Tak: The Great Juju Challenge Hands-On

We try out the final version of the latest entry in the Tak series.

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At THQ's press event today we had the chance to try out the final version of Tak: The Great Juju Challenge. The game takes the now-familiar platforming and humorous elements seen in the previous entries in the series and frames them in a mission-based game. The game also introduces a two-player cooperative mechanic that's blended nicely with the already-solid foundation provided by the previous games in the series. The final version of the game gave us a teaser of how the final version will shape up.

The game structure is a series of increasingly challenging courses that will require you to make the most effective use of Tak and his onetime rival Lok to get through the courses to win the favor of the moon juju.You'll be able to switch between both characters on the fly as you make your way through the adventure, which will be an integral part of playing the game. Tak and Lok, while very capable individually, will each have unique abilities that you'll need to make the best use of if you want to emerge victorious. Tak will have all the moves you've seen in the previous games, although he's been tweaked a bit. In Juju Challenge, the tiny warrior will specialize in magic and swimming. His magic staff has been replaced by mystic knives for melee. He'll also gain upgradable shaman abilities that let him freeze enemies and conjure objects, such as barrels. You'll gain the abilities via potions you'll discover on your adventure. Lok, in his first playable appearance in the series, will feature a complementary set of moves that fills in blanks left by Tak's set. As the larger member of the team, Lok will be the muscle. Although he's also the slower of the two, Lok will be stronger than Tak and be able to carry items and climb walls, which will make up for his inability to swim. Lok will wield a hammer for melee combat and will gain the ability to both create shields and heal when he finds the proper shaman ability potions.

The best gameplay mechanic to come out of this new premise is a two-player cooperative feature that will let a friend pop in and out of the game on the fly. When you're playing solo you'll swap between the two warriors, but when you've got a friend, you'll each take control of one warrior.

The game on display let us take a look at the mighty suits the pair can don if the situation arises. You'll find the lobster suit, which, aside from looking cool, lets you breathe underwater, in addition to letting you perform some snapping attacks with its pincers. An old favorite from the series, the chicken suit, returns as well--to let you fly. The other nice touches that were easy to spot were the game's humor and eccentric character designs, both of which remain intact in the new game.

All told, Tak looks like it could be a solid kid's game when it ships later this month. The visuals are solid, the gameplay is equally good, and the game's humor has an undeniable charm. Tak: The Great Juju Challenge is currently slated to ship this fall.

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