Aztek Tiki Talisman the main character ready to throw a hammer

Aztec Tiki Talisman Review

Game: Aztec Tiki Talisman
Genre: Action, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam (Windows))
Developer|Publisher: Josep Monzonis Hernandez | JanduSoft
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E
Price: US $5.99 | UK £5.00 | EU €5,99
Release Date: December 14th, 2023

Review code provided with many thanks to JanduSoft.

Aztec Tiki Talisman, a Simple Platformer 

Aztec Tiki Talisman is a simple 3D platformer where you play a hero who looks a lot like the boy in the original Wonder Boy. But that’s where the similarities end. It is a simple platformer that also comes in at an appealingly low price point. It doesn’t offer anything new to the genre, but if you are looking for something simple where you can shut your brain off for a few gaming sessions, then give this a look.

Aztec Tiki Talisman does not have a story to speak of. You’re just a cheeky chap with a hammer jumping around Aztec-like ruins looking for blue gems. When you start the game, you are thrown straight into the first level. Since I’m so used to having some sort of plot, I saw a group of tribal people huddled around a cauldron, so I assumed I could go up to them and chat. It turns out not a sensible idea since touching any NPC will result in immediate death and back to the start of the level. But that’s fine, as not every game needs a story. 

Aztek Tiki Talisman a deadly fire breathing plant
If I hide here, the plant won’t see me

Jump and Hammer

The gameplay of Aztec Tiki Talisman is simply platforming with some light combat. The goal of each level is to seek out a blue gem hidden in the level to unlock the exit and proceed to the next area. As an added extra, you can collect three stars also dotted about the levels, often requiring a little extra risk to acquire. Collecting these stars doesn’t appear to serve any purpose other than for bragging rights. You don’t need to collect any to proceed to the next level, and obtaining them doesn’t appear to unlock anything, not even a cool hat. There are two difficulty settings. If you crank the game up too hard, you need to complete a level within a certain time, or you fail. I quickly said ‘no thanks’ to this mode. 

Each level is on a raised stone platform that can be accessed via a stairwell. A design feature I liked is once you reach a new platform it unlocks a new stairwell. If you do fall off the side, it saves a lot of tedious backtracking. Platforming comes in a variety of forms, with rotating planks, switches and the odd push-pull puzzle.

You can fling your hammer as many times as you want, taking most enemies out in a single hit; it can also be used to flip switches. On the tenth level, you hit a boss fight. A tribesman with a large health bar, you just need to hit several times to move on. To my disappointment, this same boss is repeated every ten levels only with mild changes to its design, such as flinging fire at you, using a rotating fire shield, or a combination of the two.

Take a single hit or fall on a hazard, and it’s back to the start of the level. There are 50 levels, but it didn’t take long before the formula felt stale. I pushed myself through all 50, but I really did not feel the drive to return and replay the game again. Aztec Tiki Talisman’s controls are generally okay, though jumping can feel floaty at times. You have full control of the camera, so you can rotate it to the right angle to get a better view of your surroundings.

Aztek Tiki Talisman A view of the level from up high
Nice view, but how do I get down

Aztec Look 

Aztec Tiki Talisman does make a good first impression with its graphics. A soft but colourful design that is suitable for all audiences. Levels are surprisingly detailed, with foliage and little animals inhabiting the Aztec platforms you navigate. There’s a small number of enemies from tribesmen walking back and forth and the odd deadly flower that breathes fire at you. Aztec Tiki Talisman ran fine in TV and handheld mode, and I encountered no glitches or crashes during my playthrough, a point that seems kinda rare these days in gaming.

The first impression was good, but after I got past the first ten levels and headed into the second chapter, I was disappointed that the Aztec/jungle design was exactly the same. No lava level, no snow area in fact, no variation at all. It all looks the same, and that’s a shame. 

Aztek Tiki Talisman the boss fight
Someone’s having a bad day.

Conclusion: Cheap and Cheerful

Aztec Tiki Talisman is okay. It’s really just a decent no-thrills platformer. It doesn’t do anything special or new, but I also commend it for not being broken. There’s really not a lot to say about it since the game doesn’t stray far from its formula. Maybe it’s worth a look for the younglings or those looking for something straightforward. Aztec Tiki Talisman is certainly priced fairly for what’s available, but it’s hard to ignore there are more appealing options available on the eShop. It just about scrapes a pass from me.

Final Verdict: I Like It

I like it

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