Anytime you’re talking mascot or buddy-driven games, so much of the success or “fun” of the game depends on the overall appeal and design of its characters. Thankfully, Tak and Lok are easily digestible “everyman” characters. They’re appealing enough to kids, and innocuous enough for parents to not think twice at the purchase counter. But are they interesting enough to deserve your attention over and over again? If you’ve played Tak on the bigger consoles, do you really need some portable action as well? Well, we guess that depends on your level of JuJu.
Tak in Black
The story of the game centers around Tak, the pre-teen (we guess?) hero of the Pupanunu tribe. Paired with fellow tribester Lok, they’re on a mission to defeat other tribes in a sort of inter-tribal Olympics … The Great JuJu Challenge, if you will. Various traps are setup throughout the levels in an attempt by the other tribes to thwart your success. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also face strict time requirements in order to succeed.
While the overall look of the levels in The Great Juju Challenge is similar to past GBA installments, the game has been setup to mirror the tournament (Olympic) format. The challenges require that players light beacons throughout the levels to activate a portal that leads to one of three stage sublevels. These beacons need to be activated by Tak and Lok by first solving a puzzle or defeating some enemies, and then lighting them with their fiery auras.
The levels in The Great Juju Challenge are all time based; the more time you have left at the level’s end, the higher score you will receive. The level timer adds some degree of complexity to the tasks, but we found that the time allotted was generous more often than not. After the levels are completed, players compete in a destruction derby of sorts to determine which tribe takes a hike. Each vehicle in the derby gets its own set of attributes, and placing well in the levels leads to getting a better ride. That, in turn, leads to getting a better derby score.