Game Reviews

Mr and Mrs Tarzan

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Mr and Mrs Tarzan

Tarzan is one of those literary characters with a timeless, generation-spanning appeal. Personally, I have fond memories of Saturday afternoon repeats of the old black and white films: Johnny Weissmuller athletically jumping into croc-infested waters and swinging in to save a helpless Jane for the umpteenth time.

As Mr and Mrs Tarzan shows, though, that times have changed. Now it seems that Jane wears the pants, sending the former Lord Greystoke on a number of errands to collect items for her.

He also seems to have a bad case of the runs.

No, our vine-swinging hero hasn't picked up a river-based parasite. Rather, he can't seem to stop moving throughout this colourful side-scrolling platform adventure. Instead of conducting play with the now established virtual D-pad and buttons, all you do is swipe in the appropriate direction when Tarzan reaches an obstacle.

Encounter a gap, for example, and an upward stroke instructs Tarzan to jump. When you tap or brush the screen horizontally, Tarzan lashes out with his knife - essential for besting the assorted wildlife that take exception to his disruptive jaunts through their turf.

So far so functional, but things take a turn for the worse when more complex commands are required. The traditional platforming technique of wall-jumping (zig-zagging between two adjacent walls) is a fiddly mess here.

The awkward process involves a timed upwards stroke to jump into one of the walls, followed by another couple of upward strokes to set Tarzan scrambling up, followed by a horizontal swipe to jump across to the other surface and repeat as necessary. You'll get the hang of it, but it never feels natural or fun.

That's to be expected when touch controls replace a button-happy platformer. They work, but the simple mechanics of play just aren't pleasurable enough to keep you coming back.

That task falls to the missions. From collecting pieces of a broken barbecue to escaping a rising flood or an angry swarm of bees, there appears to be plenty of variation on offer.

While each task is absorbing enough, though, it soon becomes apparent that you're doing exactly the same thing - collecting a bunch of stuff - across a number of very similar-looking levels. Additional interest is added by some optional side-quests, but these involve collecting more stuff.

Nevertheless, it's all pleasantly presented with a sharp, clean cartoony style. There's a nice dash of humour splashed through the story, too, which makes progress through the game fairly painless.

Mr & Mrs Tarzan is a fun and well made title, but without any real spark or massively compelling features there's little to recommend it above some of the excellent platformers already to be found on the App Store.

Mr and Mrs Tarzan

Pleasant enough in almost every regard, Mr and Mrs Tarzan simply doesn't have anything to lift it above the status of decent
Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.