A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the cartoon violence takes a back seat to the puzzle objectives. The few characters that are killed disappear in a flash of light and mist, or in some cases appear merely unconscious. Occasionally Tak's guide will encourage him to club bad guys, but usually she's more like a cheerleader than an advocate for violence.
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What's it about?
In TAK AND THE POWER OF JUJU, THQ and Avalanche have partnered with Nickelodeon to create a character who is silly and lovable. The game begins with a lengthy introduction: The Pupununu people -- Tak's tribe -- recently chose a new village elder and the great shaman, Tlaloc, was passed over for the position. In revenge, he stole the sacred moonstones that help protect the Pupununu people and turned the entire village, except for Tak, into sheep. Tak is the only one who can save the Pupununu and restore them to their human forms.
While exploring many different worlds, Tak collects various items that will help turn the Pupununu back to normal. Throughout the game Tak must collect magic feathers, some of which give him health, while others give him more magic power. Eventually he will learn magic skills, such as learning to fly and swim like a fish, that can help him accomplish his missions. Other magic powers will help him defeat enemies or control them for his own gain.
Is it any good?
Tlaloc, the evil character, might scare younger children, but his henchmen are nothing more than bumbling sidekicks with an air of comic relief. The tomb scenes with the mummies rising from the dead also have scare potential but the context is humorous and not intended to be scary. Children may also be surprised by the cuddly-looking animals in the game that often throw things at Tak or punch him when he provokes them with his weapon.
The collecting missions will be very familiar to most children who have played games in the past and may get tedious after a while. But the silly humor and Juju powers help break up the general repetitiveness of collecting items. The designers have even thrown in a few snowboarding levels, sheep-maneuvering missions, and a mission where Tak must dress in a chicken suit. Add to that the jumping and swinging from platform to platform high above canyons and rivers, and Tak and the Power of Juju becomes a game worth hours of enjoyment.
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