Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I started writing this thinking “neat, I get to celebrate a game where your only mode of attack is to pelt things with fruit”. Then I remembered that you do also have a knife in Disney’s Tarzan, and butchering cheetahs with sharp implements might not actually be all that child friendly.
I’m joking, really – every animal you slaughter in Tarzan vanishes in an innocuous puff of smoke. You do kill an awful lot of them though, including harmless looking ring tailed lemurs and cute little frogs that really shouldn’t be able to hurt a fully grown man. They’re not poisonous, I checked.
Incongruous wildlife aside, Disney’s Tarzan was more than a cheap movie cash in. I’m sure the marketing painted this as more revolutionary than it was, but the game blended 2D platforming with 3D sections where you’d slide around on branches, collecting coins and dodging hazards like in Sonic Heroes or, more recently, Proun. (Play Proun.) One of the later levels was entirely 3D, but the best bits were the hidden entrances on the normal platforming levels that let you briefly break outside of those 2D confines, weaving in and out of the scenery. Tarzan was no Fez, but it did play with perspective in some novel ways.
I only thought of this when when I looked at Tarzan’s Wikipedia page, but do you remember that phase games went through where they all (ok, some) wanted you to collect pertinent floating letters? Tony Hawks Pro Skater did it, the Bug’s life game did it, Tarzan did it, and so did loads of other games from my childhood that I can’t quite place. It’s almost a shame the trend’s died out – now I’m imagining running around Miramar collecting PUBG letters to unlock some kind of super weapon.