Telmari review

by on February 20, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

February 16, 2024


Precision platforming is something I absolutely love in video games. When N+ came along back in 2008 it showed me that just because a game is about jumping around it doesn’t have to be happy and smiley; it can be brutal. As someone who has been playing 2D platformers since I was a toddler I adored the genre, but this also meant I’d outgrown the games that were more accessible to newcomers. Now I had my favourite genre back, and as years went by I went from Super Meat Boy to Super Mario Maker, and even more recently enjoyed The True Slime King. Could Telmari be the next death-filled platformer I’d sink countless hours into? Only time would tell.

Telmari tells a simple story, as most platformers do, about a little girl who just wants to look after her sunflowers. When sinister thorned tentacles start taking over the land, Telmari decides she needs to go and see the wise little fox who will know how to stop them. This means getting around a whole load of dangerous animals and spiky vines though, with only a plunger bow to help you.

Telmari isn’t actually very good at jumping, which for the protagonist of a platforming game isn’t exactly ideal. Thanks to her trusty bow though she can get around just fine, by shooting plungers onto surfaces and bouncing off them. Each plunger you bounce off gives you more vertical distance than the last, so getting through stages is often best done by bouncing from plunger to plunger until you reach the right hand side of the screen.


Early on stages are nice and simple, with a few obstacles to avoid and plenty of platforms to safely stand on to plan your next move. Even when the difficulty ramps up though you’ll always be able to see the whole single screen stage at all times, which should (theoretically) help you figure out the best way to make it to the finish.

As well as spiky walls, there are also actual enemies you need to avoid on your adventure. Telmari is far too kind to beat up innocent animals while on her sunflower quest though, so these all must be avoided rather than dispatched. Early on charging sheep don’t cause too much bother with a well timed jump or two, but before you know it levels will be littered with frogs that hop between essential platforms that you’ll curse at every time you die.

It’s when these pressures add up that the cracks start to show in Telmari, and this is mainly because firing plungers accurately and quickly is an absolute nightmare. Without any way to see where an arrow will hit before you fire it, there will be so many times where you’ll hit a vine it can’t attach to instead of the block you were hoping it to stick to, and if you’re in mid-air that means you’re probably as good as dead. Arrows fired too close to Telmari herself don’t stick either, so you can’t even remedy this by firing plungers on the surfaces you’re touching.

The time pressure is only made worse when you meet up with your fox companion and every level becomes a race against him to the finish. Trying to rush in Telmari just feels like an exercise in frustration, so having an extra reason to do so (even when optional) just means more deaths.

A screenshot of Telmari

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to die over and over again in a precision platformer if I’m having fun, but there’s an issue I had with dying in Telmari. When you spawn into a stage after dying there’s a brief second where you can’t fire your bow, which means if you rush into your next attempt you’ll fail to fire your first plunger and probably die again. In a genre where instant restarts are so important, it’s a hugely frustrating issue.

I was really excited to get stuck into Telmari, which made it all the more disappointing that it didn’t click with me. I haven’t even mentioned the aerial controls that I never truly felt in control of, or the fact that sometimes dying doesn’t register with the game so you have to navigate to the pause menu to restart. But those are issues too, and they massively affected my enjoyment of the game, but hopefully a patch can tighten some of those elements up.

Telmari felt like it could have been the next must-play precision platformer, but ultimately the plunger bow mechanic just doesn’t function well enough in high pressure situations. Perhaps that central mechanic will click with others more than it did for me, but unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy playing Telmari enough to fully recommend it.


A cool idea for a precision platformer
Looks nice


The plunger mechanic isn't suited for pressure situations
Aerial movement feels off
Has some bugs

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Telmari was a game I was excited to get stuck into, but the central mechanic doesn't lend itself to precision platforming and instead leads to frustration.