Camp EA 2002: Hands-onTy the Tasmanian Tiger

EA shows off its new platformer on the PS2 and GameCube.

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Electronic Arts and Krome Studios are teaming up to develop an Australian-themed platformer called Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. The game puts players in the lead role of Ty, who is assumed to be the last of the Tasmanian tigers. As it happens, the game's head bad guy, Boss Cass, has captured the rest of the tiger population in an alternate dimension. It's up to Ty to free the tigers by collecting talismans that will open a portal to the alternate dimension and free his brethren.

The gameplay hook in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is the need to collect multiple boomerangs. You'll start out with just one normal boomerang, but soon you'll collect a second, allowing you to attack faster and glide out of jumps. From there, you'll start earning special boomerangs, such as a fiery boomerang that can be used to light torches or an icy one that will put torches out. Ty can also execute a short-ranged bite attack. The game will have over eight boomerangs and 16 levels in all. Some levels will feature side quests in the form of various minigames.

Like most 3D platformers, collection will be key in Ty. Without the right number of goal items, you won't be able to proceed to the next level. You'll also collect power-ups, including one that lets you perform a one-time superchomp that attacks multiple enemies. With the exception of the multiple boomerangs and the puzzles that you'll have to solve using them, the game plays like standard a 3D platformer, and the collection elements feel like they're taken directly from classics like Super Mario 64. As you complete levels, you can go back into them to finish remaining objectives or do a time-attack run through a section of the level.

Krome Studios, an Australia-based development house, is keen on ensuring that Ty's world is reasonably authentic. The game will feature over 50 creatures indigenous to Australia, and all the accents and slang seem to be well done. The platform gameplay mixed with a slight touch of education about Australian animals should make this one a good bet for younger players this holiday season.

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