developed by indie developer and publisher Chameleon Games. The director, Omar Sawi, recruited former Rare talent to help capture the feel of that company’s N64-era games. Creators of characters like Banjo and Kazooie or Diddy Kong have designed the concept art for Tamarin, and composers like David Wise (Donkey Kong Country) and Graeme Norgate (Goldeneye 007) have crafted the game's score and audio effects, respectively. This is an impressive Rare-veteran mashup that’s reminiscent of Yooka-Laylee from a couple of years back.


tamarin screenshot ant antagonist
Tamarin's environments include industrial looking interiors and mines, like in the screenshot above.


Developer Omar’s vision goes deeper than old-school nostalgia. Chameleon Games states in its 'About' section that they are directly inspired by “the wonders of nature.” Further, Omar has said, “A lot of species are going extinct and their natural habitat is being lost and I’ve always wished to make a game series inspired by the most wonderful species and scenery on Earth.” The passion behind Tamarin connects to the present world and its natural beauties as much as it does to the past of 3D platformers.

Tamarin comes to PS4 and PC this summer. There are some preorder bonuses via the main site if you’re interested. And if you’ve ever played an N64 Rare title, chances are you’d be interested in this one. Don't think so? Just check out the announcement trailer below.

Are you a fan of Rare's N64-era platformers? Are excited at the prospect of Tamarin, perhaps similar to Yooka-Laylee, bringing back that style of game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Photo of Trevor Whalen
| Writer

I am a lifelong, enthusiastic gamer, freelance writer and editor, blogger, and Thief FM aficionado. I think that exploration-heavy, open-ended first-person… More about Trevor

More Info About This Game
Learn more about Tamarin
Game Page Tamarin
Chameleon Games
Chameleon Games
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date
October 10, 2020 (Calendar)
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