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Out Now, Telmari is a Platformer For The Persistent

Telmari screenshot
Image: Phoenix Blasters

I was right in my initial assumption about Telmari: it is too hard for me. Or rather, I don’t have the patience to persist with it. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it, though. I dig its art style, and I can see how one could enjoy its tough-as-nails but super simple gameplay. This is a game built for persistent and patient players, and I’m not one of them.

Each one of Telmari’s levels takes place on one screen. It’s a platformer at its core, and the first couple of levels are offensively easy: simply walk to the right of the screen, maybe jumping over a ledge or two on the way. A few levels in, though, and you’ll be introduced to Telmari’s bow. It’s not there to kill any enemies you come across, however: instead, arrows can be fired to create bouncy platforms. With only a tiny jump as part of her repertoire, Telmari relies on these to get up on high platforms and to avoid obstacles.

Easier said than done, though, as getting an arrow in the right place takes a good amount of practice. They don’t last long, either. Just two bounces, or being idle for a few too many seconds, will see them disintegrate, meaning you’ll need to fire them again and start from scratch.

Telmari screenshot
Image: Phoenix Blasters

Whenever you’ve successfully completed a level of Telmari, you’ll get a screen telling you how long the level took, and how many lives you lost while trying. You’ll be glad to know you have an infinite number of lives, however: even 100 tries into a level, Telmari is still going strong – even if your own resolve is wavering somewhat.

You can simply keep going, or you can try a level again to try and perform better: there are leaderboards after all, and so if being top of the world sounds appealing to you, go for it. Simply getting through is enough of an achievement for me.

Telmari’s simple 2D art style is a joy. It reminds me of 90s pixel platformers, but its clean style packs in a lot of detail, from Telmari’s mass of red, messy hair to the creatures she meets along the way. I suppose it does help, when you’re dying again and again, to be surrounded by so much beauty.

A couple of things did turn me off, though. The game’s writing isn’t the best, with spelling mistakes noticeable right from the outset. It doesn’t really matter – especially considering Telmari’s story isn’t exactly at the forefront of the experience. But those sorts of things stand out to me. Proofreading wouldn’t go amiss, and hopefully it’s something that can be addressed in a future patch.

If you think you’re up to the challenge, Telmari is available now on Steam for £12.79. Or if you want to try before you buy, there’s a free demo to download, allowing you to try out a few of its fiendish levels. There’s a lot to like here – but only if you’ve got some serious patience.

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.