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This latest Tak entry might have still been a decent platformer even without the following new addition, but it's made a much better one because of it. In the Great Juju Challenge, players don't merely control Tak -- they control Lok, too, and all the time. The two characters remain most inseparable, which makes for some humorous in-game antics and dialogue. More importantly, though, are the entertaining new gameplay dynamics made possible with the dual-character configuration. Gamers can switch between either warrior at any time with the tap of a button. When they take control of Tak, Lok becomes an AI-maneuvered sidekick and vice-versa. Tak is a great sorcerer who can swim. Lok is a great warrior who can climb.
Tak and the Great JuJu Adventure is nicely presented, features a variety of tasks and puzzles, and brings enough unique flair to keep you interested beyond the first switch/tile/door thingamabob. Its multiplayer co-op hook is also a nice hook for getting brothers and sisters or moms and dads involved as a sidekick for a little family game action. That's never a bad thing.
A Juju Challenge wouldn't be very challenging if you had all day to complete each trial. You know what that means: time limit! Every level is timed. Check points and time limit items increase the number on the clock, giving you more time to see what's waiting for you on far off platform #201 (or whatever presumed number the platform may be). Bonus items and various secrets are out there, but the focus is on the level and how quickly you can get through it.
Each challenge that Tak and Lok will take part in is designed as an obstacle course with a timer. While timed missions are the definition of “un-fun” in gaming, there is some wiggle room with The Great Juju Challenge. Players will take part in the standard issue set of platforming game elements throughout each challenge, such as jumping from ledge to ledge, rope climbing, and collecting various objects. While generic in nature, the lush jungle setting, combined with the humor between the game’s two heroes makes it an enjoyable trip.
Someday, there will be a great game starring these characters, but I have yet to actually see it. Tak and Lok (who is now playable) are funny and endearing, but the gameplay has yet to live up to the characters' potential.
Tak 3: The Great Juju Challenge is the third iteration of the Nickelodeon-fueled Tak franchise, which focuses on a young (or maybe he's old--but he's certainly cute either way) tribal boy named Tak and his dopey buddy Lok. The story centers around a competition that happens once each generation, called, you guessed it, The Great Juju Challenge, which tasks competitors with completing various levels, competing in vehicle destruction challenges, beating the clock, and scoring the maximum number of points. The gameplay focuses on the balance between Tak and Lok's different moves and how they work together, and you can play single-player with the computer's help, or you can play split-screen cooperative mode with another player. Tak 3 certainly has some adorable moments, but they're overshadowed by a frustrating design and sloppy gameplay mechanics. If you're looking for a fun and interesting platform experience that won't infuriate you, you can do much better than Tak 3.