Tembo The Badass Elephant out Tomorrow: Game Freak’s PS4 Debut

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Tembo The Badass Elephant out Tomorrow: Game Freak’s PS4 Debut

Tembo The Badass Elephant – out tomorrow on PS4 – is the type of game I’ve always wanted to make. As a kid growing up in England in the ‘90s, I would play a lot of platform games on the SNES and Mega Drive, and then come up with my own characters and game ideas, sketching them out with coloured pencils.

Tembo the Badass Elephant

I never really grew out of it, and ended up working in the games industry, in London at first, moving to Japan later, eventually joining Game Freak about five years ago.

Game Freak are most famous as the creators of Pokémon, but they have a history of making great action games too, like Pulseman for the Mega Drive, or Drill Dozer for the Game Boy Advance.

I pitched the company my idea for a new mascot character game, Tembo The Badass Elephant, and they liked it. After we made a demo version, they greenlit the project for production.

Tembo the Badass ElephantTembo the Badass Elephant

The starting point for the game was the character of Tembo himself: a big, powerful elephant commando who can bulldoze almost anything in his path.

Tembo comes from the jungle island of Tuskland, where he fought in a human war alongside a colonel named Krenman. Many years after that war, Krenman is back in his native Shell City, when it’s invaded by an evil army known as PHANTOM.

Krenman, realising he needs some serious wrecking power, calls upon his old friend Tembo to destroy the nefarious PHANTOM and save the city.

Tembo the Badass Elephant

A really important element of this game is the way that Tembo controls. We spent a lot of time making him feel heavy and strong, yet speedy and precise. You can stampede through enemies and objects, racking up combos as you go, then spring into a jump and butt stomp through meters of concrete in one satisfying chain of action.

We wanted enemies to provide a good challenge for the badass Tembo, so the PHANTOM army will throw some heavy duty characters at you, from tanks and helicopters to massive mechanical bosses. Towards the end of the game the screen will be pretty much full of enemies trying to destroy you with missiles, bombs, and body blows.

To realise this kind of frenetic, physics-based action, we needed to use the power of the current generation of hardware. Working on the PS4 was a great experience. The artists could fill the screen with high resolution textures and environmental effects, and the level designers could pack levels with objects and enemies to destroy.

Tembo the Badass ElephantTembo the Badass Elephant

One thing I personally like about PS4 is the controller. For this game, the D-pad works well, and I like its placement and the way it feels. The controller’s vibration feels particularly good, and works nicely when you’re smashing up in-game scenery.

It’s a new and exciting experience for Game Freak to be releasing a game for PlayStation 4. I hope you’re excited to play!

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48 Comments

  • I’m really liking the art style. It does remind me of Saturday morning cartoons. Can’t wait to try this! :)

  • Hello James.

    I’m a brazilian game journalist for Arkade – http://www.arkade.com.br/ – and I’m absolutely in love with your game. It brings back so many memories of the 90s, and the visual is simply amazing.

    How can I get a copy for review? Is Sega the global publisher?

    Congratulations for the great work! The game looks awesome!

  • I’ve always loved elephants and the old Sonic games on Genesis. This is a perfect mix for me. :)

  • Also I hope you consider making this game for PS Vita if possible. Also Wii U/3DS for Nintendo fans.

  • Thanks for posting, James. I love Game Freak, so I’ll be sure to check Tembo out!

    PS: Vanillite is the best ;)

  • Day 1 for me
    Price point?
    Ps plus discount?
    Length of the campaign?

  • Looks awesome!! Saw it on Steam but my laptop sucks, so I’m happy to see it on PS4 where I know it will look fantastic.

  • Game Freak? Must-buy

    Price? PS Plus users discount?

  • I’ve heard there will be a PS Plus discount. And I think it is $15 before PS Plus discount.

  • Do you by chance have a press contact that I could email? Thanks for your help, and keep up the great work!

  • Nice, just watched some Youtube video that show cased what this game is about. I was very impressed! I have my eye on this one and my pick it up tomorrow. Thanks for bring this to the PS4!

  • Looks pretty good, I hope you consider a release for the PS Vita.

  • Anybody else who feels this would be best on Vita? #BuildingTheList

  • please, please, please bring this to vita. i want to play this more than anything right now.

  • Yes! This is what I envisioned games like Sonic the Hedgehog ultimately evolving into. Glad to see folks still doing justice to mascot action platformers, from Sega no less :-)

  • Looks good. I hope there’s a Vita release in the near future

  • I would have bought this day one for $10. At fifteen i will wait for a sale. No, the measly 10-20% plus discount wont cut it. Has to be ten or less.
    In fact, i find myself just straight up skipping games and waiting for them on plus. Its the only way my subscription pays off.

  • PlayStation needs to stress to all the Indy devs the importance of posting gameplay footage and maybe a price. Screen shots look nice but just don’t cut it.

    • Sony wants to keep all pricing secret until the store updates on Tuesday. That way, when they screw up the post, we dont know : )
      Gameplay vids would be most welcome.

    • The game is priced at $14.99 on Steam and they are offering a 10% discount to pre-order. Hopefully Sony will do the same, price it at $14.99 with 10% off the first week for Plus subs. You can google the game there are plenty of videos. It’s looks really fun.

  • You folks have heard of Google right?
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=tembo+the+badass+elephant+youtube

  • The game looks very nice. You guys should really post a link to the trailer. Photos are nice and all, but sometimes they just don’t show enough about a particular game and this one looks great in motion too. :)

    Here.. allow me to assist you:

    _________________________________________________
    PS4 – Tembo The Badass Elephant – Announcement Trailer
    _________________________________________________
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz8pof6sXv8

    • Agree…big mistake not putting a video in the article.Videos are 98% of the time ma reason to buy it,a video alone speaks for a gigantic text.

  • An elephant never forgets . . .

  • I just checked the store and it said Tembo is 39.99. I think you guys have a pricing mistake. Please fix and set at a proper price point.

    • Man, that’s insane!
      The same game costs 14,99 USD on STEAM!

      It’s only digital, c’mon!

      Please, FIX THIS PRICE!

      I’m in love with the game, but this is disrespectful

    • Saw gameplay and wasn’t impressed with what I saw but now I will definitely stay away from this game because there is no way this game is worth more than $15 let alone 40. Yes pl plus users like me can get it at 40% off but that’s ridiculous for this kind of game.

  • Why is the price listed as $39.99 on the PS Store?

    • Ya the price is wrong it’s 14.99 on Xbox with a 10% discount. And Sony is set for 39.99 with a 40% discount. This shouldn’t even be allowed to happen. And I find Sony is getting bad with updating the digital store for Tuesday releases. I am CST and a lot of titles don’t become available till 3-5 pm. I remember at one point at midnight purchases where available. I would sooner go to the store than make digital purchase. But in the case of indies and psn games. Digital is the only way to purchase.

  • Game looks good and very fun…dat good old fun.Will be trying it out….a demo wouldn’t hurt though.Also please consider a PS3 or Vita version.

  • There must be a problem with the price on PSN since the store hasn’t officially updated yet. The game is priced at $14.99 on Steam and Xbox One. So this has to be an error.

    • doesn’t look a pricing error now. It is 39.99 and has ps plus discount of 40% to 23.99. So yeah, we are getting gouged. I’ll pass.

    • I saw that too and it has to be an error. I can’t recall anytime where a game released across all three platforms was priced higher like this on Playstation. Also the store is still not updated yet.

  • Ya the price is wrong it’s 14.99 on Xbox with a 10% discount. And Sony is set for 39.99 with a 40% discount. This shouldn’t even be allowed to happen. And I find Sony is getting bad with updating the digital store for Tuesday releases. I am CST and a lot of titles don’t become available till 3-5 pm. I remember at one point at midnight purchases where available. I would sooner go to the store than make digital purchase. But in the case of indies and psn games. Digital is the only way to purchase.

  • I think this game just beat out Journey as my most anticipated game for this week’s releases. Come on! SEVEN MORE HOURS OF WORK UNITL TEMBO!!!

  • Sega is working on fixing the pricing glitch….
    https://twitter.com/SEGA/status/623566446849712128

  • John Hardin

    Hey everyone, seems like PHANTOM struck regarding the current price listing on Tembo. We’re aware of it and trying to get it fixed immediately! STAY TUNED. :D

  • Great! I was just looking for a fun PS4 game with physics and explosions. I enjoyed Renegade Ops on PS3.

  • Idk if its an error or not, but I m not trying my luck and I want to play this game now and I am NOT paying $40 so im buying this on xbox. Yall screwed up with this one

  • John Hardin

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