The Games That Time Forgot: Tomba!


By Holly Bartolo (@BartoloCreation)
Not too long ago, I was having one of those days where you just sit and read one thing on Wikipedia – but then find a random phrase – and before I knew it, I was floating through the entire Wikipedia database.
Long story short, I clicked onto a link and saw Tomba!, a game that completely disappeared from my memories. How could I have forgotten such a game existed? From a very young age, I was introduced to gaming – I remember being about five years old, sitting on my Aunt’s bed playing games like Mario or Sonic The Hedgehog on her Sega MegaDrive, I remember being so excited when I was bought my first Playstation that the smile from my face wouldn’t fade! I used to spend many evenings after school gaming with my mom, spending hours playing against each other on Crash Team Racing and even watching her play Tomb Raider 2 whilst I used to hide behind a pillow and shout at the screen when the bad guys popped out of nowhere!
This old school discovery made me realize something: while modern advances in technology are superior – and has allowed us to bring new elements to gaming (such as VR, better graphics etc), the old classics are being left behind and forgotten about. I used to spend hours playing games on the Playstation, Nintendo, etc – but because games are now easier to access with the introduction of apps as well as consoles, the market has unfortunately become oversaturated.
Welcome to a brand new feature dedicated to the forgotten games and characters – the characters that once made us smile, the platform games that once agitated us and failed altogether. To start of this feature, I am going to talk about the game that inspired this feature to being with – Tomba!
tomba 2
The game Tomba! (or as I knew it growing up in the United Kingdom, Tombi!) was a game created by Developers Whoopee Camp for the Playstation and was released in 1997 in Japan and 1998 in North America and the UK.
The game was a side scrolling platform in which the player would control the wild boy with pink hair/green shorts through a group of islands to search for his grandfather’s bangle that was stolen by some evil pigs.
It was a 2D-based game, however, there were parts of the game where you could jump into the background/climb into a new plane. To attack the evil pig enemies you would grab them, flip them in your hand and then they would be thrusted in the air – they could also be used to open items such as treasure chests and eggs. You could also use various weapons such as a Boomerangs to hit enemies – as well as swing on branches and poles.
The game was based all around different missions, where the hero, Tomba, is employed by various people to complete a number of tasks that gain you AP points, which can then be used to open AP boxes containing food.
When the game was released it received a number of positive reviews, praising the graphics, however, it was criticized for the music and lack of save checkpoints.
Tomba! received a sequel called Tomba! 2 – The Evil Swine Returns in 1999 and was also praised for its gameplay and graphics, but was criticized for its music again, with reviewers stating it was ‘annoying’ and ‘monotonous’. Shortly after the sequel was released, the production company, Whoopee Camp, went out of business.

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