Toki is a platformer arcade created by TAD Corporation and originally released in 1989.
Toki is a platformer arcade created by TAD Corporation and originally released in 1989. Two years later, it was ported to several home computer platforms.
I'm not going to lie. Until recently, I had never played Toki. When I started it for the first time a few days ago, I didn't expect much from it; only the graphics had caught my attention. Today I want to go back a week and slap myself in the face saying, "how dare you distrust this game." That was my experience with Toki, I beat it in one day and enjoyed every second of it, and now I'm going to tell you why.
Also known as JuJu Densetsu, as it was named in Japan, it was developed by TAD Corporation, a company you may not know, but they made some pretty cool arcade games, like Exzisus. Fabtek published the game for the United States in 1989. Ocean ported it to Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and other platforms in 1991.
The story revolves around Toki, a primitive tribesman who lives a happy life in the jungle. However, this doesn't last long because Miho, leader of the tribe, and - you guessed it - the protagonist's romantic interest, is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer named Vookimedlo. To prevent them from stopping him, the sorcerer turns everyone into different animals and makes them his soldiers, so Toki is morphed into some gorilla-like humanoid. Luckily, the hero discovers that despite the shape-shifting, his brain was not controlled, and he now possesses a great variety of powers, such as spitting fire or breathing underwater. So, the now primate (thank goodness they didn't turn him into a fly; otherwise, there would be no game) sets out on a mission to rescue Miho and save his comrades.
The gameplay is more complicated than it seems. The player is given the freedom to eliminate whatever he can get his hands on; the primate's weapon is quite strong. Besides, there are quite a few power-ups for these abilities and some items that, for example, give Toki much greater speed and agility. With this, the game looks pretty easy. Not at all, the protagonist is very vulnerable to attacks, and his low mobility without that power-up makes him a straightforward target. This gives the player huge ease of killing but warns him not to relax too much as one mistake can cost him the game. And the latter can happen at any moment since all levels have several enemies, obstacles, and a mini-boss waiting at the end of each route.
The graphics are another great success in the adventure. Each level has its own characteristic colors, where they go from a surreal and bizarre world to a palette that uses almost exclusively a single color... And somehow, it works. The faces of the enemies, which have quite creative designs, are hilarious. The protagonist is designed with a model that makes it look like he doesn't move fast because he doesn't feel brilliant. The music and sound effects? Meh, forgettable and repetitive, but not bad.
In summary, Toki is a great game, unknown to many people but very popular in its time. I think I've said everything I had to say except one thing. If you got this far and you have read all this, I recommend you to start the game right now; what are you waiting for?
Review by: Gustavo
Published: 20 February 2021 8:03 am