A review key was provided by the developer

There is no worse fate than building your passion project and having it ripped away from you. This nightmare is a reality for developer Chris Deneos, but I’m not here to preach about the horrors of Nicalis. Save Me Mr. Tako was his dream game, and now, it’s finally a reality. Is this a new indie darling or has the world moved beyond the Gameboy? I’m excited to find out.

You are Mr. Tako! You have joined your brother in the war against the human race. You must rule the scum of the earth at once to become the dominant species once again! But humans don’t seem that bad. What if you tried befriending them? What if they need your help!?

You’ll jump, squirt ink, and slash throughout your adventure as Mr. Tako and some of his friends. The game is directly inspired by some of the greatest hits of the Gameboy era. I was constantly reminded of Wario Land, Kirby, and Metroid as I explored the different levels Mr. Tako had to offer.

Unlike the Gameboy, Mr. Tako offers many different color pallets. They all stick to the two-tone style of the father of handhelds, but there are so many more impossible colors. The game will automatically switch between whatever pallet the room you are in was designed for. Honestly, I found this hard to adjust to and didn’t like a lot of the pallets. I think you’re better off finding one or two you like and sticking with them.

Save Me Mr. Tako, doesn’t just feel like a tribute to the Gameboy, it feels like a Gameboy title ripped straight from the 80s and 90s. Mr. Tako, while lacking methods of self-defense, is fun to control and has many different hats that give you some bonus abilities and a new look. Unfortunately, levels still give you screen crunch and blind jumps. I just don’t think there was a reason to keep it this way. Other tributes, such as Shovel Knight, have been able to keep what we love of the classic eras and bring them up to speed as what we imagined it was like playing them. I don’t really see why Mr. Tako couldn’t do the same.

Mr. Tako took me about six hours to complete, and I’d highly recommend it! Clever writing, beautiful sprites, amazing boss puzzles and boss battles, even a gut-wrenching story all add up to an experience I won’t be quick to forget. You can tell this was a “dream game,” and I think it truly lives up to everything Chris wanted it to be.