Tad the Lost Explorer – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer
Developer: Gammera Nest
Publisher: Gammera NestEntertainment
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PC

Tad the Lost Explorer – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun experience, Lighthearted
Bad: Bad jump responsiveness with fast movement
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

When we think about (fictional) explorers, the first ones that come to mind are tpyically successful people like Indiana Jones or Nathan Drake. Clumsy intern archeologist Tad might not fill this mold, but he wants to follow in the footsteps of these legends and make a large discovery by himself. However, things don’t turn out as he had hoped, and this sets him off on an adventure that is bigger than he could have ever imagined. So grab your bag, pet your dog and get ready to explore some ruins in Tad the Lost Explorer.


Tad Jones is a rookie archeologist who is looking for his first real breakthrough. He gets hired by a team as an intern, and brings along his girlfriend Sara and his dog Jeff for the ride. It doesn’t take long before he makes his first discovery but during this field trip, he accidentally destroys the digging site in the process. Understandably, the team is not happy about his actions and they put Tad on the back burner, only allowing him to do some small odd jobs left and right instead. While dealing with these, he is assisted by a mysterious adventurer that remains unnamed, but who gives Ted all the right tips he needs for his next big hit. However, when Tad breaks the rules, wanting to discover the secrets of the great pyramid by himself, he angers the team for the last time and is fired. Not only is Tad out of work but the team also runs off with his discovery. Seeking vindication, Tad heads out on an adventure to show the world who really discovered the secrets.


Given that this is the video game adaptation of the movie Tad the Lost Explorer and the Emerald Tablet, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the game actually looks like you are playing an animated movie. It seems that there was quite some budget allocated to make everything look good as both the separate dungeons and overworld maps look imposing and amazing. There is some serious variation across the different locations and each level feels new with different assets being used. You’ll notice significant differences between various digging sites as well as the university that Tad has to break into later on in the game.


Not only does Tad the Lost Explorer look good, but it also sounds good. The game starts with your uncle narrating the story as cartoony slideshows let the story unfold on your screen. Sadly, this is the only real voice acting present. The characters will make some grunting sounds while speaking, so you can just calmly read all the text, yet it would have added a lot more charm to have everything voiced. The music on the other hand is very pleasant to listen to, with the tracks directly lifted from the movie’s soundtrack. A different track plays at each location and the music will perfectly match a level’s atmosphere.


Tad the Lost Explorer is a platforming game where you go on an adventure to find some long-lost treasure and make it big as an archeologist. The game begins with Tad wandering around an archeological digging site and getting recalled by Sara as the team needs him at the hub. While Tad is making his way back he is stopped by a mysterious stranger and is sidetracked into some desolate ruins. This triggers the first transition from the 3D to the 2D world, as exploring the overworld is in 3D, and all the sections inside the dungeons are viewed from the side. Overall your goal is simple: reach the treasure hidden deep inside the temple. The gameplay is pretty simplistic. As Tad you jump and climb over the various obstacles while trying to survive the many dangers that are meant to keep intruders out. When finding your first treasure, it turns out that some explorer has already been here and left a rubber chicken. This item will be your weapon to take out the dangerous insects that cross your path.

From that point on, getting inside the various temples that follow won’t be as easy as that first trip. Most temples are closed off by various puzzles. For an older audience, these don’t pose much of a challenge, but the game’s target audience, kids, might need to put some thought into it or even ask an adult for help. Tad is an archaeologist, of course, which creates a great opportunity for the developers to cram as many hidden secrets and collectibles in the game as possible. First of all, there are many ‘brushes’ that are scattered around. Unlike in most platformers where collecting 100 would grant you an extra life, you have no set number of lives in the game so this is solely for completion. Additionally, each level houses historical artifacts, hidden from prying eyes ages ago. Collecting these will give you an insight into ancient civilizations, learning about their inventions and how they lived while reading funny comments from Tad.

Most of the time, the controls and character movement are satisfying, but there are some moments where quick and precise movement is needed. Occasionally, there are moments where jumping around is less responsive than it should be. This could lead to some frustrating restarts as it almost feels unfair that your character won’t jump in time. Fortunately, these moments are rather rare and mostly occur while playing as Sara, the game’s secondary playable character. The difference between her and Tad is that Sara has a double jump instead of a climbing mechanic, making jumping more important in her segments of the game. In total there are eighteen levels to complete, giving you around a good five to six hours of gameplay on your first playthrough, and some additional playtime if you want to 100% of all the levels, which is pretty feasible to do.


Tad the Lost Explorer is a fun platforming game where Tad discovers many different temples and tries to be the famous archeologist he always wanted to be. You control both him and his girlfriend Sara during their adventures and this mixes up the gameplay as they offer slightly different experiences. You will visit various places and temples, each with its own hidden traps and artifacts. Visually the game is pleasing to the eyes as it looks like you are inside an animated movie, and the same is true for the music, which could come straight from a Pixar film. Overall the game was a blast to play, but sadly some parts got unnecessary difficulty due to noticeable input lag while trying to escape danger.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Tad the Lost Explorer – Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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